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A new approach to problem based learning in law; turning pedagogy upside down - Becky Huxley-Binns, Jo Boylan-Kemp and Pamela Henderson
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A new approach to problem based learning in law; turning pedagogy upside down - Becky Huxley-Binns, Jo Boylan-Kemp and Pamela Henderson


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Presentation at the HEA-funded workshop 'A new approach to problem based learning in law: turning pedagogy upside down '. …

Presentation at the HEA-funded workshop 'A new approach to problem based learning in law: turning pedagogy upside down '.

This workshop aimed to promote sharing of good practice across institutions by enabling delegates to visualise the innovation learning space, ‘SCALE UP’ (Student-Centred Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies), by visiting it and taking part in a law workshop. The workshop also aimed to contribute to the knowledge exchange of innovative learning practices in the context of simulation, experiential learning and problem based learning, and actively use information technology to solve factual problems in a legal setting to embrace student behaviours in an educational setting.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event:

For further details of the HEA's work on active and experiential learning in the Social Sciences, please see:

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  • 1. Nottingham Law School Centre for Legal Education “A new approach to problem based learning in law; turning pedagogy upside down” Professor Becky Huxley-Binns Jo Boylan-Kemp Pamela Henderson
  • 2. Welcome, and housekeeping Becky Huxley-Binns Twitter #pbllaw #scaleup #CLE2014
  • 3. Programme Tuesday 25th February 2014 9.00 – 9.30   9.30 – 9.50   Coffee and registration (from 9 am)   Flipped and problem-based learning, upside down. An introduction to SCALE UP Chaucer Building LT3 – Court Room, level 1   9.50 - 10.00   Entering Lexport... Boots Library 327a – level 3   10.00 – 12.00   Problem based learning workshops Boots Library 327a – level 3   12.00 – 1.00   1.00 – 2.00 Working lunch   Informal discussions DICE building DIC – 015 - CR    2.00 – 3.30   NLS; our experiences after one term. Boots Library 328 – level 3 March 14, 2014 3
  • 4. What is upside down? • SCALE-UP is an institutional, multi-disciplinary project. The approach is an enquiry-based learning style from the USA shown to improve students' conceptual understanding, problem-solving, achievement, attendance and satisfaction. • Learning at NTU takes place in two flexible spaces, one at City site and one at Clifton campus, which are technology-rich and furnished with bespoke circular tables to support team working. Each group of three students is provided with a laptop to share, and the rooms have Apple TV and multiple screens allowing students to project and view each other's work. • In the law school, we have merged SCALE-UP with flipped and problem based learning in two half year second year modules (Criminal law and trusts) and built a town to house them – Lexport. March 14, 2014 4
  • 5. The student perspective • NTU: How is SCALE-UP different to a normal lesson? • Pooja: "It engages you and makes you think for yourself, as opposed to being spoken at in a lecture. It also allows you to think about how to use your knowledge in real life situations.” • "You're constantly learning and processing information because you watch the videos and read the guidance texts before the lesson and then you put it into practice in the lesson. When you go into a lecture you can sit and listen for an hour, but it doesn't always sink in." March 14, 2014 5
  • 6. • NTU: What do you like most about SCALE-UP? • Pooja: "I think what I like most is that it encourages debate and discussion, which are vital key skills not only to Law, but to everyday life. It teaches you to forward think and makes you engage more. You also develop independent learning and time management." • "I also like the feedback and encouragement I have received during SCALE-UP sessions." • NTU: Would you rather practice SCALE-UP, or go back to traditional methods of learning? • Pooja: "I much prefer SCALE-UP! I feel like I'm using my brain a lot more and I'm understanding a lot more, whereas if you go to a lecture, sometimes when you read your notes afterwards they don't make sense." March 14, 2014 6
  • 7. • NTU: Finally, do you have a message to other students about SCALE-UP? • Pooja: "Try SCALE-UP if there is the opportunity to do it!” • "It can be a bit more challenging but you reap greater benefits. I think you are a lot more confident in yourself when you are doing your work the SCALE-UP way." March 14, 2014 7
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  • 11. The academics’ perspectives • Different approaches (Crime and Trusts) in the same place (Lexport) • Flipping early • Vodcast and lecture nuggets (light and sound) quality • Moving to YouTube • Happy to let go of the control • Less teaching, more learning  • Learning is more relaxed, comfortable, energetic, cooperative (tutors) and collaborative (peers) March 14, 2014 11
  • 12. Trusts No % Crime No % Land (non SCUP) No % 1st 4 22 4 21 1 6 2:1 11 61 12 63 2 12 2:2 3 17 2 11 7 41 3 0 0 1 5 6 35 F 0 0 0 0 1 6 Total 18 100 19 100 17 100 March 14, 2014 12
  • 13. What's next? • Training in the tech needed • Build in students’ BYOD • Expand Lexport to the LPC – Build a physical representation • Re-record the vodcasts • Use last year’s assessments March 14, 2014 13