Seize the Data! Using Evidence from Externship Courses to Measure Law School Learning Outcomes

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CONFERENCE: Externships (X) Conferences

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Church, Christine Zellar; Jones, Robert L., Jr.; Kerew, Kendall L.; Terry, Kelly S.
Curriculum and Instruction; Legal Education; Other Education
conference paper description
With the adoption of ABA Standards 302 and 315, law schools are now required to establish institutional learning outcomes for their graduates and measure whether their graduates are achieving competency in those outcomes. Given this mandate, all law schools will need to determine the best method to measure whether they are meeting these articulated outcomes. This session will focus on the role that clinical education and externships, specifically, can have in the assessment of institutional learning outcomes. The goal of the session is to provide attendees with guidance on the role that student performance data from externship courses can play in the institutional assessment process.The session will begin with an introductory discussion about the institutional assessment process and address specifically how externships are relevant to institutional assessment. We will then discuss how externship courses can provide either direct or indirect evidence as to whether students are meeting a particular institutional learning outcome. Following this introduction, we will share concrete tools we are using for assessing student learning at the course level that can be used as evidence for measuring student learning outcomes at the institutional level. Copies of all surveys, forms, rubrics etc. will be distributed to attendees.The session will end with an interactive exercise in which attendees will identify student performance data generated in their externship courses that is relevant to their school’s institutional learning outcomes. To get the most out of this exercise, attendees should come to the session with a copy of their school’s institutional learning outcomes.