Engaging and Assessing Our Students
Session 3 Workshops

Thursday, June 2, 2011 – 1:45-3:00 p.m.

[A] How Engaging Students Outside of the Classroom Will Engage Students Inside the Classroom

Amy R. Stein and J. Scott Colesanti, Hofstra University School of Law

This workshop seeks to inspire participants to spend more time with students outside of class, because doing so will motivate their students to be more active participants in class. The ideas and strategies to be discussed have broad application to all law teachers in classes of all sizes. The presenters will discuss ideas they have used outside of the classroom to improve the in-class experience, and will also solicit input from attendees on successful techniques that they have used. Through role-playing, the presenters will brainstorm with the group different scenarios for student meetings and a range of effective faculty responses.

[B] Engaging Students for Transactional Practice

Dana M. Malkus, St. Louis University School of Law; Scott Stevenson, Lewis & Clark Law School; and Paulette J. Williams, University of Tennessee College of Law

This workshop presents several in-class exercises and simulations designed to challenge our assumptions and promote student consideration of lawyering perspectives such as client-centeredness. The workshop panelists will demonstrate how they use exercises to teach specific lawyering skills such as interviewing and drafting. Attendees will not only participate in the exercises in the role of students, but will also engage in discussion with the workshop panelists about the purposes and design of the exercises, what makes an effective exercise, and ideas for exercises they have used or plan to use in their own teaching. The goal of the workshop is to promote brainstorming and collaboration among attendees on how exercises can promote student engagement, active learning and the exercise of specific lawyering skills.

[C] Make It or Break It: Taking Assessment to the Next Level

Frikkie Grobler and Carika Keulder, University of Pretoria

Students do not possess precisely the same talents. Some might be fluent orators while others are bett er in writing opinions. This is the underlying reason the University of Pretoria's Law Clinic has a 360 degree approach when assessing students. This workshop will provide a brief overview of our assessment methods, which strive to cover the full range of competencies assessed by as many as possible assessors using a wide variety of assessment tools. The focus of the discussion will be assessment by clients, and the end-of-term oral examination.

[D] The Sustainable Lawyer: Using Collaboration in the Law Classroom to Prepare Students for 21st Century Legal Practice

Andrew S. Greenberg and Aliza Milner, Syracuse University College of Law

Polyculture is an agricultural practice that maintains multiple crops in the same place, imitating the diversity of natural ecosystems. We use this concept in the classroom by creating collaborative exercises that require students of different courses to work together. Our presentation will replicate this student-classroom experience. Can we teach not just locally, but also globally? If carrots love tomatoes, could interplanting nurture our students' growth? Learn answers to these questions and explore why individual skills are good, but fruitful collaboration is better.

[E] Self-Assessment, Millennials, & Learning Portfolios

Denise Platfoot Lacey, University of Dayton School of Law and Mary Largent Purvis, Mississippi College School of Law

When students build a learning portfolio — a purposeful collection of student work and refl ection that documents growth and achievement — they compile evidence of their efforts, progress, and attainment of professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions. In addition, when students engage in self-reflection and self-assessment, they begin to examine and consider ways that they can develop successful learning habits. Participants attending this workshop will examine portfolio assignments and materials, and will discuss how to apply them to their classes and how to use self-assessments to motivate millennial students.