First Sergeant Frederick Claro instructs members of the 212th Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course in September 2020 using a hybrid in-person and Zoom learning environment at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Credit: Jason Wilkerson, TJAGLCS)
A Hybrid Learning Model
Best Legal Learning Practices from TJAGLCS to the Field
The Army intends to focus on the learner to strengthen and develop competencies that enable leaders to build trusted, cohesive teams capable of winning in all environments and across all domains.1
Education is the keystone upon which modern societies are built. With the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic limiting access to educational resources, developing the right educational strategy has become more important. Distance learning has become an accepted reality, one that requires the use of best practices that ensure students across the Army are able to meet their educational objectives.
The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS) has continued to educate leaders across the world despite the pandemic, making it an ideal proving ground for developing best practices for the U.S. military’s legal community. This article discusses how TJAGLCS has continued to develop its distance-learning methodologies, the differences between passive and active learning, and the best practices derived from the experiences of the students of the 212th Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course (JAOBC) and TJAGLCS faculty. The intent of this article is to provide insight from the perspectives of the legal learner and legal faculty so that this knowledge can be applied in the field.
This article is divided into four parts. “The Army Learning Model and Active Learning” introduces the Army Learning Model and active learning. “Technology and Experiencing the TJAGLCS Hybrid Legal Learning Model” expands upon this foundation by explaining how TJAGLCS developed and applied a hybrid blended learning approach. This part concludes with two 212th JAOBC students’ perspectives on this method of instruction. “A Way Ahead for Legal Learning” provides the authors’ recommendations on a way ahead for legal learning. This article concludes with two appendices that provide consolidated lists of legal learning best practices for students and instructors.
The Army Learning Model and Active Learning
The goal of education in the Army is to develop both technical (job-specific) and non-technical (soft skills) competencies necessary to maintain a multifunctional force.2 Learning is a continual process and an ongoing effort to develop skills and knowledge through experience, instruction, study, or a combination of the three.3 Learning often takes two forms: cognitive learning (the understanding of content and development of intellect) and affective learning (understanding the emotional components of knowledge).4 The Army applies these two learning theories through a learner-centric model, one that emphasizes context and problem-solving exercises through teacher-to student and peer-to-peer learning.5 An analogous term for these two theories is known as active learning.
At its core, active learning seeks to engage the learner and encourage greater use of the mind.6 This learning methodology focuses on developing critical thinking skills, teamwork, notetaking, and listening that are vital to success both in and out of an educational environment.7 Active learning requires that learners do more than simply sit and listen, it requires that they engage with the material and demonstrate experiential learning or “learn by doing.”8
However, legal education has not traditionally adhered to active learning tenets. Traditional legal education focuses on teaching students how to engage in “rational, logical, dispassionate analysis.”9 This learning often comes in the form of case reading, lecture, and the Socratic method.10 Lecture, a passive learning methodology, involves the transmission of information that results in learners anxiously taking notes rather than actively engaging with the content.11 The Socratic method assumes that students who are not directly participating in the conversation between student and instructor are actively engaged, even though effective legal learning is not a “spectator sport.”12 These passive learning approaches limit the learner’s opportunity to gain the necessary experience and problem-solving skills that are required in legal practice.13 Because the value of active learning in the legal environment has become more prevalent, over-reliance on these methods is changing.14
Active learning is based on participation.15 Human beings, and attorneys specifically, have a desire to explore, to try things out, and to observe cause and effect.16 Active learning seeks to harness this desire through the use of real-life examples and problem analysis.17 Effective active learning seeks to encourage the learner to apply newly-gained knowledge shortly after its receipt to facilitate the learning process.18 There are numerous active learning methods that encourage the application of knowledge. These include client interviewing, negotiation exercises, problem-based learning, and other activities where the learner models the work of a practitioner.19 The positive effects of active classroom engagement have been well documented.20 Amongst more than 800 first-year law students at St. Thomas University, students that attended all active learning legal course sessions had an average 0.47 grade point average higher than peers who attended no active learning sessions.21
Technology and the TJAGLCS Hybrid Legal Learning Model
The Army recognizes that technology in learning environments is an effective way to maximize learning potential.22 This is especially relevant at TJAGLCS as the educational process has not ceased since the onset of COVID-19. A concept known as “blended learning” has supported this operational continuity. Unlike traditional education, courses are delivered both in-person and online in a blended learning system.23 The goal of blended learning is to encourage learning by using tools that encourage active learning.24 The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School has continued to refine its use of blended learning throughout the pandemic, developing a hybrid legal learning model that is effective in the schoolhouse and in the field.
