Measuring Law Student Learning Outcomes: 2013 Lawyering Class
33 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2014
Date Written: January 23, 2014
This article demonstrates an approach to address the proposed change in American Bar Association Accreditation Standards that would assess law schools on learning outcomes rather than input factors. The study reported in this paper used a pre- and post-testing procedure to measure and analyze student learning gains in the core skill of legal reading and reasoning. The study’s primary hypothesis was that law students would achieve significant positive learning gains as a result of a set of instructional interventions introduced to supplement the traditional case dialogue method of law teaching. In contrast to studies of the traditional method alone, which found no significant learning gains, this study found that the introduction of the instructional interventions produced significant learning gains for the group as a whole. The interventions introduced in this study produced significant measurable gains in law students’ reading and reasoning skill during an early stage of their legal education.
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