Institute for Law School Teaching and Center for Engaged Legal Learning

Conference:  Teaching Law for Engaged Learning
 
"Teaching Law for Engaged Learning," is a one-day conference for new and experienced legal educators interested in developing as teachers.  The conference will take place on April 10, 2010, at the Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina.  The conference co-sponsors are the Institute for Law Teaching (Gonzaga and Washburn) and the Center for Engaged Legal Leraning (Elon).
 
Structure of the Conference
 
The conference will consist of four sessions: 
1) Course and course planning;
2) Teaching methods;
3) Assessment and exams; and
4) Developing as a teacher
 
Course and Course Planning.  What are the most important things you want your students to learn and how will you get your students there?  In this session, participants will construct learning objectives, plan how they will know whether their students have attained those objectives, discuss what to include in a syllabus and what makes for an effective syllabus, reconsider how they start and end their courses and class sessions, and plan a single class session from start to finish.
 
Teaching Methods.  Participants will consider a wide variety of techniques and perspectives, from the more traditional techniques, such as lecture and questioning, to other commonly-used techniques, such as free writing, collaborative learning, PowerPoint slides, simulations, clickers, and course Web pages, to a few cutting-edge techniques, such as discover sequence instruction, cognitive think-alouds, and in-class instant messaging.  Participants will also consider keys to effective teaching beyond techniques, including attitudes, habits of mind, conceptualizations of students, and personal qualities and characteristics.
 
Assessment and Exams.  As a result of taking a course, what should students be able to do?  Design effective ways to solve clients' problems using a range of authorities and complicated facts?  Would they show their learning by writing opinion letters, drafting agreements, or interviewing witnesses?  During this workshop, participants will work from their own assessments, samples, and guidelines to design and evaluate a variety of assessments.  Participants also will practice using and developing effective and sustainable ways to provide feedback, including rubrics, classroom assessment techniques, and peer review, and they will consider how to use assessment results as feedback for improving their course and class design and teaching.
 
Developing as a Teacher.  Following an introduction to the research on faculty development, participants in this session will engage in a variety of teaching development instruments.  For example, participants will complete a teaching inventory, engage in reflective writing, view a teaching video, practice giving feedback, and brainstorm ways to develop a sustainable teaching development practice.
 
Benefits to Participants
 
During the conference, participants can expect to encounter many new ideas about teaching and learning in law school.  Participants will experience a variety of active teaching/learning methods.  Participants should leave the conference with the inspiration and information to apply the new ideas in their courses.  In short, the ultimate goal of the conference is to help the participants improve their teaching and their students' learning.
 
Each participant will receive a copy of Teaching Law by Design:  Engaging Studnts from the Syllabus to the Final Exam.