Engaging and Assessing Our Students
Session 7 Workshops
Friday, June 3, 2011 – 1:00-2:15 p.m. (includes lunch)
[A] The Greeks Go Back to Law School: A Guide to Integrating Collaborative Learning
- Get session handouts (216 KB PDF)
Dear Socrates, you don't have to go it alone. The Greeks modeled the teacher as intellectual adversary, using the Socratic method to test the mettle of students' argumentative skills. Our interactive workshop puts a twist on this model, demonstrating how teachers can be argumentative interrogators and collaborative coaches. Our presentation offers small group activities for large-lecture courses, mock questions for essay exams, and malleable grading criteria to help students self-assess their writing. Coupling the Socratic method with pedagogies associated with contemporary rhetoric and writing studies results in students learning skills that translate into any class and well into practice.
[B] Student-Centered Assessment: How to Include Student Voices in Shaping Pedagogical and Curricular Choices
- Get session handouts (248 KB PDF)
This workshop will be co-facilitated by an Associate Dean for Experiential Learning who oversees a significant part of the curriculum, a tenure-track professor whose research focuses on pedagogy, and a third-year student with experience in empirical methods. We will engage participants in an interactive discussion about ensuring that assessment — both at the micro-level of the classroom and the macro-level of the overall curriculum — is genuinely "student centered." The goal of this workshop is for participants to learn about different methods of student-centered assessment and share concrete ideas for implementing student-centered assessment in their individual classrooms and at a programmatic level.
[C] Using Outcomes Assessment to Develop and Measure Acquisition of Practical Lawyering Skills
- Get session handouts (6.7 MB PDF)
What foundational skills do students need to become practice ready lawyers? How do we know if students are acquiring these skills? How can we effectively measure student progress? How can the practicing bar assist us? In this thought-provoking session, the presenters introduce us to an innovative pilot project that uses multiple levels of assessment to measure student progress in acquiring practice-oriented lawyering skills in a unified writing program. Presenters will discuss the project and engage with participants in activities that utilize assessment protocols from the initiative: developing learning outcomes, aligning outcomes with teaching and assessment, reflective learning, and group norming.
[D] Teaching Law with Online Role-Playing Simulations
Ira Nathenson, St. Thomas University School of Law
- Get session handouts (765 KB PDF)
Live websites provide a dynamic "sandbox" for role-playing simulations that cast students as lawyers acting for fictional clients. Such simulations, initially crafted for a Cyberlaw class, can also be used in a wide variety of other courses. This provides a highly configurable platform for the immersive and holistic learning of knowledge, skills, and professional identity, including realistic fact-finding, advocacy, negotiation, ethical traps, and much more. The workshop will first provide background on relevant technology and methodology. We will then move to a mini role-playing exercise using the live Internet, followed by a discussion of the benefits and challenges of online simulations.
[E] Integrating Real Life Practice, Micro-Lawyering, and Simulations
- Get session handouts (959 KB PDF)
Engaging students in simulations provides great predictability and control over what students learn, but removes students from the real-life implications of their work and their personal connection to the material and outcomes. Using simulations, micro-lawyering, and the middle ground between real experience and pure simulation can provide students and teachers with the best of both. Participants in this workshop will explore how to develop and implement these methods in the clinical setting, skills classes, and traditional doctrinal courses.