While staring at that list, I began pondering what I wanted the objectives of the course to be. Ideally, I wanted them to be SMART, but I find that measurability can seem arbitrary if you set a specific number. For example, I do not believe the objective “students will be able to explain various ways technology is impacting the legal profession” is bettered by replacing various with at least three. An answer noting only two ways (e.g., it is creating avenues for expanded access to legal information and more equitable application of justice) can be more effective than a list of 10 oversimplified ones (e.g., they have to buy new software). I know that others will disagree, and that is acceptable.
The goal when drafting my objectives was to create overarching goals that described the type of legal technology users I wanted my students to become. Overall, I wanted them to feel more confident in their ability to learn new tech and handle issues on their own. My current objectives are below. I need to add an objective about engaging with certain types of tech, but I am have not yet found wording I like that will survive more at least a few years.Maybe I don’t need to.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- explain various ways technology is impacting the legal profession;
- navigate software help files and web forums to troubleshoot issues and learn new technologies;
- evaluate technology to discern strengths and weakness to inform adoption decisions; and
- articulate a plan for continued learning about technology and developing better technologic skills.