A Dialogue Concerning the Merits of the 100 Percent Final Examination in the Assessment of Law Students

33 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2012

See all articles by Nick James

Nick James

Bond University - School of Law; The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law

Darryn Jensen

The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Law schools in Australia and elsewhere traditionally made extensive use of the ‘100% final examination’ as a summative assessment method. Since the late 1980s, law schools have moved away from this traditional assessment method in favour of the greater use of interim assessment and of alternative forms of assessment. This has been partly the result of a more considered approach to teaching by individual law teachers, and partly the result of school and university assessment policies imposing ceilings upon the weighting that can be given to any single piece of assessment.

Recent claims that increasing class sizes and marking loads have lead to the over-burdening of academics and that many students are now time-poor and over-assessed have prompted this consideration of whether the use of the 100% final examination should reevaluated. In this paper, two fictional law teachers conduct a dialogue about the merits of the 100% final examination for legal education. They explore the arguments in favour of and opposed to the use of final examinations, and draw upon the results of a recent pilot study conducted at the University of Queensland that examined the impact upon law students and academics of the use of 100% final examinations in conjunction with optional assessment items.

Keywords: legal education

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

James, Nick and Jensen, Darryn Michael, A Dialogue Concerning the Merits of the 100 Percent Final Examination in the Assessment of Law Students (2011). Canberra Law Review, 10 3:49-80, University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 11-22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2152789

Nick James (Contact Author)

Bond University - School of Law ( email )

Gold Coast, QLD 4229
Australia

The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Darryn Michael Jensen

The University of Queensland - T.C. Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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