Valuable learning, unwelcome assessment : what LLB and JD students really think about group work

Steel, Alex, Huggins, Anna, & Laurens, Julian (2014) Valuable learning, unwelcome assessment : what LLB and JD students really think about group work. The Sydney Law Review, 36, pp. 291-321.

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This article contributes to current debates about the appropriate role of group work in legal curricula by providing insights into the attitudes of Bachelor of Laws (‘LLB’) and Juris Doctor (‘JD’) students towards such tasks. It begins by reviewing arguments for incorporating group work in legal education, both as a result of the recognition of its educational benefits, and as a response to increasing regulatory expectations regarding student collaboration skills. The article then reports the findings of a UNSW Law School Student Assessment Survey designed to determine how law students perceive group work and its assessment in law. One of the most striking findings is that many of the law students surveyed recognise and appreciate the learning and skills development benefits of group tasks, but are resistant to summative assessment of group work. Moreover, there are marked differences in attitude between LLB and JD students, and across year cohorts within those degrees. These findings suggest that further thought needs to be directed towards the specific purposes underpinning the choice of group work as a pedagogical tool, and assessment that is congruent with those purposes, taking into account the varying needs and experiences of different cohorts of students. The article concludes by considering whether meaningful group work can exist without summative assessment.

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ID Code: 81732
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: group work, assessment, LLB and JD, law student learning, legal education, HERN
ISSN: 0082-0512
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Deposited On: 11 Feb 2015 00:11
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2015 02:08

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