Coverage Choices

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By Michael Hunter Schwartz from Washburn University School of Law

Many law teachers struggle with the issue of “coverage” in their courses. An important underlying question is, “Coverage of what?” All law school courses “cover” something. Effective course design requires teachers to articulate fundamental coverage choices.

Does “coverage” mean exposure to content? If so, students can read material and teachers can explain the analytical framework, raise interesting issues, and expound upon doctrine and theory.

Does “coverage” mean development of analytical thinking skills? If so, teachers can help students learn to recognize issues, develop an analytical framework, and apply doctrine and theory to realistic problems.

Does “coverage” mean deep learning of professional skills and values? If so, teachers can facilitate students’ experiential learning – observing professionals in practice, engaging in simulated and actual representation of clients, receiving feedback on performance, and reflecting on their experiences.

What coverage choices do you make in your courses?

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