The COVID-19 pandemic served as the catalyst for a pedagogical paradigm shift at TJAGLCS. Like many educational institutions across the state, on Thursday, 12 March 2020, TJAGLCS learned that the governor of Virginia planned to institute a stay-at-home order25 on Monday, 15 March, to decrease the spread of COVID-19. The initial order closed all non-essential businesses for fourteen days. The Associate Dean of Academics, Mr. Maurice Lescault, had experience using a then-unsung meeting platform called Zoom. Recognizing the value of continuing education, Mr. Lescault led an unprecedented effort to quickly transition TJAGLCS from in-person instruction to a synchronous distance learning platform with limited interruption to professional military education.26 The Dean, Colonel Jerrett Dunlap, and TJAGLCS Commander, Brigadier General Joseph Berger, supported and authorized the change. By Friday, 13 March, every TJAGLCS instructor received training on the platform. The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School developed a plan to begin synchronous education using Zoom by the following Monday. The faculty training event on Friday consisted of more than Zoom familiarization.
Developing a Blended Learning Environment
Together, TJAGLCS professors developed a student engagement plan—which is critical in a distance learning environment.27 Professors shared innovative polling software like Kahoot and Turning Point to assess student comprehension and engagement. At the same time, two professors28 developed Zoom instructional guides for students and faculty members. These user-friendly Zoom guides decreased the learning curve and accelerated the transition. The schoolhouse prioritized providing stable internet connections for resident students and faculty.
The Associate Dean for Students and course manager, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Temi Anderson worked with Mr. Lescault and the Dean to develop a hybrid learning model that encouraged active learning through class participation. The Dean’s office created a clear communication plan early. Using an existing online communication platform familiar to TJAGLCS students (JAG University) as a backbone, the Dean’s office published critical information to students to help them navigate the class format change. The Dean’s Office asked academic departments to prioritize student engagement, recognizing that passive learning in a virtual environment impacts long-term knowledge retention. The school quickly adapted experiential learning events to the virtual environment. For our recommendations on developing hybrid learning plans, see Appendix A.
The Hybrid Learning Environment
For example, for the JAOBC, the Criminal Law Department transitioned trial practice from the courtroom to Zoom by carefully scripting Zoom mock trials. Students engaged in direct and cross-examinations of witnesses via Zoom. The school maintained a small group seminar format, using over a dozen Zoom rooms to meet with groups of ten or fewer students. Seminars and trials were effective “doing devices” that allow students to interact and apply what they have learned, and they aid in retaining student focus on subject material. Some topics lacked clear “doing devices” and lend themselves to a lecture format. For these passive learning topics, professors improvised by using game-based learning platforms like Kahoot and Turning Point for periodic checks on learning. Including a measure of interactivity helped to refocus the students and allowed them to provide input into their learning experience.
Regular student touch points are a cornerstone of the TJAGLCS hybrid learning model. Recognizing that the virtual environment can be overwhelming to some students, LTC Anderson created multiple opportunities for students to engage with professors inside and outside the classroom. She added weekly office hours and dedicated question-and-answer periods to the course schedule. This provided an additional opportunity for students to engage with professors and maintain valuable human connections.
The school applied this model during the 212th JAOBC in October 2020. The 128 Army and international partner attorneys were welcomed to Charlottesville to a markedly different legal learning environment than most had previously experienced. From the onset of their studies, they were subject to COVID-19 mitigation procedures, quarantines, and new classroom procedures that would have been unrecognizable a year earlier. Learning in this environment required a blended learning approach focused on active learning.
