Presentation on theme: "Law School Admission Council’s Academic Assistance Training Workshop June 13 - 16, 2012 Joyce Savio Herleth Saint Louis University School of Law."— Presentation transcript:
Law School Admission Council’s Academic Assistance Training Workshop June 13 - 16, 2012 Joyce Savio Herleth Saint Louis University School of Law
In the good old days, you played dodge ball at recess You got picked (or not) depending on your prowess You got whacked with a ball (or in my case, a beanbag) and you were out. Your school might have its own version of the game – and you adjusted to the “house rules.” No arguments Now it’s about parachutes We are all good We are all special And so what does this mean to us?
Adjusting our programs to fit the current millennial students What we know from the LSAC demographics Educational theories that may effect students’ perspectives Helicopter parents and their legacy Social media and how it has changed students
Thank you Law School Admissions Council for all statistics Thank you Mike Kolnik, Assistant Dean of Admissions for providing them to me!
Law School increases/decreases on application volume fell by about 15 percent this year (down to 62,330): How schools fared:
LSAC stats applicants 2012 Applicants by Gender
2012 ABA applicants by race/ethnicity
How the 2012 applicants did and comparison from last yeat Big declines on the high end
What we all already knew Matriculant Group Fall 2010 Fall 2011 All 49,700 4 5,600 -8.3% Female 22,790 2 1,280 % change from prior year -0.5% -6.6% Male 26,800 2 4,180 % change from prior year 3.4% -9.8%
2009 Age Group Median LSAT and Number of Applications Age Group Median LSAT Median # of Applications 21 & Under 155 7 22-24 1546 25-29 1534 30-39 1492 40+ 1441 So as students postpone, will there be an educational gap/score gap? While not a huge change up to 30, if potential applicants postpone until a better economic climate, what may be the LSAT effect in future years?
A view from the Prelaw Department Anxiety Reliance on polls/certain certificates, etc. This is what our pre-law students are doing. Questions made harder because of press/access to all sorts of information Is this a good choice for me? Am I making a wise investment when I am not confident about my financial situation Thinks about more than USNWR –Specific process is necessary to decide (see above) If get in a higher rank school – do I have to go there? Does it make sense? (thanks Prof. J. O’Hallaron) 11
Forbes article by Keld Jensen may bring some comfort Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows 85 percent of financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” described in the article as “your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead.” Emotional intelligence – regulating and using emotions that are good for self and relationships Monitor self Watch stress Moral intelligence - integrity, responsibility, sympathy, and forgiveness: No excuses Be responsible Body intelligence knowing and taking care of self. Take care of yourself Only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge So our jobs as law professors and administrators go beyond just getting them to pass the bar Intelligence Is Overrated: What You Really Need To Succeed http://www.forbes.com/sites/keldjensen/2012/04/12/intelligence-is-overrated-what-you-really-need-to- succeed/
So what does this mean? When we work with students it’s important to assist them transition to professionals Not just law school (and the bar) But to become successful in their future life OK now let’s look at the issues
To get to success, let’s look the current generation’s prognosis Millennials!
