Teaching and Assessing Reflective Writing in a Large Undergraduate Core Substantive Law Unit

Cockburn, Tina & Ryan, Mary (2015) Teaching and Assessing Reflective Writing in a Large Undergraduate Core Substantive Law Unit. In Ryan, Mary Elizabeth (Ed.) Teaching Reflective Learning in Higher Education : A Systematic Approach Using Pedagogic Patterns. Springer, pp. 93-109.

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The focus of higher education has shifted towards building students’ skills and self-awareness for future employment, in addition to developing substantive discipline knowledge. This means that there is an increasing need for embedding approaches to teaching and learning which provide a context for skills development and opportunities for students to prepare for the transition from legal education to professional practice.

This chapter reports on a large (500-600 students) core undergraduate Equity law unit in an Australian University. ePortfolio has been embedded in Equity as a means of enabling students to document their reflections on their skill development in that unit. Students are taught, practice and are assessed on their teamwork and letter writing skills in the context of writing a letter of advice to a fictional client in response to a real world problem. Following submission of the team letter, students are asked to reflect on their skill development and document their reflections in ePortfolio. A scaffolded approach to teaching reflective writing is adopted using a blended model of delivery which combines face to face lectures and online resources, including an online module, facts sheets designed to guide students through the process of reflection by following the TARL model of reflection, and exemplars of reflective writing.

Although students have engaged in the process of reflective writing in Equity for some years, in semester one 2011 assessment criteria were developed and the ePortfolio reflections were summatively assessed for the first time. The model of teaching and assessing reflective practice was evaluated in a range of ways by seeking feedback from students and academic staff responsible for implementing the model and asking them to reflect on their experiences.

This chapter describes why skill development and reflective writing were embedded in the undergraduate law unit Equity; identify the teaching and learning approaches which were implemented to teach reflective writing to online and internal Equity students; explain the assessment processes; analyse the empirical evidence from evaluations; document the lessons learnt and discuss planned future improvements to the teaching and assessment strategies.

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ID Code: 81191
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Teaching reflection, Assessing reflection, Reflection in Law, Reflective writing, Reflection in undergraduate Law, HERN
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-09271-3_7
ISBN: 9783319092706
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Deposited On: 23 Jan 2015 01:15
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2016 05:41

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