Teaching and Assessing a Broader Range of Skills in Doctrinal Course - Without Greatly Increasing Faculty Workload
Professor Andi Curcio, Co-Director of the Externship Program at Georgia State, discussed how formative assessment improves students' performance on final exams based on two studies, developing scholarship on teaching and learning generally, and measuring student learning outcomes.
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Click here for the Schultz and Zedeck Lawyering Effectiveness Factors.
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The Teaching Enhancement Committee has been charged with the task of reviewing Albany Law School's current teaching evaluation form to determine whether it needs to be revised. The committee has identified some initial concerns with the current instrument and invited faculty input to guide work for the rest of the year.
New Teaching Ideas and Resources
Three Albany Law professors share the latest in teaching innovation from new textbooks that incorporate electronic resources, to practical education in a doctrinal course.
On Wednesday, October 5, 12pm - 1pm Professors Gathii, Moriarty, Chung and Breger explored techniques for effectively using teaching assistants. The workshop used materials presented at the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning (ILTL) conference last summer to discuss hiring assistants, and adequately preparing them for the challenges of academia.
Additionally, teaching assistants can be effectively used to help provide assessment to students throughout the semester. In order to follow the Carnegie guidelines for educating lawyer, professors must provide multiple assessments and provide feedback.
"Using Excel Spreadsheets for Grading"
On Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m., Dean Connie Mayer and Victor Rauscher discussed the use of spreadsheets for grading.
The workshop focused on how to use spreadsheets for grading in classes using multiple assessment techniques.
Dean Guernsey Presents on "How to Draft Multiple Choice Questions In order to Accurately Assess Student Learning"
On February 9th, Dean Tom Guernsey presented at a CELT event held at Albany Law School. Dean Guernsey has been a consultant for bar examiners for 26 years. From 1992 until 2004 he was a consultant to the National Conference of Bar Examiners for Performance Based Testing. He has also been a consultant to the California Committee of Bar Examiners on Performance Based Testing since 1984 and continues today. He currently consults on drafting multiple choice questions with a consortium of law schools.
The workshop focused on developing law school examinations that will both better prepare students for the Multistate Bar Examination and be a better assessment tool in law schools.
On November 3, 2010, the topic of the weekly lunchtime Faculty Teaching/Scholarship workshop at Albany Law School was "Technology" and, specifically, how TWEN can add a new dimension to law school learning. Instead of providing a "how-to" workshop by Darlene Cardillo, the Instructional Technologist, we decided that it would be more useful for the faculty to hear from their peers.
Professor Phyllis Goldfarb, Jacob Burns Foundation Professor of Clinical Law and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at The George Washington University Law School, was a recent presenter at Albany Law School discussing her paper "Re-vision Quest: A Law School Guide to Designing Experiential Courses Involving Real Lawyering". The presentation was part of the Faculty Workshop and CELT series at Albany Law School.
"Re-vision Quest: A Law School Guide to Designing Experiential Courses Involving Real Lawyering" is an article arguing that the current divide between in-house clinics and externships is an inadequate scheme in the new era of curricular reform. It "suggest[s] that legal educators expand their thinking about curricular options for experiential learning and develop a broader conceptual framework for articulating these options."
For the presentation, Professor Goldfarb was joined by Professor Mary Lynch of Albany Law School, a co-author of the article. They fielded questions from the Albany Law faculty on the key issues in the article and the curricular reform debate.
Click here for the PowerPoint accompanying the presentation.
Sophie Sparrow's Workshop on "Harnessing the Power of Small Group Learning"
Sophie Sparrow, Professor of Law at the University of New Hampshire author of Teaching Law by Design: Engaging Students from Syllabus to Final Exam (2009), presented a workshop at Albany Law School entitled "Harnessing the Power of Small Group Learning". The presentation was part of the Faculty Workshop Series sponsored by CELT and the Dean of Scholarship, James Gathii.
Professor Sparrow engaged a group of twenty-five law professors on the benefits and proper use of small groups in law school classes. She provided instruction on how small group dynamics operate and how to best develop a class to utilize the idiosyncrasies of group learning. Group learning has always been a challenge in law schools because students are hesitant to rely on others for their grade. However, Professor Sparrow's system has the added benefit of developing interpersonal skills by requiring feedback from other students in the group. The result is a learning experience for all group members, not only in legal principles, but in real world interaction as well.
Click here to view the Powerpoint presentation.
On September 15th, Dean Tom Guernsey presented at an Albany Law School workshop on law school accreditation as part of the Faculty Workshop and CELT series. The purpose of the workshop was to inform Albany Law School faculty about accreditation standards and their impact on law school curriculum. The Dean discussed the hierarchy of the American Bar Association and its impact on accreditation, the role of the New York Court of Appeals, and provided a Dean's perspective on changes being made to standards on outcomes, tenure and other matters affecting law schools.