I stumbled upon this really neat resource by Brian Sites (Barry): a compilation of experiential learning materials broken down by subject matter. For professors interested in adding an element or two (or more) of experiential learning to their doctrinal courses, this is a gold mine.
Monthly Archives: August 2016
Cultural Competency as a Learning Outcome in Legal Writing
Eunice Park (Western State) has a short piece on SSRN, featured in the SSRN Legal Writing eJournal and published in the AALS Teaching Methods Newsletter, about assessing cultural competency in a legal writing appellate advocacy exercise. Cultural competency is listed in Interpretation 302-1 as an example of a “professional skill” that would satisfy Standard 302’s requirement that a school’s learning outcomes include “[o]ther professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession.”
Professor Park writes:
Legal writing courses provide an ideal setting for raising awareness of the importance of sensitivity to diverse cultural mores. One way is by creating an assignment that demonstrates how viewing determinative facts from a strictly Western lens might lead to an unfair outcome.
In writing a recent appellate brief problem, I introduced cultural competence as a learning outcome by integrating culturally-sensitive legally significant facts into the assignment.
She goes on to describe the appellate brief problem and how it helped meet the goal of enhancing students’ cultural competency.
Teaching, Learning, and Progression
At Best Practices for Legal Education, Steven Friedland (Elon) has an interesting post about shifting focus from “teaching” to “learning,” paying particular attention to student motivation. As one of the comments noted, this in turn has implications for formative assessment.
I’ve taught a number of doctrinal, writing, clinical, and skills courses. Here are a few examples of learning outcomes I’ve used in recent course syllabi. I don’t offer these as models but instead examples of how I flesh out outcomes in a variety of course types. I include below commentary for particular objectives. Continue reading
Publishing Learning Objectives in Course Syllabi
The new ABA standards are largely focused on programmatic assessment: measuring whether students, in fact, have learned the knowledge, skills, and values that we want them to achieve by the end of the J.D. degree. This requires a faculty to gather and analyze aggregated data across the curriculum. Nevertheless, the ABA standards also implicate individual courses and the faculty who teach them.
According to the ABA Managing Director’s guidance memo on learning outcomes assessment, “Learning outcomes for individual courses must be published in the course syllabi.” Continue reading