Using a Case-Progression Approach to Mapping Learning Outcomes and Developing Assessments
56 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2017
Date Written: February 9, 2017
Faculty from all parts of the law school curriculum - first-year courses, legal research and writing, academic support, upper level doctrinal courses, and clinic - have developed a tool that explores how the courses in law school relate to the representation of a client. Using this tool, these faculty have begun to map the ABA-required learning outcomes to the law school curriculum at the program level. These faculty explain how a variety of assessments, incorporated into the curriculum and designed around the skills needed to represent a client, can be used to determine if learning outcomes are being met. Because the faculty represent all aspects of a law school program, the mapping and assessment structure is comprehensive, collaborative, cohesive and intended to reach the ultimate program outcome: students who can practice law.
The geneses of the tool is the recent American Bar Association (ABA) changes. As a result of these changes, faculty may be wondering how to incorporate the requirement of learning outcomes and assessments into the curriculum. Law schools must have learning outcomes. A learning outcome describes how students will make use of information, with the focus on what the students can do with what they have learned. The flip side of a learning outcome is an assessment. An assessment gives the student an opportunity to consider what he has learned, demonstrate his knowledge, and receive useful feedback about the level of his knowledge and skill. It also gives those evaluating the law school program an opportunity to consider what the students have demonstrated and determine if they have achieved the learning outcome sufficiently so as to have met the program learning outcome.
The faculty-authors provide examples of a number of different of assessment designed around the tool and that help others see how to easily incorporate assessments into their own courses.
Keywords: learning outcomes, assessments
JEL Classification: K00, I20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation