LEARN Legal Education Active Learning Research Network is a collaborative project involving Australian legal academics. The project aims to build a network of legal educators exploring enhanced learning strategies in law teaching, including blended learning, ‘flipped’ classes, MOOCs, online and face-to-face delivery and other teaching and learning strategies. We are adding resources to our Library, ‘Teaching Toolbox’, and News pages and plan to add new posts and materials soon.
At the ALTA conference in July 2016, Professor Melissa de Zwart, Faculty of Law, University of Adelaide, presented on the experience of preparing and presenting the 1st Australian law MOOC ~ Massive Open Online Course.
In 2015 Melissa was the leader of the EdX MOOC ‘Cyberwar, Surveillance and Security‘ which had over 20,000 enrolments. Her paper highlighted the key lessons and techniques that can be translated from the MOOC environment to improve and enhance blended and face to face delivery of classes.
At the ALTA Conference in July 2016, Assistant Professor Tammy Johnson, Faculty of Law, Bond University, presented on her use of Story Circles, to enhance student engagement.
Engaging law students with the process of legal analysis and writing is a challenge for legal educators. The challenge lies not only in designing tasks that will encourage law students to connect, but to allow the writing process to be enjoyable and relevant to contemporary law students so that they can start to develop their own writing style. One means of achieving this end is a Story Circle. The Story Circle concept is based on the childhood game where participants each contribute one small part to a storyline in order to create a complete narrative.
In the context of legal analysis and writing, tutorial groups create their own Story Circle to answer a theoretical or problem-based tutorial question using an online Discussion Board contained within the subject’s learning management system (LMS). The Story Circle is designed to be a fun and interactive exercise that embraces an opportunity to explore a new way for students to explore the domain of legal analysis and effective communication.
You can listen to Tammy’s presentation here.
Kylie Burns, Mary Keyes, Joanne Stagg-Taylor, Kate Van Doore and Therese Wilson are academics at Griffith Law School. They teach and research in diverse areas, however share a joint interest in effective, engaging and evidence based legal education in a digital age. In 2015 they were the recipients of a Griffith University learning and teaching grant to further develop active and ‘flipped learning’ in the Griffith Law School curriculum and develop a collegial active learning network for Griffith Law School Staff. This work was the genesis for the development of a national network: LEARN.
At the ALTA Conference in July 2016, they presented the results of their recent work in engaging students in their law school. The abstract below provides an overview of the paper they presented.
Legal educators are increasingly being encouraged, if not directed, to apply technological innovations in course design and delivery. The use of blended learning, in which learning in conventional face-to-face settings is combined with learning activities that are delivered online, is becoming more common. While legal educators are exhorted to use blended learning and/or active learning, there has been little published about the use of these methods in law in particular, especially in relation to their effectiveness in legal education, and impact on student learning. Continue reading “Active Learning in Law by Flipping the Classroom: An Enquiry into Effectiveness and Engagement”
I felt that after the plethora of posts made over the last few weeks about a recently completed MOOC: Learning to Teach Online, with University of New South Wales via Coursera, (sorry about all of those!) I should generate one post as a conclusion and a summary of the key messages and learning points. Some of what’s below are messages that confirm my own way of thinking about technology and online learning whilst some of it is new learning. If you’ve missed the others (well dodged!) then this is the ONE you should seriously catch-up on!
Technology won’t solve the issues people have when it comes to teaching & learning. It needs to add to/enhance students’ learning.
Before you plan any online learning activity- you need to be aware of the options available to you so that you can decide what’s most appropriate for you and…
View original post 1,002 more words
This post has a few easy resources that start your thinking and planning for adapting blended learning to your law unit. Whether you want to completely ‘flip’ or just add some simple video or podcast resources into your learning management platform, have a look through these;
How I learned to stop worrying and love the video: first published on SMILE 29 January 2015.
In 2014 my colleague Ross Hyams and I developed a series of 12 short videos for use in the Monash Law 1st year law program. We were fortunate enough to secure a small pilot project grant, which helped us pay for a technical and production assistant, Sam Blashki. The three of us worked together to put the series together, with the aim of attempting a partial ‘flip’ of the 1st year introductory unit, Foundations of Law.
Continue reading “‘Flipping’ a law classroom by @mscastan”
This was originally posted in Katgallow 13 September 2015.
A couple of weeks ago I self-published a free interactive i-book, Land Law & Sustainability. The book is available through itunes – though it can only be viewed by those with Apple devices, I’m sad to say.
This study is a meta-analysis of active learning vs lectures in the STEM subjects. Has anyone found the equivalent in the social sciences, humanities or for legal education? Leave us a link in the comments below.
Scott Freeman, Sarah L. Eddy, Miles McDonough, Michelle K. Smith, Nnadozie Okoroafor, Hannah Jordt, and Mary Pat Wenderoth, “Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics” June 10, 2014 PNAS vol. 111 no. 23.
This piece in the New York Times addresses the question of whether the ‘old fashioned lecture’ is on the way out. The author, Molly Worthen, is not referring to bad-flicking-through-powerpoints-lectures. She examines the argument that lectures as ‘long, complex argument’ is hard work, and good work for students. This piece caused lots of reaction amongst my colleagues, and maybe yours too. Here is one by Josh Eyler Active Learning Is Not Our Enemy: A Response to Molly Worthen. A couple more are here, Lecture me. Really? and In Search of Pedagogic Neutrality. If you have found interesting reactions, or want to add your own, leave a comment below.