Lieutenant Colonel Anderson separated the 212th JAOBC into two sections (A and B) from the outset in an effort to protect students and faculty. When section A attended lectures in a socially-distanced auditorium,29 section B participated remotely in the same instruction using Zoom for Government. The two sections alternated between face-to-face learning with Zoom participation each day. To ensure and encourage participation from both sections, instructors applied different teaching methods with varying degrees of success.
Challenges with Blended Learning
The use of Zoom and similar technology has expanded the educational potential in traditional learning environments, though these platforms are not without shortcomings. Screen sharing provides learners with both an audio and visual guide similar to face-to-face lectures. The blended learning experienced by the 212th JAOBC would have been difficult without this technology, but the technology is far from perfect.
The use of Zoom and similar software requires a stable and relatively high-speed internet connection. While the internet speed and availability is adequate for most online requirements at many Army installations, the online demands at TJAGLCS often crippled its network due to upwards of sixty students streaming lessons simultaneously. This resulted in many learners attempting to work through login issues, screen freezes, audio degradation, and being kicked out of Zoom lectures.
Addressing this issue requires either spatially distanced online learners to reduce busy networks, or dedicated networks with sufficient speed and accessibility for online learning. In an effort to combat this challenge, TJAGLCS added ten new access points on the third and fourth floors of TJAGLCS lodging30 and is currently contracting to hardwire all rooms to increase bandwidth.
Active and Passive Learning
Another challenge posed by online learning is the overemphasis on passive-learning methodologies. This is especially true when a pure-lecture methodology is used by instructors because online learners can easily become distracted by their phone, internet browser, or television. These distractions were difficult to overcome given the passive nature of some legal lectures. Legal lectures require learners to pay close attention to receive the maximum benefit. The amount of attention paid to pure-lectures often decreased through the day as screen-fatigue and a lack of interaction affected the ability of learners to effectively receive information.31 The 212th JAOBC experienced few of these pure-lectures, and, despite their popularity in legal learning, it is advisable to avoid using them too often in a blended legal learning environment.
The combination of pure-lecture and PowerPoint presentations (PPP) avoids some of the pitfalls of stand-alone lectures. The benefits of incorporating PPPs through screen sharing include providing visual learners with the relevant information on screen. However, PPPs have drawbacks in blended learning environments. While the information tends to be easy to read in PPPs, these presentations often fall into three categories: 1) providing too much information per slide; 2) not providing enough information; or 3) having an excessive number of slides. Having too much information on a slide is distracting to the learner because it is difficult to determine what is important. Having too little information can result in essential information not being included. Having too many slides can easily overwhelm the learner and result in a lack of attention because of the breadth of the material.
Students in the 212th JAOBC faced all three of these challenges, with varying levels of success. One of the deciding factors with these three challenges came down to the extent that instructors read off their slides. The quality of instruction decreased when instructors read from slides and learners lost interest because they had access to the same information. However, the quality of the teaching improved when teachers used their slides as a support rather than a verbatim script because of the personality and experience of the instructor. A blended learning environment should discourage reading directly from PPP slides and ensure that the slides do not overwhelm the learner in both content and scope.
Adopting Active Learning Methodologies
Legal learning should involve active learning, not a devout reliance on passive learning present in traditional law school environments. While PPPs and lectures are important for conveying the basics, the 212th JAOBC had a more rewarding experience when they were able to have their voices heard. This often came in the form of small group seminars of no more than fifteen students and one instructor. These smaller, more focused groups allowed for every legal learner to ask questions and refine their knowledge. Instructors in these smaller sessions were able to explain the material so that it was easy to understand in context and applicability. These sessions could then be further broken down into groups of three to four learners who were expected to actively apply what they had learned to a hypothetical situation. On Zoom, this was conducted by creating break-out rooms with the instructor going from room to room to check on learning. This application of problem-based learning helped to cement knowledge through an active learning process. Reinforcing what has been learned through small group activities and discussion is a productive method of learning in a blended environment.