Millennials- Two Views*: Neil Howe and William Strauss: Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation Born between 1982 and 2004 or thereabouts seven "core traits": special, sheltered, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured, and achieving. Established the notion of a generation sharing characteristics Note this became a cottage industry and business for Mr. Howe Jean. M. Twenge: Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before Born in 1970s – 1990s Concern that constant praise resulted in a rise in narcissism (versus self- confidence) Concern with “you can do anything you want to be” and “you’re special” Internet has led to more self-absorption * From The Millennial Muddle by Eric Hoover, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 11, 2009, http://chronicle.com/article/The-Millennial-Muddle-How/48772/
Next: What students have been learning about themselves Many new theories have been developed over time One of the more interesting has been Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. For Gardner, intelligence is: the ability to create an effective product or offer a service that is valued in a culture; a set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life the potential for finding or creating solutions for problems, which involves gathering new knowledge. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/education/ed_mi_overview.html
HOWARD GARDNER'S NINE MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES 1. Linguistic Intelligence: the capacity to use language to express what's on your mind and to understand other people. 2. Logical/Mathematical Intelligence: the capacity to understand the underlying principles of some kind of causal system, or to manipulate numbers, etc. 3. Musical Rhythmic Intelligence: the capacity to think in music; to be able to hear patterns, etc. 4. Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence: the capacity to use your whole body or parts of your body to solve a problem, make something, or put on some kind of production. 5. Spatial Intelligence: the ability to represent the spatial world internally in your mind 6. Naturalist Intelligence: the ability to discriminate among living things and sensitivity to other features of the natural world 7. Intrapersonal Intelligence: having an understanding of yourself; 8. Interpersonal Intelligence: the ability to understand other people. 9. Existential Intelligence: the ability and proclivity to pose (and ponder) questions about life, death, and ultimate realities. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/education/ed_mi_overview.html
According to Dr. P. Nuernberger, from New City School in St. Louis (one of the biggest proponents of MI*) Many elementary/some high school teachers are aware of this theory – not all use it (many don’t) Goal is to allow students to identify their source of intelligence and how to adapt to the teaching/teacher. Ways to know oneself Ways to use their intelligence area(s) to return information Methods at New City School (check out Wikipedia – the school is mentioned!) Emphasis on group discussions, hands-on work, work on knowledge of self *Telephone interview with Nuernberger May 10, 2012
More brain stuff Linguistics is the most important in lawyer skills – as Reading/Writing is in VARK Just anecdotally find more students who are hands- on/kinesthetic which is NOT good Moreover 10 -20 minutes is suggested as the top of the attention scale Study by Prof. Kim Morse following her 2010 laptop study noted that the students using computers were going off-task every 4 – 5 minutes More later
So let’s focus: Either students know and adapt to what is out there in the teaching world OR Students know what their MI/preference is (VARK/ Meyers Briggs) but don’t know what it means/how to use it OR They have figured out how to adapt using their strengths but are self aware of that adaptation (which makes it much harder to channel appropriately) Students expect the professors to adapt to them Plus you better do it fast or they lose attention
Suggestions Think about doing some assessment tests (VARK is quick) during orientation or with any students you work with. Make sure that you have a variety of programs that take students step-by-step through the various topics you wish to emphasize So if teaching synthesizing – have overall workshop Have step by step explanation Break it down into parts that a student can internalize with either a Q and A approach (ask yourself….) 0r Outline steps Or video of explanation Make it “fun” If you can – have good and bad examples Teach self-assessment Have practice sheets
Samples of assessment of a practice question: slide from a program You all had a variety of issues: Personal jurisdiction JMOL Issues regarding joinder. Scan now the answer key – how do you present the rules? Other than Prof. - - - -, did you all use the rule numbers ? Did you give a general overview of the purpose of these rules? Anything else you deal with significant? Notice that you will need to utilize some samples that work with your professors if demonstrating exam writing or outlining specific content in an outline 23
Generous “C” Question Presented Can Patterson (P) be found guilty of murdering Amelia (A) when she falls to her death as a result of his attempted assault on her? Brief Answer Yes, under the FM Rule Patterson (P) is likely to be found guilty of 1 st ° Murder. Discussion The elements required to be found guilty under the FM Rule of 1st° Murder are: 1) The unlawful killing must happen while one is in the commission or attempted commission of a specific felony; 2) the felony must be inherently dangerous; 3) felony must not be an integral part of the homicide; 4) Death must be a consequence of the felony. [relevant case law?] “ A” Is there sufficient evidence for 1st° Murder? First section very efficient! Generally, the rule for 1st° Murder is the intentional and unlawful killing of a human being with malice and with premeditation and deliberation. (Forrest) Premeditation (P) means to think beforehand, and deliberation means to measure and evaluate the major facets of the choice as a problem (Morrin). Premeditation and deliberation can happen w/in the “twinkling of an eye;” that is no time is too short for a wicked man to frame in his mind a scheme for murder, and to contrive the means of accomplishing it (Cardozo in Schrader). Guthrie further defines this by saying there must be some period of time between formation of intent to kill and the actual killing. P and D require an interval long enough for a reasonable person to take a “second look” at the nature of his response. Malice is defined as the (a) actual intention to do particular harm or (b) recklessness as to whether such harm should occur and or not. [caselaw?] Use these inserts to make points to students
