Academic Success instructors share best practices for online legal learning

Short text messages sent via Remind. Eye-catching graphics using Canva. Classroom polls and games with Kahoot! As Jenny Lane L’15, Mindy Cyr, and Haley Mendola L’18 detailed at a January 28 conference, teaching bar exam prep online courses can require new ways to keep students engaged.

From left: Jenny Lane L’15, Mindy Cyr, and Haley Mendola L’18 teach in Elon Law’s Office of Academic Success

The move to online learning two years ago at the start of the pandemic required academic and bar support instructors across the country to rethink the way they teach – and for Elon Law’s Office of Academic Success, the results of their pivots have been impressive.

They’re also worth sharing.

Jenny Lane L’15, Mindy Cyr, and Haley Mendola L’18 detailed some of their best practices for encouraging students and emphasizing important information relevant to passing the bar exam during the second annual South Florida Regional ASP Conference hosted January 28, 2022, by Nova Southeastern University.

“Technology Tools to Support Bar Exam Preparation” focused on the pros and cons of utilizing Remind for text messaging, Canva for creating visual study skill graphics, and Kahoot! to gamify information for students enrolled in bar prep courses prior to graduation.

For Lane, the value of texts and graphics to communicate and the gamification of lessons is evident in the way her classes respond to the information they receive. Students aren’t as attentive to emails, she said, with a preference toward messages shared in digestible bites.

“Some of our students have been holding phones in their hands almost since birth,” Lane said. “You want to integrate these concepts and programs to get them interacting with you, and that’s what’s key – engagement.”

Lane said the visual study skill graphics created by the Office of Academic Success have played a role in keeping graduates focused on their studies during law school and when preparing for the bar exam.

Elon Law’s first-time bar pass rates have soared over the past five years and the law school’s two-year ultimate bar passage rate hovers around 90 percent.

About the Office of Academic Success

The Office of Academic Success provides resources needed to succeed in law school, pass the bar examination, and develop habits that will carry over into a professional setting. The five-member team embrace the principles of engaged learning, self-regulated learning and leadership, and instructors partner with the doctrinal faculty, the senior administration and outside experts to achieve their mission.