January 9, 2009
2008 LSSSE Report Finds Student Use of Laptops in the Classroom Productive Except for Those Bored 3Ls
Perhaps the 2008 LSSSE Report should be subtitled "Preparing Law Profs for the 21st Century" instead of "Student Engagement in Law Schools: Preparing 21st Century Lawyers" because one of the survey findings is that use of laptops in and outside the classroom is linked to higher levels of student engagement. Students who frequently used their laptop to take notes, review ideas from past lectures, or read a self-prepared case brief were more likely to come to class prepared, contribute to class discussions, and synthesize material across courses. They were also more likely to work hard to meet faculty expectations.
The survey also found that 3Ls were more likely to use their laptops in the classroom to surf the web, email, or instant message than other students but 3Ls devote less time to their studies anyway because by the third year of law school they are "bored to death." (Not an official conclusion of the LSSSE report). So instead of banning laptops in the classroom, perhaps law profs need to work harder to make their lectures stimulating.
Other findings from the 2008 Report include:
- Half of full-time law students reported that their law school experience substantially contributed to developing a personal code of values and ethics.
- Students pointed to clinics and professional responsibility courses as the most effective settings for learning legal ethics.
- More than a third of all law students wanted more opportunities to do practice-based legal writing during law school.
- Students who entered law school immediately after earning a bachelor's degree spent less time studying and more time socializing than other students.
- Students who reported higher law school grades also spent more time participating in co-curricular activities.
- Third-year students devoted less time to their studies but were more involved than other law students in such co-curricular activities as law journal, internships, pro bono work and research projects.
- Third-year students at smaller law schools and private law schools with religious affiliations were more likely to say that their law school experience contributed substantially to acting with integrity, strengthening their commitment to serving the public good, and to working effectively with future clients.
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My last year of college I used my laptop almost exclusively. While senioritis was in full swing for me, at least it was MUCH easier to take organized notes. I can definitely type faster than I can write!
Posted by: Brent | Oct 15, 2009 8:06:08 AM