Active learning methods aided 212th JAOBC students in learning their craft. To check how well students learned information, different active learning exercises were incorporated in the eleven weeks of JAOBC. These exercises were designed to simulate the activities of a practitioner in the field and required that learners “learn by doing.” These activities included mock trials, will drafting exercises, evidence-based seminars, and a means and methods of warfare capstone. The effectiveness of these active learning exercises was evident for the face-to-face activities (mock trial), and during online activities (will drafting and the means and methods of warfare capstone). All of these active learning exercises required that learners prepare before the instruction, rather than trying to learn the material in the moment. As a result, attorneys learned the skills needed in the field while simultaneously engaging in an interactive and enjoyable learning environment. Active learning exercises were arguably the most beneficial of all the learning experiences for the 212th JAOBC students. Incorporating problem-based learning and analysis, or “learn by doing,” as a check on learning is a great method of encouraging knowledge development.
Effective legal learning requires background knowledge. Learning in the classroom is not the same as learning in the field, but one requirement of both is to provide background materials ahead of instruction. Access to these materials allows legal learners to quickly develop a background in the material and allows them to apply their knowledge with greater understanding. These materials should ideally come from a range of unique voices, rather than a one-size-fits all approach. Legal learners will be set up for success when information is made available before the respective period of instruction and incorporates diverse voices where possible.
These best practices, which are listed in Appendix B, are especially important in a time when learners are balancing professional and personal challenges. Instructors in the field should take these concerns into account and accept a blended learning environment as the new “norm” of legal learning. This requires flexibility in both teaching and learning, and the ability to effectively use software such as Zoom. Learning should be active and engage legal learners through a variety of games, mock exercises, videos, and other forms of knowledge dissemination outside of pure-lecture and PPP. Embracing these sometimes labor- and time-intensive approaches can pay great educational dividends. The 212th JAOBC benefited from the hybrid legal learning model applied by TJAGLCS, and have begun their path of the constant practice and continued education required to provide principled counsel.
A Way Ahead for Legal Learning
A blended learning environment should remain a viable alternative during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and our return to a “new normal.” We recommend that academic institutions consider adding a few completely virtual courses to expand access to legal education. In this article we demonstrated the value of active legal learning, how distance learning can be effective, and that a hybrid learning model can be successful. These provide a way ahead for blended learning to become an accepted part of not only the TJAGLCS learning model, but also that of the U.S. Army. However, it will be difficult for a blended learning environment to adequately replace the value of face-to-face learning in certain situations. We recommend two ways ahead in consideration of our findings.
Retain a Blended Learning Environment for TJAGLCS Courses During High-Risk Periods
The experiences of the 212th JAOBC demonstrate that the TJAGLCS hybrid legal learning model is an effective means of providing legal learning to new attorneys. This model works well when medical guidance indicates that in-person attendance involves higher risk. The 212th JAOBC was one of several where TJAGLCS implemented a blended learning environment to reduce the risk to the student population. The school benefitted from lessons learned during the previous two JAOBCs and was able to improve the 212th as a result. This blended learning environment has also been applied to the 69th Graduate Course, as well as other resident courses offered by TJAGLCS.
Once the pandemic ends, we recommend retaining this capability to prepare for future events and maintain the skill set required for hybrid learning by creating a few fully virtual courses (hereinafter “distance learning courses”) based on lessons learned. This expansion will serve two primary purposes: 1) it will account for the potential for future pandemic situations, and 2) it will reduce the costs of providing instruction for some resident courses.
It is uncertain whether COVID-19 will completely dissipate, and this is an important consideration for the future of the Corps. Additional challenges, including future conflicts that prevent traditional face-to-face learning, may also arise. Retaining the ability to provide both hybrid and distance instruction is required to ensure that both cognitive and affective learning practices are maintained, and that we continue professional military education (PME) for attorneys so that they are prepared to provide principled counsel. Providing legal learning via a distance learning model may also reduce unit travel costs. Because students lose the opportunity to engage in continuous course dialogue with peers and professors during distance learning events, we recommend that TJAGLCS assess the best future courses for this practice.
Select Short and Organizational Courses Should Continue to Adopt a Hybrid Learning Model
Hybrid learning should remain a new “norm” of legal learning for select short courses lasting one week or less. The short courses offered by TJAGLCS are presently almost, if not entirely, offered via distance learning. This has allowed personnel in the field to attend courses, such as the Domestic Operations course, that they otherwise would not be able to due to a prior need to be physically present at TJAGLCS. Though this distance learning model has its benefits, it alone may not be ideal for some learners.
