Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Online Interactive Legal Research Exercises by Eric Voigt

Eric Voigt has sent me information about his new online interactive legal research exercises on Core Knowledge for Lawyers.  He writes, "As you know, various law schools may hold fall classes entirely online or in a blended learning format. This new platform could be a valuable tool for instructors, students, and attorneys.

Core Knowledge has two types of assessment materials. First, this online platform contains multiple-choice questions from the end of each chapter of Legal Research Demystified. These questions test students' understanding of basic research concepts.

Second, Core Knowledge hosts interactive research exercises that students complete electronically. Each exercise involves one fact pattern in which students research on Westlaw or Lexis Advance and complete multiple research steps to reach a reliable conclusion on each client's legal question. Each exercise takes a student from start to finish of the research process for one legal issue. For example, for the Lexis Advance Common Law Research Exercise, students must create a research plan (Step 1), find state-specific secondary sources (Step 2), find relevant cases by using the LexisNexis Headnote System (Step 3), use Shepard's to find and validate cases (Step 4), and perform keyword searches in a caselaw database (Step 5). Throughout the process, students must evaluate the authorities found, including examining their relevance and the weight of authority.  

Core Knowledge automatically grades each answer and provides an explanation to students—similar to Core Grammar. As a result, a professor can provide instant feedback to students without increasing the instructor's workload.

The questions and exercises on Core Knowledge are based on Legal Research Demystified. Nonetheless, I am revising these online materials, so they could be assigned with any legal research book."

(Scott Fruehwald)

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