Engaging and Assessing Our Students
Plenary II Follow-up Sessions

Friday, June 2, 2011 – 10:00-10:30 a.m.

[A] Formative Assessment Protocols: An Empirical Report from a Property Course

Fernando Colon-Navarro, Anthony Palasota, and Yu-hsieng Huang, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

This workshop discusses the conceptual framework of instructional design that led to the formation of the Teaching/Learning Excellence Program, and how assessment protocols and Pre/Post Appraisals of Skills are used to track the progress of students across the law school's curriculum. In particular, this session reports on how formative assessments have been used in a Property course to engage students and bring a greater number of them to the desired outcome at the end of the instructional period.

[B] Using Rubrics to Assess and Engage Students

Marisa Cianciarulo, Chapman University School of Law; Mary Lynch and Connie Mayer, Albany Law School; Michele R. Pistone, Villanova University School of Law

Drawing on Zedeck and Shultz' work on lawyer competencies, this fast-paced and dynamic workshop will be focused on using rubrics to enhance student engagement and provide formative and summative assessment in a wide range of courses. Working in small groups, participants will be given a sample incomplete rubric to complete and then provide feedback on. The conversation will continue after the workshop online through a newly created wiki site where law professors can post rubrics for others to share, adapt, and expand upon.

[C] Formative Madlibs Assessment Tools

Hillary Burgess, Charlotte School of Law

In this session, we will discuss ways for faculty to expose students to and have them practice good legal discourse. By using the techniques introduced in the workshop, professors can provide multiple assessments that incrementally increase the difficulty level of doctrine, thinking, and discourse skills. We will discuss techniques for creating extensive writing opportunities without increasing professor grading.

[D] Assessment Challenges in Clinics: A South African Experience

Riëtte du Plessis, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg School of Law

This workshop will illustrate how clinical students are assessed when faced with typical South African challenges, such as consulting with less-educated clients whose problems often arise as a result of a conflict between applicable law and traditional beliefs. Scenario: an elderly Zulu man consults with an English-speaking white female student. He paid money, which he can ill-afford, to a traditional healer (witchdoctor) for traditional medicine (muti), which did not have the required effect. He wants his money back, but does not trust the law. He wants the student to endorse his planned vigilante efforts.

[E] Training Teaching Assistants to Provide Assessment Feedback

Rogelio Lasso, The John Marshall Law School

We know that the learning loop requires multiple opportunities for students to receive prompt individual feedback. We also know that providing such individual feedback is time consuming. Using teaching assistants allows students to receive needed individual feedback throughout the course and allows teachers to reduce the time required to provide the feedback themselves. But for the teaching assistants to provide eff ective feedback, they need to be trained to use detailed evaluation sheets. This workshop will help participants develop methodologies to train their teaching assistants to provide meaningful feedback to students.