Teaching Legal Research Online
Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 28, pp. 239-270, 2009
Posted: 19 Nov 2009
Date Written: 2009
Online instruction has great potential for accommodating the learning styles and preferences of Millennial law students, as well as for the effective teaching of legal research in the digital age. While integrating instructional technology into a face-to-face classroom legal research course is highly desirable and relatively easy, designing and teaching a purely distance or hybrid distance course provides some unique challenges as well as some distinct benefits for both instructors and students. This article will first evaluate individual instructional technologies independently of each other, since any of them could be used to supplement traditional face-to-face research instruction, whether formal or informal. Consideration will then be given to special problems of teaching a graded legal research course entirely or predominantly online. Legal research instruction presents some opportunities for experimentation and innovation with online learning techniques that may serve students better, accommodate the librarian’s technology skills and abilities and her time constraints, and inspire others at our law schools to follow suit.
Keywords: e-learning, distance education, teaching online, tutorials
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