The school should maintain its hybrid learning model for select short courses because it accounts for different types of learners and those in distant locations. This will provide attorneys who want to attend short courses with the option of attending via distance learning or receiving face-to-face instruction. This model allows attorneys who do not learn well online to obtain face-to-face instruction at TJAGLCS. Adopting a hybrid model would also benefit those who are geographically distant from TJAGLCS. This has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic as many attorneys that are stationed outside the continental United States face restriction of movement and other travel-related challenges. These and similar issues may remain once the pandemic has subsided, reaffirming the benefit of the permanent adoption of a hybrid learning model.
The permanent adoption of such a hybrid learning model for select courses also sets the stage for greater access to PME for those in the field. This article, and other lessons learned, can empower legal offices, centers of excellence, and other entities to provide their own PME separate from that offered by TJAGLCS. Organizations are already beginning to adopt this approach, such as the Defense Intelligence Agency, which offers its Intelligence Oversight Officers course via an online platform. Offices of the Staff Judge Advocate (OSJA) could similarly sponsor such hybrid training; for example, the U.S. Army Pacific OSJA could hold face-to-face legal training for attorneys stationed in Hawaii, while simultaneously providing the same training to attorneys in subordinate units stationed throughout the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility.
The COVID-19 pandemic has inexorably changed how military lawyers learn. It is important to take these lessons and create best practices that can be applied by the legal profession for years to come. The best practices contained in this article were experienced by judge advocates in the 212th JAOBC and are intended for both field and schoolhouse use. They reflect the use of a blended learning model, and how both passive and active learning methodologies play an important role in how attorneys learn their craft. It is the hope of the authors that the incorporation of these best practices and recommendations bolsters the effectiveness of legal education and continues to reinforce the importance of education throughout the legal profession. Continued refinement will only enhance learning outcomes and ensure that TJAGLCS moves onward with alacrity. TAL
Helpful Tips for Developing a Hybrid Learning Plan
1. Communication is critical in a virtual environment. Creating a recognizable communication format that students can rely on and won’t tune out is important.
Less is more. Avoid sending more than one comprehensive message a day in the days leading up to a course or elective. Sending messages too frequently will result in student overload. Students will begin to ignore the messages. On day one, explain when you will provide class updates and stick with that plan.
2. How-to Guides. We recommend that course managers create short how-to guides with screen shots to explain how the learning platform works.
Sending a comprehensive how-to guide up-front is okay, but we recommend that you follow-up with shorter, targeted guides that are five slides or fewer at the time you ask students to perform a task like register for the class, join a virtual room, or ask questions. A strong guide should answer students’ questions in less than two minutes.
3. Create a plan for questions in advance.
Before the Course. The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School used a blog feature in Blackboard for questions before and during the course. This allowed students to ask questions during asynchronous periods. Professors from each department monitored the site for questions. Using the blog site allowed other students to benefit from a professor’s response. Professors normally responded to questions within twenty-four hours.
During the Course. The school used chat windows and appointed a second professor to answer questions while the instruction was ongoing. This helped the primary professor remain on track while simultaneously answering students’ questions. We recommend having the professor monitoring the chat room try to answer as many questions as they can. This allows the primary professor to focus on briefing the class content. Students were also free to ask questions by raising their hand during class. The primary professor stopped to answer verbal questions during class.
Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) (formerly For Official Use Only (FOUO)) questions. The course manager created a centralized CUI inbox for CUI questions. We appointed a central person to manage that inbox and seek answers from each subject matter expert.
Office Hours. The course manager created weekly office hours for graduate course students and created dedicated question and answer sessions prior to officer basic course exams. This gave students dedicated time to meet with professors.
4. Flatten communication with all professors in advance.
We recommend that course managers and department leads meet with faculty in advance after establishing the course schedule. This meeting is important. During the meeting, we trained professors on the technology, our primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency communication (PACE) plan, how questions should come in, and how to introduce the chat room professor as soon as the lecture begins so that students saw them and knew to whom they were writing in the chat room.
We also created a phone directory with professor phone numbers so that professors could quickly contact the Dean’s office or each other if they had a question.
