Providing Structure to Law Students: Introducing the Programmed Learning Sequence as an Instructional Tool
Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, Vol. 8, p. 59, 2002
18 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2008
There has been little empirical research conducted in law schools concerning the effectiveness of teaching students according to their individual learning styles. Boyle and Dolle conducted an empirical study at St. John's University School of Law. They assessed the learning-styles preferences of a first-year law student population and measured the effectiveness of a particular type of instructional tool - the Programmed Learning Sequence manuals (PLS). The law students indicated in their assessments that they were diverse in their learning style; additionally, the students indicated that they strongly preferred structured and tactual materials. The PLS is a highly structured and tactual strategy for conveying information on any academic subject. Boyle and Dolle selected the topic of legal research for the PLS manuals. The empirical study contrasted how well law students learned legal research from traditional methods, such as classroom lecture with some visual aids, with how well they learned it with the PLS manuals. The findings were that students who used PLS manuals performed significantly better than those taught through traditional methods.
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