Teaching Business Associations with Group Oral Midterms: Benefits and Drawbacks

21 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2015 Last revised: 2 Dec 2015

Date Written: January 1, 2015


I focus in this Article on a particular way to assess student learning in a Business Associations course. Those of us involved in legal education for the past few years know that “assessment” has been a buzzword...or a bugaboo...or both. The American Bar Association (ABA) has focused law schools on assessment (institutional and pedagogical), and that focus is not, in my view, misplaced. Until relatively recently, much of student assessment in law school doctrinal courses was rote behavior, seemingly driven by heuristics and resulting in something constituting (or at least resembling) information cascades or other herding behaviors.

In the fall of 2011, I began offering an oral midterm examination to students in my Business Associations course as an additional assessment tool. This Article explains why I started (and have continued) down that path, how I designed that examination, and what I have learned by using this assessment method for three years. Although some (probably most) will not want to do in their Business Associations courses exactly what I have done in mine (as to the midterm examination or any other aspects of the course described in this Article), I am providing this information to give readers ideas for, or courage to make positive changes in, their own teaching (for a course on business associations or anything else).

Keywords: Law teaching, law school, business associations, student assessment, examination, oral examination, midterm, simulation

JEL Classification: K20, K22

Suggested Citation

Heminway, Joan MacLeod, Teaching Business Associations with Group Oral Midterms: Benefits and Drawbacks (January 1, 2015). St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 59, p. 863, 2015, University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 272, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2628462

Joan MacLeod Heminway (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )

1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
865-974-3813 (Phone)
865-974-0681 (Fax)

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