Faculty of Law, UNAIR Discusses Online Legal Education with International Experts

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The Faculty of Law, Airlangga University (UNAIR) held an online seminar on the ‘Digital Learning Challenge for Legal Education’ last month. International experts deliberated on the various challenges that legal education is facing during this shift to online learning.

In the discussion, Dr Nurul Barizah, the Dean of Law,  stated that the infrastructure gap between education and telecommunications is still a problem in Indonesia for the implementation of online learning. Moreover, the ability of lecturers to adapt to online learning also deserves attention. The situation, continued Nurul, certainly is a challenge for Faculty of Law (FH)  UNAIR.

“FH UNAIR has provided training for lecturers in stages. With the differences of telecommunications infrastructure, the media for online learning must be diverse so all can be facilitated.” said Nurul.

Meanwhile, Maartje De Visser, Associate Dean of School of Law, Singapore Management University,  responded that online learning cannot completely replace conventional face-to-face education.

“Online education is not a substitute, but it is complementary,”

On the other hand, it is inevitable that online education is the only way that can be done. She then emphasized that online learning must still maintain quality as value. It is shown from the media choices that can be used.

“We can’t just rely on one type of tool in online learning. Moreover, it is important to always get reviews and feedback from students, ” she said.

“In situations like this, the source of learning is also a concern as well as a challenge. At least the faculty has a library with a comprehensive collection and reliable online services as a learning resource.”

In the end, Dr. Sjoerd JFJ Claessens, Director of Studies at Maastricht University, added that online learning requires the flexibility of lecturers and students. It concerns the time and method of learning.

“The problem with lecturers is more in the form of time management. Because those with family also have to deal with the presence of children who learn from home, “said Claessens.

While from the student side, he continued, feeling bored or tired of facing online learning is an inevitable thing. “Here interactive learning becomes important,” he said.

Responding to Claessens’ statement, Visser added, courses with an emphasis on ‘legal skills’ could still be done interactively such as by utilizing various menus and tools from online learning applications.

The event, attended by hundreds of participants, was initiated by Faculty of Law (FH) UNAIR together with five law faculties of Universitas Mulawarman; Universitas Haluoleo; Universitas Trunojoyo Madura; Universitas Nusa Cendana; and Universitas Borneo Tarakan.