•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

‘Save my academic session’: Law school VCs grapple with e-learning, tech, anticipating long-term corona lockdowns

E-learning might look easy in the movies but most law schools have little experience in it and may not be ready
E-learning might look easy in the movies but most law schools have little experience in it and may not be ready

Indian law schools have been trying - and in some cases struggling - to convert tuition to online learning courses in the wake of most having shut down physical tuition to attempt to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

We understand that at least NLSIU Bangalore, Nalsar Hyderabad, NLU Delhi and JGLS Sonepat are some of the schools that started online classes for students (please let us know in the comments of any other law schools also trying their hand at e-learning and we can update the story).

“I want to save my academic session,” said one vice chancellor (VC) about the idea to try and stay ahead of what is increasingly looking like it won’t just be a short-term problem. Indeed, life does go on, and prolonged cancelled classes would leave students without degrees or a meaningful education.

Another VC said starting online classes was very important “because there is no end in sight” in respect of the coronavirus and how long extreme measures would be taken.

“My prayers go out to hundreds of thousands of universities across India,” they added, noting that most universities had never even dabbled in distance learning nor might they have any idea of how to proceed.

Nalsar Hyderabad is using commercial video conferencing software Zoom, as well as Google’s YouTube Live service to deliver classes and lectures to students, we understand.

Nalsar had held four classes yesterday, for between 45 and 100 students each. It is understood that its e-learning software systems had previously been used in some of its distance learning programmes, as well as an attempt during last year’s swine flu shutdown at the university.

Nalsar is understood to have given the option not just to students to leave campus, but also for faculty to work from home, if required.

NLSIU Bangalore meanwhile, has been using a mix of the commercial service Zoom and a customised version of the open-source learning management software (LMS) Moodle.

“So far so good,” commented one member of the NLS administration regarding how it had gone so far. Attendance had been above an average of 75%, across the past two days.

JGLS Sonepat has opted holding its online classes via Microsoft’s Teams software (modelled on popular business chat client Slack). Jindal Global University (JGU) had noted in an email to faculty several days ago:

Further to my previous communication on temporary suspension of classes at JGU, I wish to apprise you of a few developments that have taken place in the last 48 hours. In order to ensure that graduation requirements are completed on time, besides internships, summer programmes and other extracurricular and co-curricular activities, it has been decided that all classes of JGU will continue in online mode with effect from Wednesday, 18th March 2020 till 5th April 2020...

I hope you will understand and appreciate the spirit of the decision to suspend physical classes and continue to teach through online mode. At this time of serious public health crisis, it is important for us to continue working in the best interests of our students. I thank you for your continuing support and understanding.

However, the transition has not necessarily been easy.

One VC said that early experiments with e-learning in the last few days “did not work well”, though they added they would continue iterating and improving the systems.

According to a report in LiveLaw, NLU Delhi has rolled out interactive course material in 16 subjects with 462 modules, for free to all Indian law students.

The material is offered via multiple channels, listed on NLU Delhi’s massive open online courses (MOOCs) portal, as well as under the government’s e-PG Pathshala portal, which is available here.

Please share in the comments if the NLU Delhi material is useful or any other feedback on how e-learning attempts at various law schools have been going (or not).

Click to show 17 comments
at your own risk
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.