In saying “au revoir” to this year’s cohort of students I mentioned something that my colleagues at the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology have talked about alot over time – the feeling that boundaries around education are often artificial, and that the notion of scheduled classes within fixed semesters make little actual sense. Easy to say, harder to parse, and more difficult yet to do. But, as this website will attest, part of my December 30th was spent doing something seemingly a bit weird. I posted on several loose ends from the course – things I mentioned, argued or did. Was I posting too late for this cohort or too early for next one? Or can learning and teaching be communal and unboundaried, even if the formal study of a subject in law schools remains formally demarcated by the first day of class on one end and the posting of grades at the other. My answer is now clear, if only based on anecdotal evidence. From the ongoing interactions I’ve seen on course websites and webpages over the years, and the way former students find stay in touch with the course, it’s subject, each other (and occasionally with me), there is little doubt that we commit a profound deservice by time-stamping teaching and learning when we know that in law especially both are changing all the time.
That said, this post is the result, not the cause, of two related steps:
For the first time I have posted next years Syllabus on the website. It’s not much changed yet (other than dates) from this years. So often I have thought when reading something that it will alter the coming syllabus for the course and store it away to be revisited (or not). Odd then that it never occurred to me until now to simply put up a draft which can be played with in real time until we arrive at September 2019. Who knows it may even prompt past-student or colleagues to make suggestions knowing there can be evidence of change that happens nearly immediately. As for me I don’t have to remember where I filed the little morsel, or give up looking – assuming I even remember there was something I wanted to add.
The second step is the next post, my first directed to next year’s students – whoever they may be. Why not?