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UK legal education & ICT: state of the discipline, state of the art… Karen Barton Sefton Bloxham Patricia McKellar Paul Maharg.

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Presentation on theme: "UK legal education & ICT: state of the discipline, state of the art… Karen Barton Sefton Bloxham Patricia McKellar Paul Maharg."— Presentation transcript:

1 UK legal education & ICT: state of the discipline, state of the art… Karen Barton Sefton Bloxham Patricia McKellar Paul Maharg

2 four themes… and a question 1.ICT & legal education – from individual to collaborative work 2.Innovative learning patterns need innovative assessment 3.Unique signature pedagogy in legal ICT? 4.Habits of the head, habits of the heart, habits of the hand… Are we in heaven?


4 UK Law Schools Survey 2004 BILETA survey of ICT provision Most law schools use VLEs Only a minority customise VLEs Main use of VLEs - as resources archive 1/3 use VLEs for coursework submission 1/5 use VLEs for discussuion/conferencing Few use VLEs for plagiarism detection

5 use of VLEs

6 how VLEs are used

7 The UKCLE VLE Project Aims and Objectives Obtain case studies from UK law school websites covering both undergraduate and professional legal education. Co-design a project website for UKCLE and BILETA sites Populate, and set up a procedure for authors to create and maintain case-study web pages. Provide a set of guidelines into VLE best practice Website:

8 LUVLE (Lancaster University VLE) Collaborative Learning online F2F Lectures & Seminars Online Resources Any Questions? (asynchronous) Inter & Intra Team discussions Student mentoring discussion Blended (weeks 6-14 & 21-24) Virtual Negotiations (weeks 15-20)

9 LUVLE (Lancaster University VLE) Negotiations – an online simulation Team-based collaborative learning all year Inter-team online negotiations (term 2) 4-party problem or case study Identification of legal basis for claims Negotiation of settlements Plenary session (F2F) Written report


11 characteristics of TLE Active learning The practical realities of transactions forming the basis of learning Opportunities to reflect on learning Collaboration (both within and across virtual firms of 4 students per firm) Process, or holistic, learning Immersion in professional role-play Task authenticity

12 Transactional Learning Environment Ardcalloch: Transactional Learning Environment (TLE) students engage in year-long collaborative learning in virtual firms on seven substantial projects they use f2f meeting (logs), activity logs, personal logs, intranet discussion forums as chat rooms, drafts folders, correspondence folders and style banks





17 Blended Learning with webcasts and transactional learning: Civil Procedure Module Webcasts Tutorials On-line TLE Group Project




21 student feedback Paperworld student Preferred f2f lectures Didnt use learning tools in the CD or online environment Used books, not e-resources Took verbatim notes from the webcasts Only listened to the webcasts once E-world student Comfortable using the webcast environment Used online information Used a word-processor to type notes Viewed and reviewed the webcasts Used the learning tools, eg speak-fast button We found that most students adopted a position somewhere along the spectrum of these two poles, and the position was variable depending on purpose of use.


23 Civil Court Action Project Sheriff Clerk Pursuer Firm Defender Firm






29 Tutorial Preparation Multimedia resources TLE ProjectResources Webcasts Civil Practice Flow Chart Tutorial Assessment ProjectExamMotion

30 virtual firms… …enables students to practice, in a safe environment, what they will be practising with real clients and in live legal transactions…… Excerpt from the Foundation Course in Legal Skills, Diploma in Legal Practice, GGSL

31 student quotes… Firms? Computers? Collaboration? Three words guaranteed to strike torpor into the heart of the average mature student. A feeling of dread crept over me when I realised that much of the work for the Diploma was to be carried out in firms. I struggled with the fact that I didnt have total control over where, when and how I worked. I dont think that Ive ever been quite so scared in my life. ……Imagine my shock at discovering that Id be part of a firm and that Id be potentially responsible not only for my own failure but that of three others. I almost left. Four strangers, four projects, one team?

