Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Robson on Teaching Marbury with PowerPoint

The Con Law Prof Blog's very own Ruthann Robson (CUNY Law) gave an outstanding presentation at the Association of American Law Schools annual conference on the effective use of PowerPoint--yes, it can be effective--in teaching Marbury v. Madison.  I suspect many of us have wrestled with the questions of whether and how to use PowerPoint; Robson has some terrific answers.

Here's Robson's full program description.  Robson:

The [PowerPoint] demonstration will involve a single case, Marbury v. Madison (a case that has "tortured" generations of law students) presented in various ways through PowerPoint (a technology known for its ability to "torture") and will end with a hypothetical about the availability of judicial review for allegations of torture in an extraordinary rendition case.

Robson presented three innovative techniques for using PowerPoint effectively to promote student engagement and learning (and not to script the class and put them to sleep).  I'm not going to give them away; read the program description.

I've avoided using PowerPoint in my own Con Law classes for a variety of reasons relating to pedagogy and my own incompetence.  But Robson's presentation is inspiring me to rethink that position this semester.  I suspect that it'll force you to rethink whether and how you use PowerPoint in your class, too.  Take a look.


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