With the semester mid-way through, this might be a good time to mention Smart Casual for those who don’t already know about the project.
The OLT funded project aims to help sessional staff by providing online professional development around key issues experienced in teaching law students. Although aimed at new or sessional staff, the modules are useful refreshers for us all. An initial set of three modules – based on what surveyed sessional staff saw as most pressing – were released last year.
Those modules are: Engagement, Problem Solving and Feedback (all at http://www.lawteachnetwork.org/smartcasual.html). The site has both desktop/laptop and mobile versions of the modules. They are designed to be worked through in an hour, but also to allow you to quickly access those sections you find most relevant. They are supplemented with short video clips of sessional staff sharing their own teaching experiences.
Coming next year will be: Critical Legal Thinking, Reading Law, Communication and Collaboration, Legal Ethics and Wellness in Law.
An article in the UNSW Law Journal explains the background to the first phase of the project, and the issue of law sessional staff training:
Beginning to Address ‘The Elephant in the Classroom’: Investigating and Responding to Australian Sessional Law Teachers’ Unmet Professional Development Needs – Mary Heath, Anne Hewitt, Mark Israel and Natalie Skead
And thanks to the Legal Education Associate Deans Network for hosting the modules.
(disclaimer: I’m on the project)