For Law Teachers

This page contains videos and papers that address law teaching.

Clickers in the Classroom

This 30 minute video, produced in August 2014, explores my use of on-line clicker technology in the classroom.  It explains why I use it, how I use it and what you might not want to do with it!

The Flipped Classroom

In my class on the Law of Evidence, I have adopted the model of the Flipped Classroom, which provides students with pre-packaged material to study outside the classroom (the “lecture” part of the experience) and encourages students to use class time to work on problems and discuss issues in small groups, and later with the entire class.  My capsules are now available to all – by clicking on the Capsule heading on the menu bar above.

What is the Flipped Classroom?  In May 2016, I made this movie that takes you step by step through the Flipped Classroom and details what students actually do in my class.

Why do I use the Flipped Classroom?  Most importantly – I feel it works.  The standard lecture/Socratic framework of law classes, in my view, is problematic.  Although these methods may at one time have been an effective way of sharing knowledge or imparting it to students, the majority of today’s students do not learn from these methods effectively, often struggling to absorb the professor’s carefully crafted teachings. A related problem is that of student disengagement.

Here’s my first talk on the Flipped Classroom, from the Future of Law School Conference (Edmonton, 2013) that explains my reasons for moving to this mode of teaching:

Moving to a flipped classroom style of teaching is not easy.  To read about the methodology, here is my article on Flipped Teaching.

In late 2013, I was on a panel with Craig Forcese of the University of Ottawa – another dedicated “flipper”.  We talk about the potential and challenges of this teaching method.  We co-wrote and published a paper that draws upon the panel discussion. To read it, click here.

Need more tips?  Here are a few tips on how to use problems in the Flipped Classroom.

How about the best way to get quickly through a bunch of hypotheticals?

Workload is also a problem in the Flipped Classroom environment.  Here are my thoughts on that subject:

Experiential Learning

In addition to my work on the Flipped Classroom, I believe in using experiential learning throughout my courses.  Here is how I make use of experiential techniques in my course on Animals and the Law:

I have also written a paper that goes into these issues in more depth.  If you wish to see the student projects that emerged from these experiential techniques in 2016, click here.

Use of Film in the Classroom

I use a great deal of film in the classroom as a way of letting students interact with good examples in a visual way.  In future, I will post a video blog talking about my experience in this area – and what makes a good movie extract.  But until then, I wanted to share this wonderful short instructional video from Paul Bergman of UCLA Law School, which achieves a similar objective.

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