The diamond in the rough: Post-covid Legal Education, technology and student experience.

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsConference Presentation


During the pandemic, law schools along with everyone else went online.
Regulatory bodies reported that “a very large proportion of respondents in the various surveys commented that they did not like the experience of online learning and did not wish to ever experience it again” (TEQSA, 2020), research suggested that the “vast majority […] did not like this transition [to online learning]” (3 amigos, 2021), and that 80 per cent of students felt face-to-face was the “most useful” method of learning (Unite Students & HEPI, 2021).
Despite the hype and hyperbole, the return to campus in a post-covid world has been bumpy. Most law schools are delivering courses somewhere in the hazy ‘blended’ environment, some with more gusto and enthusiasm than others.
HEIs across the sector are reporting lower attendance and engagement that pre-pandemic levels, and it would appear that despite earlier protestations, many students like the flexibility offered by courses which are not 100% on-campus.
The blended or hybrid world (much like the Upside Down in the other Pandemic-era hit “Stranger Things”) looks sort of like the ‘real’ world but is infested with vendors of new technology singing their siren songs of “simplification” and “shiny stuff.” Some of this technology is truly excellent; some is truly not.
This paper argues that returning to “what we did before” no longer meets the needs of the post-pandemic law student. Neither, it suggests, is blindly adopting new technology simply because it promises to be “better.” It builds on the BATTEL approach (Sneddon, 2021) and outlines an approach which can be adopted by all legal academics, regardless of the topic area, institutional specificity or levelness. By starting at the end, technology becomes a means to that end, rather than the primary focus of learning and teaching.


3 amigos, 2021, EVE Project: Excellence in Virtual/Hybrid Learning & trends of Higher Education,
Sneddon, S., Do we need to use a Best Appropriate Technology standard for Technology Enhanced Learning in legal education? European Journal of Legal Education Vol. 2, No. 1, June 2021, 47–73
TEQSA, 2020, Foundations for good practice: The student experience of online learning in Australian higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic, Canberra: Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (

Period28 Jun 2023
Event titleSLS Annual Conference 2023
Event typeConference
LocationOxford, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • COVID-19
  • technology enhanced learning