According to Prof. Kathleen Elliott Vinson, Hovering Too Close: The Ramifications of Helicopter Parenting in Higher Education, January 10, 2012 * The result of this type of parenting (which is the subject of many papers) are students who have difficulty moving from an environment which is monitored to one of self sufficiency. Problems with self-advocacy Problems with self-reliance Problems with managing personal time *http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1982763
What we may see in our students. Maturation issues Effect on professionalism An ability to acknowledge mistakes and work through them Effect on expectations Lawsuits anyone? Sense of entitlement and expectations Or, as my mother would comment on occasion, “their mommas loved them way too much” (dads too!) Immediate communication Question of filter? Sources of information Effect on collegiality Effect on learning
Concerns about independence and maturation “I know you presented earlier this year on the meaning of "business casual", and I was wondering if you have any of that information stored electronically that you could send me” It’s all on my TWEN site as well as another site as well as the video of the program (and none of this is a secret) Dear Joyce, I hope all is well. A couple of [my} students have reported that they are unable to find and access [my} past exams on Twen. Has something changed or do they need to do something? Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM Don't know what to say - it's where it should be - did they "join" Past Exams - Academic Advising and then hit [professor’s course name] and then your file? If they are having problems - have them talk to one of the librarians …Joyce Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM Thanks Joyce- I just wanted to be sure that nothing had changed. And I also checked with the librarian who handles TWEN. And I finally just copied all the exam questions and emailed them to the student…
There are different students and different emotions But there is a higher level of anxiety and desires to be the better students (to get the job) Thoughts to deal with this: Have a go-to person in your mental health/student health department. Memorize the name and number!!! In a perfect world – have an on-site person at least part-time Make sure that students understand cause and effect regarding how they prepare and study for exam HOWEVER, think about your message to emphasize the process of legal analysis rather than the grades. informative but recognize that knowing what to do is the critical task – not X g.p.a. but make sure they realize where the grade ranges fall. POST IT. Message of knowing what to do, practicing what to do, focus on process not result. 29
Suggestions Make them do it: Student (email) I was wondering if I could come in at some point early in the week to meet and talk about scheduling for next year. I would also like to make sure I don't have any holds on my record. [then lists times to meet] Me: 10:30 on Tuesday - the holds are your responsibility to check; if you did not go to the presentation [on registration basics and advice] last Tuesday at noon - the video is posted on my Academic Advising Workshop TWEN site. Please look at it before we meet tomorrow. But be realistic and have at times – baby steps if necessary for the most needy Have sessions/handouts/etc. that break down topics into pieces Be prepared to have one-on-one for the needy/significantly troubled
How students communicate and network
Issue of inappropriate communications! 1L; Hello Joyce, I was directed to you by [Career Service] about my interest/concerns of improving my test taking and studying abilities, as I was not overly satisfied with my performance first semester. [75 – 80%] Please let me know if you would be able to meet with me sometime in the near future. I have posted my weekly availabilities below. Me: 10 on this Friday works; see you then, Prof Herleth Text language Unfamiliar with formality Open door – head on in! (who me? Knock?) Subtle hint
Solutions: Require formality Teach professionalism Don’t be afraid to tell particular offenders that they need to clean up their act It’s uncomfortable to tell a student they are too loud/that jokes in class are not welcome/that you expect them to refer to all professors as “Professor” even in meetings. Make sure you also maintain formality Watch Linked in/Facebook (nonprofessional) But declare colleagues at graduation
Prof. Joyce Herleth, Director of Academic Advising 34 I learned in this presentation! Orientation instruction
Tuesday January 23, 2012 12:00 – 12:50 p.m., room 303 Offices of Academic Advising and Career Services 2Ls/3Ls – with Career Services
Communication issues: getting them to pay attention to what they are reading May need to work with students on critical reading skills because some students have difficulty staying on task sufficiently to pull out material facts/synthesize May need to work with students if they are not getting sufficient information from class May need to work with students to make sure they read carefully on exams More practically make sure they read your emails/letters/and other stuff you send them.
