Center for Engaged Learning in the Law

Elon hosts Teaching Law for Engaged Learning conference

Elon University School of Law hosted an academic conference entitled "Teaching Law for Engaged Learning," on April 10, 2010. The conference brought together more than 50 legal educators from around the nation, all focused on developing as teachers and improving legal education.

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning (Gonzaga University School of Law and Washburn University School of Law) and Elon University School of Law's Center for Engaged Learning in the Law co-sponsored the conference.

"We were pleased to welcome so many colleagues in legal education to the conference, to consider with us how to improve and enrich teaching in law schools across the country," said Elon Law professor Steve Friedland. "Our focus was to identify teaching strategies that enrich classical traditions of legal education through new methods that resonate with law students today and derive from current research on engaged learning."

Click here for a report on the conference.

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The following information provides additional background about the conference that was sent as part of an invitation to law faculty nationally to participate.

The conference consists of four sessions:

Course and Course Planning: What are the most important things you want your students to learn and how will you get your students there? In this session, participants will construct learning objectives, plan how they will know whether their students have attained those objectives, discuss what to include in a syllabus and what makes for an effective syllabus, reconsider how they start and end their courses and class sessions, and plan a single class session from start to finish.

Teaching Methods: Participants will consider a wide variety of techniques and perspectives, from the more traditional techniques, such as lecture and questioning, to other commonly-used techniques, such as free writing, collaborative learning, PowerPoint slides, simulations, clickers, and course Web pages, to a few cutting-edge techniques, such as discover sequence instruction, cognitive think-alouds, and in-class instant messaging. Participants will also consider keys to effective teaching beyond techniques, including attitudes, habits of mind, conceptualizations of students, and personal qualities and characteristics.

Assessment and Exams: As a result of taking a course, what should students be able to do? Design effective ways to solve clients' problems using a range of authorities and complicated facts? Would they show their learning by writing opinion letters, drafting agreements, or interviewing witnesses? During this workshop, participants will work from their own assessments, samples, and guidelines to design and evaluate a variety of assessments. Participants also will practice using and developing effective and sustainable ways to provide feedback, including rubrics, classroom assessment techniques, and peer review, and they will consider how to use assessment results as feedback for improving their course and class design and teaching.

Developing as a Teacher: Following an introduction to the research on faculty development, participants in this session will engage in a variety of teaching development instruments. For example, participants will complete a teaching inventory, engage in reflective writing, view a teaching video, practice giving feedback, and brainstorm ways to develop a sustainable teaching development practice.

Benefits to Participants
During the conference, participants can expect to encounter many new ideas about teaching and learning in law school. Participants will experience a variety of active teaching/learning methods. Participants should leave the conference with the inspiration and information to apply the new ideas in their courses. In short, the ultimate goal of the conference is to help the participants improve their teaching and their students' learning.

Each participant will receive a copy of Teaching Law by Design: Engaging Studnts from the Syllabus to the Final Exam.

Presenters:

The program will be designed and co-taught by five law professors:

Roberto Corrada - Denver University School of Law
Steven Friedland - Elon University School of Law
Gerry Hess - Gonzaga University School of Law
Michael Hunter Schwartz - Washburn University School of Law
Sophia Sparrow - Franklin Pierce Law Center

The five conference planners/presenters have authored or contributed to 11 books (including six casebooks) and more than 25 law review articles addressing law teaching, learning, assessment, and curriculum design.. They have delivered more than 200 presentations about these topics at national and international conferences and as invited speakers at law school around the country.

Optional Pre-Registration Event:

We invite participants to pre-register and begin getting acquainted at the Law School during a meet and greet from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday, April 9. Hors d'oeuvres will be served.
 

Schedule:

Friday, April 9th:

5:00 - 7:00 PM Pre-registration

Saturday, April 10:

8:00 AM Registration and Breakfast
8:30 AM Welcome and Opening
9:00 AM Course and Class Planning
10:15 AM Break
10:45 AM Teaching Methods
12:00 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Assessment and Exams
2:45 PM Break
3:15 PM Developing as a Teacher
4:30 PM Closing
5:00 PM Adjourn

Registration:

Attendence will be limited to 50 participants. The roster will be filled in the order that Elon receives the registration for and conference fee of $195. Preferred method of payment is check made payable to Elon Univeristy School of Law. For registration, or more information, please contact:

Jane Law, Faculty Staff Assistant
Elon University School of Law School
201 North Greene Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
(336) 278-9325
 

Transportation, Meals, and Lodging:

Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements. Breakfast and lunch on Saturday, April 10 are included in registration fee. A limited block of rooms has been booked at:

Greensboro Mariott Downtown
304 N. Greene St.
Greensboro, NC 27401
Phone: (336) 379-8000

The Special Rate is $110. Elon Law School is at 201 N. Greene St., 2 blocks south.
Transportation, Meals and Lodging

Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements. Breakfast and lunch on Saturday, April 10 are included in registration fee. A limited block of rooms has been booked at:

Greensboro Mariott Downtown
304 N. Greene St.
Greensboro, NC 27401
Phone: (336) 379-8000

The Special Rate is $110. Elon Law School is at 201 N. Greene St., 2 blocks south.