Friday, April 2, 2021
Bend It Like Beckham? Using Cognitive Science To Inform Online Legal Research and Writing Pedagogy During The Pandemic by James B. Levy
I have been absorbed in finishing a couple of articles recently, so it's time to catch up with this blog. Let's start with a wonderful new article by my co-blogger, Jim Levy.
This article has been submitted for publication in a forthcoming volume of the Nova Law Review devoted to a symposium it sponsored and was held virtually on February 26, 2021 entitled "Engaging LRW Students In The ‘New Normal’ – Teaching In The Time Of COVID." It discusses strategies for adapting legal research and writing lessons developed for the classroom to online videoconferencing platforms like Zoom in response to the shift to online legal education in Spring 2020 due to the COVID crisis. Also included in this article is a section discussing an oft overlooked topic in the literature about online legal education concerning issues to consider in selecting tech equipment for our desktop classrooms that may enhance our effectiveness as online teachers. With respect to online legal research and writing pedagogy, this article suggests an approach informed by principles of cognitive science to make use of online videoconferencing tools in ways that actively engage students, that strive to make our teaching as multimodal as possible given the constraints of these platforms, and that reminds us of the importance of establishing a supportive classroom environment given the stress that students have faced due to the pandemic. This article also incorporates the results of several studies in a small but growing body of empirical research that has examined the effectiveness of remote online teaching during the pandemic in the context of undergraduate and non-law school graduate degree programs. As a result, this article provides a good snapshot of what researchers have concluded works, and doesn’t work, with respect to teaching via a videoconferencing platform in a time of COVID. The author would like to thank the student members of the Nova Law Review for encouraging me to write this article.