Short attention span suggestions Emails to the point – no longer than a tweet Bullets Use alternatives for emails since many delete (so put in heading something that will bet them to open it) “pizza and a workshop” “Want to pass the bar? Come to this!” Really think about an Academic Support separate Facebook page. Brand those clichés! Use similarity of terms to remind students of what you are talking about Make posters pop Make the message simple Remember the rule: Tell what you are going to tell them Tell them Tell them what you told them And limit your points no matter how wonderful they are! Powerpoint/videos only work if they can capture the audience
Sample questions for critical reading: When reading cases, need to have students ask themselves Are these facts? Are these rules? Are these “other”- like (public) policy? If facts: Are they material facts? If rules: Examine and figure out how to decide what court wants If policy Decide what the policy is Examine and figure out why this policy is significant
STRUCTURE IS WHAT CAN HELP STUDENTS GROW
Laptop and multitasking!! You will lose them when: Student laptop users tend to go off-task when X-(anything) occurs for 4 minutes or more... When professor is engaged in Socratic method with one student, there is an increase in off-task behavior by other students. When a classmate engages with professor, there is an increase in off-task behavior by other students. When professor is monotone, or, overly uses one linguistic intonation style, students tend to increase off-task behavior. Approximately 40 minutes into class, off-task behavior increases. When professor calls on students in expected order, off-task behavior increases. Before You Ban: Empirical Data on Student Laptop Use Prof. Kim Novak Morse, Saint Louis University School of Law
If you have a class/program try: ““Announcing-the-Good-Stuff” Strategy: “Ultimately, courts look at X...”; “The upshot is...” Using the “Rupture Strategy” which directs students to something: “Look at page X...”; “On the screen, notice X...”, “Changing-up-the-Voice” Strategy with signal phrases like: “This would be a good exam question...” “ I want to flag for you...”, “The critical idea here is… or, rising intonation found in questions: “Because........?” “Problem-Posing” Strategy: “If we alter X, what might Y?” “Keep-the-Show-Moving” Strategy: may present info (5 min or less) switch 2) ask a question to the class (5 min or less) switch 3) direct students to book (5 min or less) switch, etc. “Moving-into-student’s-space” Strategy: Students redirect attention when professor moves toward off-task individuals (but surprisingly only for a short time).
Maybe… Maybe not…
Things to consider* Courses really need to be standardized and clear in the expectations of what the objectives are, as well as the method of assessment Actually difficult to accomplish on one’s own, absent some expertise- so use technology On the other hand, there are more one-on-one aspects to on-line work Student can repeat/review at own pace Student can determine with more accuracy where the problems are Quicker response time than pen and paper (ok, computer and response) Dan Bennett The Imperfect Art of Designing Online Courses, Chronicle of Higher Education April 29, 2012
Possible ideas: Don’t forget to use what’s out there CALI and other on-line study aids Often for bar prep, can get the leading for profit programs (e.g. BarBri and the like) to work with you to prepare some m/c question Many companies are willing to help you create your own books Also NCBEX will sell for a cost And of course one can use clickers and the like So what is important is the personalize aspect – no matter how its accomplished Tutors TAS And of course, you.
Nagging by parents/undergrad experience can make 1Ls (particularly) vulnerable to time and self-motivation issues Not often enough did parents allow consequences to happen. Too much protection and fighting their children’s fights Too much programming suggests that students need to be told when to do things more If they think they are special and thus too sure of themselves – will they wait until it is too late to start?
I want it and I want it NOW Part of multitasking and all internet usage Even if you are free for students at consistent times – encourage appointments (on-line) Rsvp for workshops (on-line) If the information is readily available – make them get it. Remember the goal is professionalism
Last issue: time management Emphasize time management – journal it for students having issues Make them note location and quality of attention to studying Emphasize that legal analysis can’t be done quickly Make it a part of our culture by reminding students of what they should be thinking about: Facebook about filling out bar application Facebook about starting outlines (in conjunction with programs large and small) Emails may be ok – but remember short and sweet and rsvp
Bottom line: Some students – not all – are programmed to expect success always So it’s hard for them to be open to the new reality of law school We need to educate not only in the basic structure of law school, but be prepared to Entertain Remind Explain in small segments and detail Listen and empathize
On the horizon There are always new theories in education – and a noted scholars Duckworth and others found that students who push through with long term stamina tend to do better. The buzzwords then are: Perseverance Failure Grit Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087- 1101.
Good thought to end presentation Drs. Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman (2006) found that the correlation between self- discipline and achievement was twice as large as the correlation between IQ and achievement. * Dan Laitsch Self-Discipline and Student Academic Achievement Research Brief, June 26, 2006 | Volume 4 | Number 6 Duckworth, A., & Seligman, M. (2005). Self-discipline outdoes IQ in predicting academic performance of adolescents. Psychological Science, 16 (12), 939–944.