Learning Law Through Experience and By Design

by Carwina Weng, Danielle R. Cover, Margaret E. Reuter, Chris Roberts

Tags: Law School Teaching

Table of Contents (PDF)

260 pp  $44.00

ISBN 978-1-5310-1479-7
eISBN 978-1-5310-1480-3

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This workbook enables faculty to design experiential courses for law students, using the process commonly known as backward design. The workbook walks the user step-by-step from goal to course outcomes to teaching activities, and it provides user-friendly worksheets to guide the design. The authors also provide the design maps for their own courses, with process notes, to illustrate the Experiential Learning Design process in action. The workbook helps faculty to situate their courses within a broader law school or experiential curriculum and to connect their courses as appropriate with their schools' and the ABA's JD program outcomes.

Whether your focus is social justice lawyering, skills, ethics, and/or substantive knowledge, this book will guide you in designing a course that turns your teaching goals into learning outcomes. This book provides a model for creating an effective, intentionally designed instructional path for your experiential learning course, including helping you to identify the intellectual home for your course, learning goals, final assessment, evaluation rubric, and learning outcomes. Learning Law through Experience and by Design covers the following topics in detail:

  • Chapter 1: Your Experiential Course and the ABA Standards
  • Chapter 2: Using the Experiential Learning Design Process
  • Chapter 3: The Big Picture: What Is the Point of Your Course?
  • Chapter 4: The Course Goal: What Do You Want Your Students to Learn?
  • Chapter 5: The Final Assessment: How Do You Know That Your Students Learned? (Includes Appendix 5-A, Mapping Evidence of Student Mastery)
  • Chapter 6: Rubrics: How Do You Gauge the Level of a Student's Proficiency? (Includes Appendix 6-A, Facets of Understanding: Progressive Levels of Performance)
  • Chapter 7: Course Outcomes and Learning Activities: What Will Happen in Your Classroom? (Includes Appendix 7-A, Samples of Experiential Learning Activities, and Appendix 7-B, Sample of Course Syllabus)
  • Chapter 8: Course Exemplars
  • Chapter 9: Worksheet Templates

"I found the process extremely accessible and understandable. As I was reading, I couldn't help but apply the components to my own courses. I found the tables with the example categories and measurable criteria throughout VERY helpful in making the process approachable. So often I find myself frustrated by the effort to choose appropriate language and your process cuts through that barrier by not only supplying a vocabulary but providing a theoretical foundation for different choices. At a broader level, I found the process steps and connections between them clear and understandable. I also appreciated the repeated reminders to revisit earlier decisions if a disconnect emerges as one works through the process. Finally, the examples provided from different courses, including the model completed worksheets, were helpful in concretizing the theoretical discussion. They made it easier to imagine how I might apply the process to my own course. And, a final final point, the writing was clear and a pleasure to read throughout."—Lisa V. Martin, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina School of Law

This text is part of CAP's Law School Teaching list. Complimentary copies of these texts are not available, as they are intended for professional development and are not designed for student use. Please contact sarah@cap-press.com with any questions about our Law School Teaching titles.