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Transactional learning and simulations: how far can we go in professional legal education? Professor Paul Maharg Glasgow Graduate School of Law.

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Presentation on theme: "Transactional learning and simulations: how far can we go in professional legal education? Professor Paul Maharg Glasgow Graduate School of Law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transactional learning and simulations: how far can we go in professional legal education? Professor Paul Maharg Glasgow Graduate School of Law

2 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, the scope of the implementation 2. design methodologies 3. forms of collaborative working undertaken by students 4. the experiences of students to date with those of MMO players

3 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, simulations in legal learning…  Are close to the world of practice, but safe from the (possible) realities of malpractice and negligent representation.  Enable students to practise legal transactions, discuss the transactions with other tutors, students, and use a variety of instruments or tools, online or textual, to help them understand the nature and consequences of their actions  Facilitate a wide variety of assessment, from high-stakes assignments with automatic fail points, to coursework that can double as a learning zone and an assessment assignment  Encourage collaborative learning. The guilds and groups of hunters in multi-player online games can be replicated for very different purposes in legal education.  Students begin to see the potential for the C in ICT; and that technology is not merely a matter of word-processed essays & quizzes, but a form of learning that changes quite fundamentally what and how they learn.

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21 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, personal injury negotiation project Administration:  280 students, 70 firms, 7 anonymous information sources  70 document sets, 35 transactions  students have 12 weeks to achieve settlement  introductory & feedback lectures  discussion forums  FAQs & transaction guideline flowcharts  voluntary face-to-face surgeries with a PI solicitor

22 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, PI project: assessment criteria We require from each student firm a body of evidence consisting of:  fact-finding – from information sources in the virtual community)  professional legal research – using WestLaw + paperworld sources  formation of negotiation strategy – extending range of Foundation Course learning  performance of strategy – correspondence + optional f2f meeting, recorded

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32 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, PI project: (some of) what students learned  extended team working  real legal fact-finding  real legal research  process thinking in the project  setting out negotiation strategies in the context of (un)known information  writing to specific audiences  handling project alongside other work commitments  structuring the argument of a case from start to finish  keeping cool in face-to-face negotiations  more effective delegation  keeping files  taking notes on the process...

33 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, PI project: what students would have done differently… ‘In tackling this project I think that our group made two main mistakes. The first mistake we made was in approaching the task as law students as opposed to Lawyers. By this I mean we tried to find the answer and work our way back. Immediately we were thinking about claims and quantum and blame. I don't think we actually initiated a claim until a week before the final settlement. I think the phrase "like a bull in a china shop" would aptly describe the way we approached the problem. […] Our group knew what area of law and tests to apply yet we ended up often being ahead of ourselves and having to back-pedal The second mistake we made was estimating how long it would take to gather information. We started our project quite late on and began to run out of time towards the end. None of us appreciated the length of time it would take to gather information and on top of this we would often have to write two or three letters to the same person as the initial letter would not ask the right question.’

34 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, PI project: what students would have done differently… ‘At the beginning we thought we perhaps lost sight of the fact that we had a client whom we had a duty to advise and inform. On reflection we should have issued terms of engagement and advised the client better in monetary terms what the likely outcome was going to be.’ ‘[…] unlike other group projects I was involved in at undergraduate level I feel that I derived genuine benefit from this exercise in several ways: 1.reinforcing letter-writing, negotiation, time-management and IT skills 2.conducting legal research into issues of quantum 3. working effectively in a group as a group - not delegating tasks at the first meeting and then putting together pieces of work at the second meeting.’ Student comment on the environment…environment

35 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, design methodologies?

36 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, authenticity as transactional learning Five characteristics in our practice define transactional learning for us as: 1. active learning, 2. based on doing legal transactions, 3. involving reflection on learning, 4. deep collaborative learning, and 5. requiring holistic or process learning.

37 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, place of the discussion forum? Emerging identity as student/practitioner Ardcalloch simulation Actual practice reality

38 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, place of the discussion forum?

39 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, place of the discussion forum? Diploma in Legal Practice

40 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, forms of collaborative working…?

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53 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, development of matrix Trust Dysfunctional Learning Community Friendly Society Legal Eagles Learning Barton & Westwood, 2006

54 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, development of our matrix Learning Trust 12% 27% 20%41% Barton & Westwood, 2006

55 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, 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 Barton & Westwood, 2006

56 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, 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 Barton & Westwood, 2006

57 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, low trust and low learning Trust Learning ‘Personal conflict or basic incompatibilities over interpersonal styles can poison a group.’ (Leonard and Swap 1999 p42) ‘Without trust it may literally be true that it is not safe to talk about particular issues. Over time the relationships will not survive if it is not possible to talk through issues before they do damage.’ (Ward & Smith 2003 p14) ‘…distrust creates destructive conflict among members.’ (Johnson & Johnson1997 p133) Barton & Westwood, 2006

58 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, 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 Barton & Westwood, 2006

59 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, 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 doesn’t 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

60 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, high trust and high learning ‘…it is through the medium of the group that a student can immerse himself in the world of the practicum ….learning new habits of thought and action’ (Schon 1987 p38) ‘successful collaborators create patterns of communication appropriate to their relationship and task’ (Schrage 1995 p158) ‘To be part of a group is to share values with the others to some extent. This sharing of values allows certain things to be said which otherwise cannot be said.’ (Ward & Smith 2003 p96) Learning Trust

61 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, Barton, K & Westwood F. (2006) From student to trainee practitioner – a study of team working as a learning experience, Web Journal of Current Legal Issues, -westwood3.html

62 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, can portfolio learning be a key assessment of outcomes? Yes, if outcomes are detailed enough, and portfolio is an e-portfolio, which:  is a continuation of undergraduate PDP through to CPD  is wholly electronic and wholly embedded in simulation learning activities and actual legal practice  contains annotated text and video, graphics, animation, etc  draws information from personal, academic and CPD domains  evidences transactional learning and reflection  has assessment zones, personal zones, confidential zones  is wholly the responsibility of the learner-manager, under detailed professional guidelines  is under supervision by tutors, supervisors, Law Society

63 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, how far can we go?

64 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, future applications…

65 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, future applications…  An entire course can be built within a world, through use of applications such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel, Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, etc within simulation environments  Experiential learning  Resource- based learning

66 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, the future eduscape…  ‘free’ information portals within personalised spaces, eg LexisONE  law schools servicing alumni through distribution of knowledge objects on the web, in any discipline; personalised CPD for professionals  much, much more flexible learning  Portrait of the Teacher as Designer (resources, simulations, just-in-time learning, salon & masterclass models of group learning)

67 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, 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 three faculties in Strathclyde University, and in four additional law schools in England & Wales  Two-year 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; archiving of all project documentation on the project website for a minimum of three years post-January  TLE 2.0 leads to TLE 3 …

68 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, future tool applications… Ambient, pervasive, intelligent devices…

69 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, eg Social Network Analysis: interaction patterns Maarten de Laat, learning/english/3481 learning/english/3481

70 Spelend leren in virtuele werelden, Delft, contact details Professor Paul Maharg T:44 00 (0) Blog:http://zeugma.typepad.com Glasgow Graduate School of Law Lord Hope Building University of Strathclyde 141 St James’ Road Glasgow G4 0LU


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