Technology in the Legal Research & Writing Classroom: How to Organize, Teach, and Grade using Online Teaching Platforms in the Classroom.

Teaching Legal Research and Writing (LRW) is a very demanding course by its nature. It requires immense organization and preparation to function effectively during the semester. It requires managing vast amounts of information including course handouts, case files, formative assessment materials and assignments, research, presentations, and of course, the written memorandum of law.

Using technology including online teaching platforms such as TWEN or Blackboard is essential to the proper organization and effective teaching of Legal Research and Writing courses. I have taught LRW for five years, and have progressively increased the use of technology in my classroom. Although my LRW classes are all conducted in class, on campus, I create and use a corresponding web-based course that runs simultaneously with the on campus in class sessions. All in class, on campus course materials are delivered electronically. These include course handouts, case files, research and writing assignments, quizzes, presentations, reading materials. Similarly, all materials and assignments from students are submitted electronically for assessment. Graded assignments and assessments are also returned to students using the web-based platform. The simplest tasks of setting up a meeting or conference is done using the online platform. Almost no hard copies or print is involved in the massive transfer and exchange of course materials. The use of the online teaching platforms in the traditional on campus classroom setting has proved to be invaluable in the proper organization and effective management of my LRW courses.

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