Entry into Valhalla : contextualising the learning of legal ethics through the use of Second Life machinima

Butler, Desmond A. (2010) Entry into Valhalla : contextualising the learning of legal ethics through the use of Second Life machinima. Legal Education Review, 20(1&2), pp. 87-110.

View at publisher


An ability to recognise and resolve ethical dilemmas was identified by the Australian Law Reform Commission as one of the ten fundamental lawyering skills. While the ‘Priestley 11’ list of areas of law required to qualify for legal practice includes ethics and professional responsibility, the commitment to ethics learning in Australian law schools has been far from uniform. The obligation imposed by the Priestley 11 is frequently discharged by a traditional teaching and learning approach involving lectures and/or tutorials and focusing on the content of the formal rules of professional responsibility. However, the effectiveness of such an approach is open to question.

Instead, a practical rather than a theoretical approach to the teaching of legal ethics is required. Effective final-year student learning of ethics may be achieved by an approach which engages students, enabling them to appreciate the relevance of what they are learning to the real world and facilitating their transition from study to their working lives. Entry into Valhalla comprises a suite of modules featuring ‘machinima’ (computer-generated imagery) created using the Second Life virtual environment to contextualise otherwise abstract concepts. It provides an engaging learning environment which enables students to obtain an appreciation of ethical responsibility in a real-world context and facilitates understanding and problem-solving ability.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

231 since deposited on 03 Oct 2011
13 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 46275
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Legal ethics, Educational technology, Second Life, machinima, Cognitive apprenticeship, HERN
ISSN: 1033-2839
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law not elsewhere classified (180199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Des Butler
Copyright Statement: Copyright in the Manuscript remains with the Author/s, who grant the Legal Education Review a licence on the terms set out below to (1) publish and reproduce the Manuscript, and (2) permit third parties to publish and reproduce the Manuscript.
Deposited On: 03 Oct 2011 00:57
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:06

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page