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Assessing Research Skills Sarah Crofts and Lucy Yeatman 29 th January 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessing Research Skills Sarah Crofts and Lucy Yeatman 29 th January 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessing Research Skills Sarah Crofts and Lucy Yeatman 29 th January 2015

2 LETR “There was a strong consensus that legal research skills are important and need to be addressed at different stages in the training process.” And “It was widely recognised that legal research skills were not sufficiently acquired by the end of the academic stage.” – See page 44 2

3 What do they mean by research skills? LETR recommends adopting the BIALL Legal Information Literacy Statement: – Research skill 1 - Demonstrate an understanding of the need for the thorough investigation of all relevant factual and legal issues involved in a research task – Research skill 2 - Demonstrate the ability to undertake systematic and comprehensive legal research – Research skill 3 - Demonstrate the ability to analyse research findings effectively – Research skill 4 - Demonstrate the ability to present the results of research in an appropriate and effective manner Available at ion_Literacy_Statement_July_2012.pdf 3

4 Context: SLS/BIALL Surveys A Question on Legal Research Skills Question is included every other year. The 2012/13 survey shows that at the institutions responding (2010/11 responses in brackets): Law library staff were involved in providing legal research skills in 97% (98%), Academic staff were involved in training in 73% (62%), Law library staff alone provided instruction in 9% (12%), It was a joint responsibility in 70% (60%). Legal research was incorporated in the curriculum in 88% (87%). Students receive a mean of 5.1 hours (5.4 hours) of instruction over the course of study (6 at UoG). Librarians spend a mean of 53 hours (37 hours) delivering research training (44 hours at Greenwich in 2012-13). 4 SLS/BIALL Surveys available on Legal Information Management, on Westlaw, also on the BIALL website (member access only).

5 What do we do at Greenwich? Research skills are assessed in courses for all Undergraduate levels: – Level 4: Legal Skills and Civil Liberties – Level 5: Land Law and EU Law – Level 6: Family Law, Human Rights Law, Media Law, Pro Bono and Competition Law options all have long research essay coursework Legal Skills and EU Law: Library seminars with associated online assessments, Land Law, Family Law and Human Rights Law: Research Coursework supported by Library seminar.

6 Land Law: Research Coursework (Level 5) 6 Learning Outcomes On completion of this coursework you will have: 1. Researched a specific area of law that has not been directly covered in lectures using a variety of paper and electronic sources; 2. Applied your research to a long problem question on that area of law; 3. Demonstrated your ability to provide succinct, coherent advice on a legal problem that you have researched; 4. Consolidated your understanding of rights over land; 5. Completed an assessment preparation record.

7 Land Law Steps Hand out coursework briefLibrary seminar Students begin assessment preparation record (APR) Interim feedback on APR Students hand in coursework plus completed APR and research certificate

8 Assessment Weighting (Land Law) The answer to the question is worth 20% of the marks for this course The assessment preparation record is worth 5% of the marks for this course.

9 Land Law Assessment Preparation Record AIMS 1.To develop each student’s coursework preparation, research and problem solving skills 2. To provide the student with an opportunity to reflect upon his/her own preparation techniques and to improve on them where necessary 3. To diagnose, and to improve on, any weaknesses the student may have in preparation and writing skills 4. To create an opportunity for feedback prior to the summer examination OUTCOME Each student will have had the opportunity to observe, reflect upon, and consequently, to develop his/her preparation, research and problem solving skills.

10 Marking (Land Law) ElementAssessment criteria Research into primary and secondary sources The assessment preparation record must show that a variety of paper sources, both primary and secondary, have been utilised in preparing the assignment. The assignment is designed to be possible only if students have read primary sources (such as judgments in cases). IT skills The assessment preparation record must have attached to it a copy of your Lexis Online Research Certificate or Westlaw certificate. Planning of research The assessment preparation record must show evidence of planned research, which is then reflected in your essay. Critical analysis and reflection The assessment preparation record must show evidence of critical analysis and reflection. Time management The log must show evidence of work over a sensible timescale, as reflected in the dates shown and the dates of upload. Writing skills/use of language Correct, formal English, using correct conventions for academic English and appropriate tone and style. Presentation Skills Clear, follows instructions; exemplary application of a range of IT skills.

11 Assessing Research Skills Can’t be done in an exam Is about encouraging the students to take responsibility for their own learning 11

12 Assessing Research Legal Research is not just about writing dissertations Legal research can be assessed in lots of different ways: – short answer tests, – reflective logs, – annotated bibliographies – clinical work – problem based learning – opinion writing – mooting – longer essays or dissertations 12

13 Thank you for listening

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