Presenting a New Instructional Tool for Teaching Law Related Courses: A Contract Activity Package for Motivated and Independent Learners

Robin A. Boyle, Karen Russo, & Rose Frances Lefkowitz, Presenting a New Instructional Tool for Teaching Law-Related Courses: A Contract Activity Package for Motivated and Independent Learners, 38 Gonz. L. Rev. 1 (2003).

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Do you have motivated students in your classes who prefer to learn independentaly? Given the diversity of learning styles in law school students, you probably do! A Contract Activity Package (“CAP”) allows this kind of student to work at his or her own pace. It also provides options for all students to learn through their various modalities-visual, auditory, tactual, and kinesthetic.

We conducted empirical studies at two different universities in law-related classes and found that both classes, as a whole, learned content better by using CAP than by using traditional classroom instruction. One of those studies, by Robin Boyle and Karen Russo, involved incomin law students in Professor Boyle’s legal research and writing classes at St. John’s University School of Law (“Boyle and Russo study”). The Boyle and Russo study ascertained the students’ learning styles and assessed the effectiveness of CAP in comparison to traditional methods of legal research instruction. Similar to the results from prior years, the law school population was diverse in its learning styles. Law students performed significantly better on the CAP post-test than those who were taught by traditional instruction. The topic of the CAP was legal research. Our finding of diverse learning-style preferences was consistent with earlier studies that also revealed diversity among adult populations…Read More

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