UKCLE closed on 31 July 2011. This is an archive site.

Chair's report: Maureen Spencer

Parallel Session 2 (Chancellor’s 3)

Chair: Maureen Spencer (Middlesex University)

Intensive law degree – hitting the ground running

The advantages and challenges of an intensive two year LLB were the subject of the first part of the session given by Mick Sumpter, Kirstie Best and Kate Exall from the University of Northampton. The programme had proved very attractive to students since it offered both flexibility of learning and enhanced student engagement and employability. Attendance in particular had proved to be high.

The presenters acknowledged that adjustments were required on the part of staff, in particular by extending personal tutorials. More attention was given to enabling students to reflect on their learning and to addressing ways of developing skills. Despite the obvious need to manage carefully staffing summer stage modules and ensuring leave provision, the overall outcome was a positive learning experience for both staff and students.

A few of my favourite things: three rules of thumb for module design informed by self-determination theory

Graham Ferris and Rebecca Huxley-Binns acknowledged their debt to Michael Sandel and Amartya Sen in designing a module which specifically encouraged student engagement and reflection on personal values. In a highly interactive session the presenters invited us, the audience, to place ourselves in the position of the students. Sen’s dilemma of which child should be awarded a flute over which there was a dispute provided a vivid demonstration of how ideas of justice reflect individuals‘ societal objectives and are not absolute standards.

Graham and Rebecca gave a spirited outline of the advantages of drawing on self-determination theory in the module on Critical Legal Thinking. Focussing on autonomy, competence and relatedness in this module had hugely beneficial effects on student learning overall. It was also a joy to teach.

Last Modified: 1 March 2011