Using effective and engaging assessment to scaffold development of legal problem solving skills in first year law

Shircore, Mandy (2008) Using effective and engaging assessment to scaffold development of legal problem solving skills in first year law. In: Australasian Law Teachers Association 63rd Annual Conference: the law, the environment, Indigenous peoples: climate for change?. p. 146. From: 2008 Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference: the law, the environment, Indigenous peoples: climate for change?, 6-9 July 2008, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Legal problem solving is arguably one of the most important skills that a student of law must learn. Despite this, law schools have traditionally placed little emphasis on how problem solving skills are developed. Students have often been left to acquire the skills themselves through legal skills text books or general tutorial discussions. In recognition that 'time poor' students of today are less likely to be motivated to 'self-learn' such skills, an effective and engaging assessment regime has been introduced into first year contract law at James Cook University, which aims to scaffold the development of legal problem solving skills.

As part of an integrated FYE program, the innovative program involves a number of highly authentic tasks which are relevant to the learner at their stage of learning. As the students' knowledge base, skills base and confidence develops, the tasks become more complex and the students are required to take more responsibility for their learning. Through the use of constructive alignment the assessment tasks are explicitly linked to the subject content and learning outcomes of both the contract law subject and the whole of the FYE program. Assessment tasks include email negotiation exercises, simple hypothetical memos from a Senior Solicitor to a trainee, peer reviews and group work assessed through the use of wikis. The results have demonstrated a higher degree of engagement with the subject as a whole and improved problem solving skills and academic results.

Item ID: 27965
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-0646-49497-5
Keywords: legal education
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2013 06:39
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum @ 100%
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