Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thanks to LWI and LSN, we have news of two new articles that offer innovative ideas for teaching legal research:
"Teaching Legal Research Online"
Susan Herrick, University of Maryland - Thurgood Marshall Law Library
Sara Kelley Burriesci, Georgetown University Law Center - Edward Bennett Williams Law Library
"Online instruction has great potential for accommodating the learning styles and preferences of Millennial law students, as well as for the effective teaching of legal research in the digital age. While integrating instructional technology into a face-to-face classroom legal research course is highly desirable and relatively easy, designing and teaching a purely distance or hybrid distance course provides some unique challenges as well as some distinct benefits for both instructors and students. This article will first evaluate individual instructional technologies independently of each other, since any of them could be used to supplement traditional face-to-face research instruction, whether formal or informal. Consideration will then be given to special problems of teaching a graded legal research course entirely or predominantly online. Legal research instruction presents some opportunities for experimentation and innovation with online learning techniques that may serve students better, accommodate the librarian’s technology skills and abilities and her time constraints, and inspire others at our law schools to follow suit."
"Introducing and Integrating Free Internet Legal Research Resources into the Classroom."
Jootaek Lee, University of Miami Law Library
"The Global financial crisis has been discouraging legal researchers and practitioners from accessing high-cost databases such as Westlaw and Lexis. On the other hand, internet legal research provides great benefits to researchers in that it is free or less expensive than Westlaw and Lexis. The necessity of teaching law students internet legal research skills is imminent.
"The cons and pros of internet legal research will be discussed along with the effective ways of approaching and evaluating internet legal resources in terms of coverage, currency, accuracy, authority, appropriateness, perspective, presentation and usability, and cost. Additionally, a garden variety of authoritative internet legal resources for different primary and secondary sources will be introduced."