Class Participation as a Learning and Assessment Strategy in Law: Facilitating Students’ Engagement, Skills Development and Deep Learning

26 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2013 Last revised: 26 Nov 2014

Alex Steel

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Julian Laurens

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Anna Huggins

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Date Written: January 31, 2013

Abstract

Well designed assessment can be a vehicle for encouraging students to learn and engage more broadly than with the minimums required to complete the assessment activity. In that sense assessment need not merely ‘drive’ earning, but can instead act as a catalyst for further learning beyond what a student had anticipated.

In this article we reconsider the potential roles and benefits in legal education of a form of interactive classroom learning we term assessable class participation (ACP), both as part of a pedagogy grounded in assessment and learning theory, and as a platform for developing broader autonomous approaches to learning amongst students. ACP can also be a significant contributor to developing and assuring graduate outcomes that go beyond content mastery.

We consider some of the barriers students can face in ACP and the ways in which teacher approaches to ACP can positively affect the socio-emotional climates in classrooms and thus reduce those barriers. We argue that the way in which a teacher facilitates ACP is critical to the ability to develop positive emotional and learning outcomes for law students, and for teachers themselves.

Keywords: assessment, legal eduation, class participation, student wellbeing

JEL Classification: K10, L21

Suggested Citation

Steel, Alex and Laurens, Julian and Huggins, Anna, Class Participation as a Learning and Assessment Strategy in Law: Facilitating Students’ Engagement, Skills Development and Deep Learning (January 31, 2013). University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2013; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2013-49. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2289093

Alex Steel (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Julian Laurens

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Anna Huggins

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4 C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

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