Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Crowdsourced Coursebooks

18 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2013 Last revised: 26 Nov 2014

Stephen E. Henderson

University of Oklahoma College of Law

Joseph T. Thai

University of Oklahoma - College of Law

Date Written: July 3, 2013


Given increasing criticism and dropping admissions, American legal education is likely to change, hopefully reversing the unsustainable trend of increasing expense without increasing value. Much debate focuses on restructuring the curriculum to make it more "practical" and skills-infused; here we instead propose a rethinking of the basic unit of law teaching, the casebook. Casebook authors and publishers are cautiously venturing into electronic editions, but they fail to harness the power of social learning to make textbooks dramatically smarter as well as cheaper. Working with a technology startup, we are developing an online platform that reinvents both authorship and learning. The platform, which has progressed to alpha testing, provides an online system for crowdsourcing authorship by law professors (including shared and socially ranked case selections, edits, annotations, questions, and problems) and reading by law students and others (including shared and socially ranked highlights, notes, questions, answers, and other interactions, as well as live collaboration). Rather than settle for twentieth century casebooks in digital form, we aim to enable twenty-first century coursebooks that originate in, and then grow increasingly useful and valuable through, social intelligence.

Keywords: legal education

JEL Classification: K00, K10

Suggested Citation

Henderson, Stephen E. and Thai, Joseph T., Crowdsourced Coursebooks (July 3, 2013). Stephen E Henderson & Joseph Thai, "Crowdsourced Coursebooks" (2014) 51:4 Alta L Rev 907.. Available at SSRN:

Stephen Henderson (Contact Author)

University of Oklahoma College of Law ( email )

300 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405.325.7127 (Phone)


Joseph Thai

University of Oklahoma - College of Law ( email )

300 Timberdell Rd.
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405-325-5269 (Phone)


Paper statistics

Abstract Views