Enhancing Active Learning in Large Law School Classrooms and a Tax Case Study

TitleEnhancing Active Learning in Large Law School Classrooms and a Tax Case Study
Faculty/College/UnitAllard School of Law
Duration1 Year
Project Summary

Faculty members engages in teaching the business law courses at UBC have been rethinking the business law curriculum, including course offerings, pedagogical styles, and evaluation methods, in light of this Faculty’s curricular reform, and the possibility of a business law centre at UBC.

Pedagogical style and evaluation methods at Canadian law schools have not changed significantly over this century, despite significant advancements in our knowledge about adult and university education and learning. More often than not, law school classes are taught using lectures, with a single 100% final exam as the method of evaluation.

This project seeks to do two things. First, it seeks to provide training and support for faculty members, particularly faculty members in the business law area, on new technologies in teaching and on advances in active learning in large classes. Second, it seeks to make some incremental change to the pedagogical practice and evaluation techniques in one class, Taxation, as a trial class for approaches that might be implemented more broadly through the large business law courses offered at the law school.

The objectives of the project are:

  1. to engage and train teachers in the business law area on methods of using technology, and on mechanisms for promoting active learning in large classes;
  2. to enhance active learning in large law school classes (beginning with Taxation) by promoting effective thinking, including problem solving, critical thinking, creative thinking, decision making, and greater reflective practices; and
  3. to improve evaluation methods to accord with the skills and knowledge students are expected to learn in the law school classroom.
Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2006/2007
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorKim Brooks
Year 1: Funded Amount22,148
Year 1: Team Members

Kim Brooks, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law