Engaging and Assessing Our Students
Session 2 Workshops
Thursday, June 2, 2011 – 12:10-12:45 p.m.
[A] Redirecting Laptop Users' Attention: Lessons from the Field
Kim Novak Morse, Saint Louis University School of Law
- Get session handouts (543 KB PDF)
What are law students really doing behind those laptops? Is it as bad as we think? In an IRB-approved study, I captured the actual extent of law students off -task laptop behavior over the semester. Later, I correlated their off-task use with final course grade and LSAT scores. The findings are rich with implications. Besides unexpected patterns of use, we learn students re-direct their attention back to class in consistent ways that, we as teachers, can orchestrate. This workshop offers concrete ways to re-direct students' attention away from their laptops for more meaningful engagement.
[B] Engaging Students with Havruta Style Learning
Barbara Blumenfeld, University of New Mexico School of Law
- Get session handouts (226 KB PDF)
Havruta teaching manages to excite students and engage them in the learning process. This traditional Jewish technique of using pairs to study text, while similar in some aspects to other collaborative learning, has key distinctions in both its methods and underlying philosophy. Its focus on process, along with its format of dispute and resolution, make it especially well suited to law study. It is an approach that makes students active participants in their learning. This presentation will give an overview of the method and discuss ways in which it can be used in a variety of law school settings.
[C] Reflecting Well: Guided Journaling to Improve Transfer of Learning
Jodi S. Balsam, New York University School of Law
- Get session handouts (706 KB PDF)
Reflective journaling can be used in law school settings to help students foster their own learning and transfer it to new situations. This workshop will draw from the relevant educational literature and the presenter's own experiences in using guided interactive student journals to provide an overview of reflective journaling as a tool to help students become more aware of what they are learning and thus more able to build on accumulated knowledge and skills. Workshop participants will then collaborate to design appropriate journaling exercises they can use in their own teaching.
[D] The Law Classroom of the (Near) Future
April Barton, Villanova University School of Law
- Get session handouts (1.9 MB PDF)
Through creative uses of technology, the classroom of the future can fully engage our students and teach leadership principles that are normally not taught in the law school classroom. This session will discuss three learning styles achievable through high-tech tools: (1) Experiential Learning; (2) Social Learning; and (3) Mobile Learning. Such pedagogical elements must be found in the classroom of the future in order to eff ectively embrace our digital natives' learning style. Participants will be invited to brainstorm applications in their areas of teaching expertise while considering the larger conceptual issues the presentation raises.
[E] Electronic Card Game: An Innovative Method for Teaching Relevance and Weight of Legal Authorities
- Get session handouts (455 KB PDF)
This workshop will demonstrate an electronic card game designed to help students with the skills required to evaluate the results of their research: determining which authorities are on point and the weight of those authorities. The workshop will include brief presentations concerning the development of the card game and the presenters' experiences using it. Those in att endance will spend a signifi cant segment of the workshop actually playing the game. Aft er they have played the game, the participants will have an opportunity to discuss their reactions and consider the uses of similar games in their own teaching.
[F] Integrating Mindfulness Theory & Practice into Trial Advocacy
David M. Zlotnick, Roger Williams University School of Law
- Get session handouts (465 KB PDF)
Trial lawyers notoriously suffer from early career burnout, or alternatively, grow into insufferable egotists from whom all reasonable people flee. Similarly, in law school, would-be trial lawyers can be hampered by performance anxiety, or conversely, adopt inflated, conflict-oriented self-conceptions drawn from television and movies. In this workshop, we will explore how integrating mindfulness theory and practice into a basic Trial Advocacy course can help students develop a more humane and sustainable trial practice. The presentation will ask participants to engage in a brief mindfulness exercise, and will include a short video excerpt from a prototype of this course.
[G] Integrating the Three Apprenticeships in an Insurance Practice Course
Paula Marie Young, Appalachian School of Law
- Get session handouts (23 KB PDF)
This workshop will describe and illustrate active learning techniques used to give students a contextual exposure to handling a complex insurance claim in an upper-level practicum on insurance law and practice. The workshop will provide one example of how professors can integrate in a doctrinal course student learning about: 1) the skills of the expert practitioner [whether as a litigator, negotiator, mediator, or arbitrator] in the context of a real case file; 2) professional behavior, identities, and purpose; and 3) a variety of dispute resolution processes.