Legal Environment of Business

My hybrid course is a version of one of our core business classes: the legal environment of business. This course is taught at the 200 level, so it will have mostly second year students, and is usually around 50 students per class (which makes grading a challenge).

My general approach is to scaffold the students through their legal knowledge:

  1. Basic skills: learning the legal rules (i.e., what are the elements of copyright infringement? what are the elements of a fair use exception and how is it applied?)
  2. Basic skills: reading cases and identifying legal principles from a case that can be applied in a subsequent case.
  3. Intermediate skill: applying legal rules to novel, hypothetical situations.
  4. Advanced skill: assessing the risks in hypothetical scenarios, creating a management response, and defending the ethical and legal implications of that response.

Elements 1 and 2 can generally be done online, though I find it’s helpful to review in person in a short lecture with opportunities for questions.

Elements 2 and 3 I bring into the F2F class room by giving them cases to apply to real life or fictional scenarios and having them write out their legal assessments. They can do this in groups very effectively, particularly when starting out. When they get more advanced, they can do this online and individually.

As they become more skilled at applying legal rules, they can move to Element 4, which I do both F2F (as a learning activity) and online (as a summative assessment).

The biggest challenge for me is making sure that we don’t end up getting bored by repeating this cycle in the same way each week for 10 weeks! I think the structure works really well in a hybrid format, I just want to make sure I don’t end up in too much of a rut.

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