5. Monitoring the Session and Flexible Options
If you implement a security procedure like a waiting room, we recommend that you open the room at least thirty minutes before class and have someone responsible for verifying the identity of all users before granting them access.
Creating a profile naming convention is important for recognizing students. TJAGLCS students rename their Zoom profile so that it displays their rank and first and last name. This allows professors to quickly identify them on the student roster.
We recommend that professors record their sessions. We placed recorded session on our student class site on JAGU. This helped students who missed class for any reason. This also helped students who encountered technological issues during class. They were able to review key information they missed during the live session.
Best General Practices for Maximizing the Utility of a Hybrid Legal Learning Model
- Create blended learning environments that maximize the combination of distance and face-to-face learning similar to the hybrid legal learning model applied at TJAGLCS.
- Use online learning paired with face-to-face instruction.
- Internet connectivity and speed should be addressed prior to the start of online-based instruction.
- Avoid pure lecture.
- Slides should not contain too much or too little information—provide only the information that is needed.
- Try not to read from slides.
- Engage learners using active-learning based small group activities and exercises.
- Maximize the use of “learning by doing” exercises that require the learner to apply their knowledge.
- Provide background information prior to the instruction.
- Obtain a diversity of speakers and viewpoints to provide depth to the information presented.
Brigadier General Joseph Berger addresses the 69th Graduate Course about the State of the Corps in April 2021 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Credit: Jason Wilkerson, TJAGLCS)
1. U.S. Dep’t of Army, Training and Doctrine Command Pam. 525-8-2, The U.S. Army Learning Concept for Training and Education 2020-2040, at iii (Apr. 2017) [hereinafter TRADOC Pam. 525-8-2].
2. Id. at 9.
4. Id. at 10.
5. Id. at iii, 23, 28.
6. Harvey M. Shrage, Using an Arbitration Simulation to Teach Critical Skills, 13 Atl. L.J. 191, 192 (2011).
7. Id. at 193.
8. Rohan Havelock, Law Studies and Active Learning: Friends Not Foes?, 47 Law Tchr. 382, 385 (2013).
9. June Cicero, Piercing the Socratic Veil: Adding an Active Learning Alternative in Legal Education, 15 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1011, 1012 (1989).
10. See id.; Havelock, supra note 8, at 386.
11. Havelock, supra note 8, at 387.
12. Robin A. Boyle, Employing Active-Learning Techniques and Metacognition in Law School: Shifting Energy from Professor to Student, 81 U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. 1, 3 (2003); Havelock, supra note 8, at 385.
13. Havelock, supra note 8, at 388.
14. The prevalence of passive teaching techniques is often related to the difficulty educators face in finding effective “doing devices.” Roger C. Schank, What We Learn When We Learn by Doing, Nw. Univ., Inst. for Learning Scis. (1995), http://cogprints.org/637/1/LearnbyDoing_Schank.html. Doing devices allow students to put academic concepts into practice. For example, after studying the Rules of Evidence, we use a mock trial as a “doing device” to put the Rules of Evidence into practice in admitting evidence, objecting to evidence, and developing an appropriate rebuttal. Trial practice provides numerous opportunities for criminal law application but it is often more difficult to find an appropriate “doing device” for more abstract concepts like command authority or medical disability in a classroom environment. How can we teach a commander’s authority to govern personal conduct by doing? John Dewey remarked in 1916, in his book, Democracy and Education:
Why is it that, in spite of the fact that teaching by pouring in, learning by passive absorption, are universally condemned, that they are still so entrenched in practice? That education is not an affair of “telling” and being told, but an active constructive process, is a principle almost as generally violated in practice as conceded in theory. Is not this deplorable situation due to the fact that the doctrine is itself merely told? But its enactment in practice requires that the school environment be equipped with agencies for doing . . . to an extent rarely attained.
John Dewey, Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education 38 (1916).
15. Cicero, supra note 9, at 1018. But see Michael L. Richmond, Teaching Law to Passive Learners: The Contemporary Dilemma of Legal Education, 26 Cumb. L. Rev. 943, 954-55 (1996) (stating that students have not yet learned how to receive information from being actively involved in learning).
