in D Carless, SM Bridges, CKY Chan & R Glofcheski (eds), Scaling Up Assessment for Learning in High Education
Dec 2016, pp 67-80
Abstract: Across the disciplines in higher education, too little attention is paid by those who design and deliver courses to the role of assessment as a driver of learning. This is certainly the case in legal education. A lecture-based, teacher-centred approach predominates, which produces a largely passive learning, an approach that is reflected in the assessment. The emphasis is on doctrinal instruction, issue coverage, accreditation and ranking. Thus, there is plenty of scope for scaling up. In this chapter, the author describes the principal method of learning and assessment in law schools and the modest learning outcomes it can produce. The author proposes some simple strategic moves in assessment design that can expand the range of achievable learning outcomes in legal education and facilitate the development of skills necessary for professional life. These moves involve the adoption of authentic materials for use in learning and assessment and the introduction of task-based assessments in which students take the lead role in the construction and management of their learning artefacts. They are simple and economical, can be applied in large classes and have the potential for adaptation across the disciplines.