32 development of our matrix Learning Trust 12% 27% 20%41%

33 development of our matrix Trust Dysfunctional Learning Community Friendly Society Legal Eagles Learning

34 low trust and low learning Trust Learning Culture –Suspicious, blame, independence, me first Task –Not task focussed; low engagement Relationships –Victimisation, polarised, abrasive, secrets Approach –Inflexible, superficial, dictatorial, rigid

35 low trust and low learning not my place to act as social worker to my team members. Teamwork jarring is insoluble – some people are just destined not to work together. Basically I would say that our firm was a success although we would have been better as a group of three. …this was done for selfish reasons as at the time I had no desire to work with L as tensions between us from the outset were high …childlike tantrums…turned into a nightmare Trust Learning

36 development of our matrix Trust Dysfunctional Learning Community Friendly Society Legal Eagles Learning

37 high trust and high learning Culture –Inclusive, fair, interdependence, team first Task –Task focussed: our way; high engagement Relationships –Open, valued, supportive, honest Approach –Flexible, organic, consensus, responsive Learning Trust

38 high trust and high learning the great thing about the firm was that I felt that we all picked up on these weaknesses early on without any conflicts arising that doesnt mean our differences have to separate us…that is precisely what makes us work much better together as a team Greater than the sum of the parts springs to mind. People were flexible about the work they took on and were willing to try new things. …responsibility was shared and that support would be given if someone had a problem. The other 2 members of the firm turned up on the negotiation day to lend moral support and share in the outcome Learning Trust

39 future projects: e-portfolios A structured collection of evidence Belongs uniquely to an individual Draws the evidence together into a coherent tale of learning (David Baume, 2001)

40 the e-Portfolio Project Objectives of Project To discover: Is there a place for portfolios within legal education, the legal profession and professional qualification? Are there any specific issues about legal education and practice that we need to consider? Do portfolios provide an additional dimension to vocational legal education and training that is currently missing, or are they just more work and a passing fad?

41 outputs to develop a model which will allow students to create a personal e-portfolio which will follow them through their undergraduate, post graduate and professional lives to include their training, CPD and any subsequent academic qualifications. Sufficiently adaptable design to accommodate law students who seek not only to enter a professional legal career but also those who choose a legally related route or other professional career.

42 partners Glasgow Graduate School of Law Pilot project; bespoke VLE; p/g Oxford Institute of Legal Practice e-portfolio application; open source VLE; p/g University of Westminster new project; proprietary system VLE; u/g

43 habits of heart, head, hand… Important to development of professionals because it enable us to learn from experience Students need to develop meta-cognitive skills because these skills affect the ability to understand and make sense of experience and are essential to the process of reflection and working in situations of uncertainty Reflective practitioners draw on intuition to do what feels right Asking students why they behaved or interpreted a situation in a particular way provides useful insights not only into how much and what they understand but also to extent to which they draw on intuition

44 Vocational Stage 1Vocational Stage 2Vocational Stage 3 The Portfolio Skills Assessment Tools + Learning Logs + Significant Event Analysis The Law Society of Scotland Test of Professional Competence Diploma + Subject Assessment Traineeship + Appraisal + Objective Setting PCC + Attend. Client Feedback Portfolio Assess. Model Proposed by Neil Stevenson at Diploma Conference










54 Sieberdam… KODOS Group, inter-university grouping, have developed an environment similar to Ardcalloch GGSL is liaising with them on an international project on IP in the Diploma, involving our students and Dutch Business students in Rotterdams Business Faculty. Sieberdam academic development team: –Rudi Holzhauer –Karen Jäger –Pieter van der Hijden



57 TLE 2.0: large-scale implementation of innovative technologies Transactional Learning Environment (TLE) 2.0 Development & use of suite of TLE 2.0 tools in seven transactions across four faculties in Strathclyde University, and in three additional law schools in England & Wales £202,500 funding by JISC, UKCLE and BILETA. Dissemination of TLE 2.0 as a fully-functioning environment, free, to interested parties in HE and FE. Dissemination of evaluation results at conferences and in papers to be published in peer-reviewed journals and as book chapters. Post-project: dissemination of project applications; further development of TLE within LTDU; archiving of all project documentation on the project website for a minimum of three years post-January 2008. TLE 2.0 leads to TLE 3 – see other 3-D simulations:

58 contacts

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