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Doing by Learning: The introduction of activity based learning aids into undergraduate legal professional practice courses.

Author Paul Pierse, Karen Sutton
Abstract This paper seeks to explore the value of activity-based learning in Higher Education classrooms for students of law. The authors were keen to introduce activities and learning aids that would not only enhance the learner's experience, but also cultivate better learner retention levels, while keeping adult evening learners alert and engaged. The authors initially outline the learning aids that were developed and implemented in their efforts to enhance the modules taught on a legal practice course. The success or otherwise of these activities is then considered through the analysis of data collected from the students who took part in various activities, across a range of modules. The method of data collected was by way of both questionnaire to provide quantitative feedback and also one to one interviews/questionnaires for more qualitative feedback. The literature review looks at the development of research in the area of activity-based learning in higher education generally, and the paper seeks to draw contrasts and comparisons with the efforts of other authors, while acknowledging the findings which the authors could incorporate in future modules. For example, the authors hope to identify how best to utilise activities in light of the student's attention clock. The paper concludes with a discussion on the findings of the submission in view of the data analysed and the review of literature and best practice in the field. The authors will also consider future work which would be appropriate to the area. The paper is to be accompanied by a poster exhibiting examples of some of the activities that are the subject matter of this paper and that were created and used by the authors in the course of their teaching. Readers are invited to sample the activities for themselves at the International Conference on Engaging Pedagogy in Dublin on December 14th 2012. For those who cannot make the conference, a smaller selection of the activities are included in the appendix to this document.
Keywords Activity, activities, law, interactive, learning aids, learner retention, active learning, role play, jigsaws, crosswords, mock files, legal classroom, undergraduate, higher education, interaction, retaining information, applied learning, alert, engaged students, activity-based learning.
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2012
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