Sales - Flipping the classroom: revolutionising legal research training at the University of Salford (teachmeet abstract)

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Sales - Flipping the classroom: revolutionising legal research training at the University of Salford (teachmeet abstract)

  1. 1. Flipping the classroom: revolutionising legal research training at the University of SalfordNicola Sales, University of Salford, n.sales@salford.ac.ukAt the University of Salford it is difficult to find sufficient space in the academictimetable to deliver legal research training to new first year law students. Althoughlegal research skills is embedded in the law teaching programme, the timetablespace allocated to research training is too short to equip students with all theinformation skills they need at the start of their degree. Training delivered at Salfordhas often alienated law students by overloading them with information.Timetable pressures and the volume of topics covered have resulted in sessionsbeing librarian led with little student engagement. Students feel overwhelmed,becoming nervous of using the library and performing research. As a result, somelaw students are resorting to using Google as their only research tool.To combat timetable pressures, information overload and using passive teachingmethods, the University of Salford Academic Support Librarian for Law trialed theinnovative training concept of ‘flipping the classroom’ .In September 2012, rather than using teaching time to demonstrate ‘how to’ performresearch, the classroom was flipped so students studied online demonstrationsbefore arriving at the classroom. Teaching time was then spent consolidatinglearning and building student confidence through active learning, practical tasks anddiscussion.As a trainer it is daunting to move away from traditional teaching methods and givestudents responsibility for their own learning. This paper will look at how the ‘flippingthe classroom’ concept has been implemented with Salford Law School Students. Itwill examine the benefits and drawbacks as a training method and evaluate theexperiences of the project.

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