Engaging and Assessing Our Students
Session 6 Workshops
Friday, June 3, 2011 – 12:10-12:45 p.m.
[A] Law Teaching in Three Dimensions: Integrating Doctrine, Procedure, and Skills through the Lens of Rule-Drafting
Rule-drafting teaches students to integrate legal doctrine, procedure, and skills. The presenters will describe how they successfully incorporate rule-drafting in two doctrinal courses: Legislation and Contracts. Statute-drafting engages students and deepens learning by integrating constitutional doctrine, legislative procedure, and statutory interpretation. Translating complex public policy into legal rules teaches sophisticated legal analysis about how laws govern human behavior. Similarly, contract draft ers must learn to express rules clearly and precisely. By redraft ing contract clauses, students learn the doctrine of duties and conditions, how to express each of them unambiguously, and how to create rules that encourage desired results.
[B] Early Intervention: Teaching Students How to Swim Instead of Throwing Them In and Hoping They Don't Sink
Katherine Silver Kelly, University of Akron School of Law
- Get session handouts (511 KB PDF)
A student's lack of success the first semester of law school does not necessarily predict whether that student can or should continue through law school. Early intervention strategies provide struggling students the opportunity to identify the gap between what they know and understand and how that should have been demonstrated on an exam. Workshop participants will take on the role of students and participate in activities such as essay forensics, "life" selfassessment, and using IRAC with multiple choice questions. Added bonus: Akron Law students will Skype in to share their experiences and answer questions.
[C] The Conscious Teaching Assistant
Jennifer North, Charleston School of Law
- Get session handouts (36 KB PDF)
Many legal writing programs have teaching assistants, but do they use them effectively? This workshop will explore techniques for gett ing your teaching assistants involved and active during and between classes. It will also provide sample programming ideas that will focus on honing the skills of your teaching assistants and giving them a realistic experience in academia.
[D] Teaching an Integrated Course with a Hybrid Text
David Thomson, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
- Get session handouts (44 KB PDF)
For many years, legal education has been criticized for not teaching its students enough of the practical skills they need to function eff ectively as lawyers. A law professor today wanting to respond to this criticism and teach in a more practice-focused way will discover that the materials available to teach from are mostly casebooks, or are otherwise not designed to support this kind of teaching. Fortunately, this is beginning to change. This session will demonstrate examples of emerging practice-focused teaching materials, in both print and online forms, and engage the audience in a discussion of how they might develop and use similar teaching materials.
[E] Engaging Students Through Culture
Tonya Kowalski, Washburn University School of Law
- Get session handouts (355 KB PDF)
All of the recent, groundbreaking studies on legal education identify cultural literacy as a core skill. Learning theory shows that students learn well by viewing a problem through multiple perspectives, and experience shows that crosscultural examples can serve as particularly fascinating, revealing comparative models for learning core material. Those examples can also reduce feelings of marginalization among diverse students. In this workshop, participants will share ideas for incorporating cross-cultural examples into classroom discussions and problem design. We will also discuss the dangers and rewards of raising cultural perspectives that are not our own. Participants will develop a sample lesson using a narrative or comparative example from another culture.
[F] YouTube Pedagogy: A Practical Guide
John F. Murphy, Texas Wesleyan School of Law
- Get session handouts (626 KB PDF)
Video podcasts are a powerful teaching tool, but producing your own videos can be a daunting task. In this workshop you will learn both the "why" and the "how" of using videos to teach. The workshop will focus on producing short, high-quality teaching videos quickly and easily using tools you already have or can obtain for free. During the workshop, we will actually produce, edit, and post on YouTube a short video that combines live action and "screencasting" — all within the 35-minute session!
[G] Motivating Students to Succeed
Tracy Turner, Southwestern Law School
- Get session handouts (69 KB PDF)
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." – Helen Keller. In our quest to teach students content, we sometimes overlook the most fundamental skill our students need to succeed: motivation. Students often focus on the grade they desire, and we need to redirect them to a focus on learning. In this session, aft er exploring the strong link between att itude and success, we will work together to identify specific methods for instilling long-term motivation in our students.
[H] Pouring Skills Content into Doctrinal Bottles
William Slomanson, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
- Get session handouts (92 KB PDF)
A thousand flowers will bloom during the coming renaissance in legal education. By acknowledging the 800-pound gorilla — draft ABA. Standard 302 — even Professor Langdell will be augmenting doctrinal legal education with fresh strategies for preparing students for entry-level practice positions (beyond what clinicians, Legal Writing, and skills-oriented faculty members have been doing for years). One can introduce varying amounts of skills content into a doctrinal class, without having to create a discrete skills course — thereby introducing a healthy dose of reality and enthusiasm. Professor Slomanson will provide some practical insight into how to "skillsify" a doctrinal course.