16. See Cicero, supra note 9, at 1018.
17. Havelock, supra note 8, at 385.
18. Cicero, supra note 9, at 1019.
19. Havelock, supra note 8, at 388-89.
20. See Michael Prince, Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research, 93 J. Eng’g Educ. 223 (2004).
21. Patricia W. Hatamyar Moore & Todd P. Sullivan, The Impact of Active Learning Sessions on Law School Performance: An Empirical Study, SSRN (2010), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1688311. See also Richard R. Hake. Interactive-Engagement Versus Traditional Methods: A Six-Thousand-Student Survey of Mechanics Test Data for Introductory Physics Courses, 66 Am. J. Physics 64 (1998) (in a survey of more than 6,000 physics students, the researchers found that there was a significant performance improvement amongst students that applied interactive learning methods rather than traditional learning methods).
22. TRADOC Pam. 528-8-2, supra note 1, at 19.
23. Kylie Burns et al., Active Learning in Law by Flipping the Classroom: An Enquiry into Effectiveness and Engagement, 27 Legal Educ. Rev. 163, 163 (2017).
24. Id. at 164.
25. On 12 March 2020, Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a communicable disease of public health threat. Executive Order 61 banned out-of-state travel for state employees, with some limited exceptions. The next day, Governor Northam closed all K-12 schools for two weeks. Two days later, he ordered a statewide ban on public events of more than 100 people based on guidance from the Center on Disease Control and Prevention. On 17 March 2020, the State Health Commissioner and governor issued Order of Public Health Emergency One (Health Order No. 1), later amended, which limited restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters to ten or fewer patrons. M. Norman Oliver, State Health Comm’r, & Ralph S. Northam, Governor, Commonwealth of Va., Executive Order Number Sixty-One (2020) and Order of Public Health Emergency Three: Phase One Easing of Certain Temporary Restrictions Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), May 8, 2010, https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-61-and-Order-of-Public-Health-Emergency-Three—-Phase-One-Easing-Of-Certain-Temporary-Restrictions-Due-To-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).pdf.
26. Within hours, TJAGLCS contacted Zoom and purchased the requisite commercial software necessary for this transition. The school currently uses Zoom for Government.
27. The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School is fortunate to have an innovative team of adaptive professors and information technology experts. For over a decade, TJAGLCS invested in distance learning education. The Educational Technology and Distributed Learning Division (ETDL), led by Mr. Jeff Sexton, manages both the Judge Advocate General’s University (JAGU) and TJAGLCS’s public website.
JAGU is the Judge Advocate General’s Corps’ (JAGC) hub for educational outreach and digital learning. JAGU houses the second largest online program in the Army’s Enterprise Lifelong Learning Center (ELLC), with over 40,000 course enrollments and thousands of instructional hours in resident and nonresident courses serving military and civilian attorneys, legal administrators, paralegals, and support personnel throughout the JAGC. Resident short courses offered at TJAGLCS make use of online class schedules, assignments, tests, and learning events and materials, accessible by the learner wherever they are, in the building, at home, local or overseas. This blended model is now the standard for all courses taught at the LCS.
Education Technology and Distributed Learning, TJAGLCS, https://tjaglcspublic.army.mil/etdl (last visited May 25, 2021).
28. Major Annie Vazquez and Major Clay Cox, TJAGLCS Contract and Fiscal Law professors, created video Zoom tutorials for professors and students. The guides served as a great training refresher for professors and students. The guide explained basic functions like logging in and how to ask questions in a digital environment.
29. Students were separated by six feet in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Students also wore masks in the classroom.
30. Telephone interview with Mr. Barry Bragg, The Judge Advocate Gen.’s Legal Ctr. & Sch. G-6 (Dec. 2, 2020) (on file with author). The school also modified its software to increase the power generated by each internet access point. The issue is the distribution of the internet inside the doors and walls of the rooms. The rooms are framed with old construction steel that degrades the strength of the internet signal. The wiring will be complete in fiscal year 2022. The school will run new television cables and two ethernet lines in each room so that students can plug directly into the local area net. Id.
31. These issues were often combatted during in-person classes by the opportunities for limited social interaction and a sense of community involvement in the learning experience.