Friday, March 21, 2008
I started the afternoon with a session on "Getting Past Google: Tips for Teaching Electronic Legal Research" by Shawn Nevers, from BYU. He spoke about the difficulty of teaching e-research effectively. He offered a telling comparison of the change in students' perception of their e-research skills versus the reality of their skill level: ten years ago, their perception and reality were similar; today, their perception of their skill level far exceeds the reality of those same skills, resulting in overconfidence.
He offered some tips for teaching e-research:
First, get involved with teaching e-research; don't leave it to vendor reps.
Second, meet your students where they're at--connect with how they use the internet for research by comparing Google searching with legal research.
Third, teach them the weaknesses as well as the strengths of e-research--they may never have heard anything negative about e-research or about its limitations.
Finally, offer practice and feedback both inside and outside of class. Lecture and examples are not enough; students need hands-on practice, preferably guided or with feedback.