I’ve included some of the legal tech course staples, like a time-keeping assignment and weekly discussions. However, I’ve tried to find ways to encourage students to take charge of their own learning as much as possible because this is an online class. Part of that effort is the group discussion lead assignment.
The group discussion lead was structured to have students use collaboration tools to connect and plan supplemental materials for a chosen week of the course. As part of the assignment, they had to create a micro-lesson, suggest additional readings, and help foster the discussions that week. This assignment has proven mildly successful but has a good deal of room for improvement in the next iteration.
Firstly, I need to reinforce what is meant by a micro-lesson. The assignment explains it is a “5-10 minute video, voice over PowerPoint presentation, or another interactive lesson. . . on a subset of the larger subject, a piece of technology that falls within that week’s topic, or a recent development in the area.” However, the first few were full lessons for the week. I reached out to the class and reminded them what the instructions were. I could not afford for this to continue. I was not looking for students to teach my class for me week-to-week.
I had to adjust the due dates for the different elements to give me time to request corrections if the assignment had to be returned for revision. Also, I am not sure I’ll keep discussion groups alive. Not in the same way at least. It is difficult to encourage actual discussion in an online class. I will do more research.
As for weekly timekeeping assignments, I think I will change that completely. Instead of an open-ended instruction to track time, I’ll have the assignment carry over three to four weeks. Each week they will have to attempt a different method and submit their time. After the last week, they will need to reflect on which way worked best for their work style and which was the most efficient, even if they were not a huge fan of the system.
The end of the semester is coming up quickly. I’ll reflect again after it ends.