Control-Alt-Incomplete? Using Technology to Assess 'Digital Natives'
Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property, Forthcoming
55 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2012 Last revised: 20 Feb 2013
Date Written: February 2013
Law students matriculating today were “born digital.” As digital natives, they have never known a world without digital technology, and therefore, they think and process information differently than previous generations. Although law school student bodies have changed, law school assessment methods have remained static, with students nearly universally being evaluated entirely by one exam at the end of the course. Best Practices, the Carnegie Report, and more recently the ABA, have acknowledged that this system of evaluation is contrary to learning theory and that periodic assessment of student learning is crucial to improving the performance of both students and teachers. Nevertheless, change has yet to occur.
It is time to change. Using technology to assess student learning is one way to begin effectuating this change. Digital Natives are comfortable with technology and expect to have it integrated into the curriculum. Moreover, incorporating technology as a means to assess student learning will help prepare future lawyers for the realities of law practice today. Technology also allows law professors to conduct meaningful assessments of large numbers of students more efficiently. This article therefore introduces several examples of how to use a number of today’s technologies - both inside the classroom and outside the classroom - in the hopes of initiating further exploration into effective means of using technology to assess student learning at the course level.
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