Assessment of Program Learning Outcomes: Law Schools Move into the Twenty-First Century

In a relatively brief period, law school pedagogy has changed a great deal.  Christopher Columbus Langdell’s nineteenth century approach of case-based analysis featuring Socratic dialogue in class still forms the basis for many law professor’s approach.  The MacCrate Report in the early 1990s, however, led to far more clinical and practical opportunities for law students.  […]

Intelligence: Stagnant or Malleable? Exploring Formative Assessment

Formative assessment isn’t just a new requirement handed down by the ABA, it is also a helpful tool to maximize students’ motivation and professors’ learning. Students who are highly motivated to learn, learn more and perform better when their knowledge is tested. But what motivates students to learn? Many believe that extrinsic rewards – like […]

Formative Assessments – Valuable Educational Tool, Not as Hard (or Time-Intensive) as Some Think

New ABA Standard 314 requires laws schools to use “formative assessments” a fancy phrase for a simple concept: giving students feedback on how they are progressing in a course. Anyone who has seen the data knows that formative assessment helps student learning. Most schools of higher education have used formative assessments for years. Law teaching […]

The Power of “Not Yet”, Learning Outcomes & Assessment

Professor Carol Dweck talks about a powerful message:  “not yet”  Her studies demonstrate that when students understand that learning occurs on a continuum and they simply have “not yet” mastered a concept, they develop a “growth mindset” that leads to significant learning gains. Professor Dweck notes that students with a “growth mind set” engage with […]

A Dean’s Perspective on the Costs and Benefits of Assessment

More from the Building an Assessment Plan from the Ground Up Conference: Dean Susan Duncan, Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, presented from the dean’s perspective on assessment. She began her remarks by reinforcing the notion that all faculty have to be involved. She noted […]

Advise on Building an Assessment Plan from Dean Maryann Jones

More good stuff from the Building an Assessment Plan conference today: Maryann Jones, Dean Emerita, Western State College of Law, and Educational Consultant, spoke of the “paradigm shift” that legal education faces from a focus on teaching and faculty to a focus on student learning and accomplishments. Dean Jones related her experience in having to […]

Resources from the Building an Assessment Plan Conference

In the morning session of the conference on Building an Assessment Plan from the Ground Up, presenters shared an overview of assessment in action. Professor Andrea Curcio, Professor of Law and Co-director Externship Program at Georgia State University College of Law, presented on “The Purposes of Assessment” by providing two powerful examples of how assessment […]

Building an Assessment Plan Conference off to a great start!

The conference on “Building an Assessment Plan from the Ground Up” is being held today at Whittier Law School. Professor Andrea Funk, Associate Dean for Lawyering Skills and Institutional Assessment Professor of Lawyering Skills at Whittier, has created a comprehensive program for the sold-out crowd of faculty, most of whom have some responsibility for assessment […]

Live from LegalED’s Igniting Law Teaching Conference — Assessment

I am at LegalED’s Igniting Law Teaching conference at American University Washington College of Law hearing from Prof Syd Beckman about Tips for Using Interactive Technology for Assessment. Here are his 5 Tips for Assessment: 1. Plan and tie learning outcomes to assessment 2. Execute it — use interactive technology that can help with assessment; […]

Using Portfolios for Assessment

A few years ago I started to use student portfolios as part of the end-of-semester evaluation of my students. I have found that portfolios can be an excellent vehicle both for the student’s own self-reflection and for providing summative feedback. Here is how I use them. At the end of the semester, I ask each […]

Assessment Across The Curriculum – Spring Conference

Assessment Across The Curriculum Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Spring Conference 2014 Saturday, April 5, 2014 “Assessment Across the Curriculum” is a one-day conference for new and experienced law teachers who are interested in designing and implementing effective techniques for assessing student learning.  The conference will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at […]

A rose by any other name: Evaluation and Assessment at Cross Purposes

A barrier to developing, improving, or sharing our assessment practices is the confusion surrounding the vocabulary of assessment.  Whenever it occurs or by whatever method, assessment is simply the process of discovering what and how well students have learned and then using that information to improve. One can quickly become mired in a sea of words […]

High Standards of Professional Excellence, Student Motivation, Assessment & Fairness

in this post  you get the results of my effort to frame the questions for dealing with what seems like round 18,096 in debates over grading policies: My  faculty colleagues disagree among ourselves about how to strike the balance among potentially conflicting educational goals. We all want to challenge students to aspire to and meet […]

Why Formative Assessment is Essential in Legal Education

As the ABA Council meets to consider and debate the proposed revisions to the Accreditation Standards found in section 3, The Program of Legal Education, I want to highlight a Forbes article by Michael Horn of the Clayton Christensen Institute.  Horn has been studying disruption in education for the last several years.   If we […]

Assessment Tales: The Bluebooks That Stayed

It’s that time of year when we all have the grading of our last semester’s bluebooks well behind us and the last few students have come in to review their exams. So we have packed up the bluebooks to be archived and they are out of sight and out of mind. But wait! In the […]