Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Due to the summer break, we have a backlog of ASP scholarship. I look forward to getting back on track.
1. Debra Moss Vollweiler (Nova Southeastern), The Year of Magical Teaching: Lessons Learned from One Class in Three Modalities, (SSRN, July 26, 2022).
From the abstract:
This article narrates eight key lessons learned by an experienced law professor teaching one course in three different ways during one academic year. During the 2021-2022 academic year, I taught one course—Secured Transactions—three times, for three different schools, and in three different modalities. While I certainly do not stand alone in self-reflecting on my teaching during recent times, in the recent year, I had a unique situation that allowed me to isolate and consider my teaching of a subject, away from preparing the doctrine of the subject itself.
The first part of this article sets out the context of the teaching throughout the year. The second part of this article discusses goals for good teaching, lessons learned about pedagogy from this experience, and provides a narrative guide for professors at all experience levels to better their teaching through understanding these experiences By putting these experiences into the context of good teaching from more than one hundred interdisciplinary resources, it serves as a roadmap for those seeking to set down a path of excellent teaching, or to refresh and adjust law teaching during, and hopefully, in the wake of, the pandemic.
2. Jason Scott (AccessLex Institute) & Joshua Jackson (AccessLex Institute), Are Law Schools Cream-Skimming to Bolster Their Bar Exam Pass Rates?, (AccessLex Institute Research Paper No. 22-03, May 5, 2022).
From the abstract:
Law schools are held accountable on many fronts to achieve and maintain high bar passage rates. ABA Standard 316 is likely the strongest accountability measure. While the course of legal education itself, along with academic and bar success interventions, is a key driver of bar exam performance, Bahadur et al. suggests that other, obscure institutional practices can serve to inflate institutional bar passage performance. Such practices could include recruitment and admission of transfer students and academic attrition. We examine this hypothesis to assess the influence of both attrition and transfer on law schools’ bar passage rates.
3. Karen J. Sneddon (Mercer), Square Pegs and Round Holes: Differentiated Instruction and the Law School Classroom, 48 MITCHELL HAMLINE L. REV. 1095 (2022).
From the abstract:
Adapting to the needs of student learners while adequately preparing them for the challenges of the bar exam, and the demands of practice, may seem impossible. This Article shares a theoretical framework built from cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and educational theories that legal educators can use. That theoretical framework, commonly referred to as an instructional strategy, is differentiated instruction.1 This Article first describes differentiated instruction, which originated in K-12 education and has now been translated into higher education. 2 Second, this Article explores the value that differentiated instruction would add to the law school classroom.3 Third, this Article situates differentiated instruction within the context of popular teaching and learning theories to share how differentiated instruction is compatible with what law professors do now and how some modifications in current methods can amplify the learning process.4 Finally, this Article applies differentiated instruction in the law school classroom by presenting concrete examples that translate differentiated instruction to the law school classroom.5 This Article presents a series of modifications to commonly used law school instructional strategies to enhance the ability of the professor to respond to the needs of learners. In addition, this Article presents a series of more innovative instructional strategies that use student choice to leverage learning potential and achievement. Law students have a range of experiences, preparations, and interests. As this Article demonstrates, differentiated instruction is a framework that allows law school educators to adapt and respond to the needs of all learners rather than forcing square pegs into round holes.
(Louis Schulze, FIU Law)