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A Flipped Approach To Developing Alternative Dispute Resolution Skills Flexible Learning for the Trainee Solicitor

Author Jane Moffatt and Robert Lowney
Abstract This paper details the design and development of a pilot flipped learning module for trainee solicitors at the Law Society of Ireland in 2015. Flipped learning is an emerging concept in higher education and one that is predicted to become more popular over the short-term. Flipped learning seeks to invert the traditional role of classroom-based instruction and learner-based practical application of knowledge; instruction is made available online in the learner's personal space, and subsequent classroom sessions transform into active learning environments. When designing an elective module to teach alternative dispute resolution procedures and skills i.e. non-courtroom litigation procedures and skills, flipped learning was adopted as it purported to free up class time to allow for active learning through methods such as role-play, which was seen to be an important learning strategy in helping to develop practical dispute resolution practices. Instead of traditional lectures e-lectures were provided for trainees allowing more time in a constrained institutional timetable for small-group workshops. Trainees were assessed by continuous assessment; on the standard of their written work and on mock presentations on behalf of fictional clients. Fifty-seven trainee solicitors undertook and all passed the elective. Trainees completed evaluations and noted they enjoyed the module and the way in which it was taught, as it allowed them to develop their knowledge and skills incrementally in a way not possible through traditional methods. It is intended that the pilot elective will be rolled out during next year's offerings.
Keywords Flipped learning, continuous assessment, alternative dispute resolution, legal education, law society of ireland
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2015
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