Crowdsourced Coursebooks

Stephen E. Henderson

University of Oklahoma College of Law

Joseph T. Thai

University of Oklahoma - College of Law

July 3, 2013

University of Alberta's The Future of Law School, Forthcoming

Given increasing criticism and dropping admissions, American legal education is likely to change, hopefully reversing the unsustainable trend of increasing expense without increasing value. Much debate focuses on restructuring the curriculum to make it more "practical" and skills-infused; here we instead propose a rethinking of the basic unit of law teaching, the casebook. Casebook authors and publishers are cautiously venturing into electronic editions, but they fail to harness the power of social learning to make textbooks dramatically smarter as well as cheaper. Working with a technology startup, we are developing an online platform that reinvents both authorship and learning. The platform, which has progressed to alpha testing, provides an online system for crowdsourcing authorship by law professors (including shared and socially ranked case selections, edits, annotations, questions, and problems) and reading by law students and others (including shared and socially ranked highlights, notes, questions, answers, and other interactions, as well as live collaboration). Rather than settle for twentieth century casebooks in digital form, we aim to enable twenty-first century coursebooks that originate in, and then grow increasingly useful and valuable through, social intelligence.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: legal education

JEL Classification: K00, K10

Accepted Paper Series

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Date posted: July 5, 2013 ; Last revised: September 9, 2013

Suggested Citation

Henderson, Stephen E. and Thai, Joseph T., Crowdsourced Coursebooks (July 3, 2013). University of Alberta's The Future of Law School, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2289472

Contact Information

Stephen E. Henderson (Contact Author)
University of Oklahoma College of Law ( email )
300 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405.325.7127 (Phone)
Joseph T. Thai
University of Oklahoma - College of Law ( email )
300 Timberdell Rd.
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405-325-5269 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ou.edu/faculty/thai.shtml
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