BILETA Conference, Legal Education 3

by Paul Maharg on 29/03/2012

I’m chairing AND presenting at this session on our iPad project, iLEGALL, so reeeally scrappy.  But here goes.  I’ll post my slides later onto this site.  I was introducing mobile learning generally.

Jonathan and Rebecca Mitchell were up next, talking about the  pluses and minuses of student use of the iPad.  Slides will be up on the iLEGALL website.  Joel Mills, our e-learning consultant (who is also an LLB student)  presented on the solutions to problems that we adopted.  Interesting questions from the audience.

Finally, Freda Grealy and Rory O’Boyle from the Law Society of Ireland described their project and how the use of the iPad was supported in the Law Society.  Very thorough in their preparation.  The device was used on a a CPD course with lawyers — very positive results.  There was embedded use of the device and assessment too.

Student experience?  The students were of course solicitors, and one of the aims was to see if there were convergence between learning and work practices.  Freda and Rory issued a pre-course questionnaire, and asked why students were doing the course — 80% were attracted by the method of learning on the mobile device.    Students very positive — access, mobility, speed, ownership, personalization.  Downsides?  Getting used to the device — they were busy practitioners.  Lots of positive comments from the students

The experience of Rory & Freda?  The project was a success in terms of what it set out to achieve.  Highlighted infrastructure issues, eg wifi.  Advice: don’t try this with a new syllabus…  BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) seemed to work.

Next will be further evaluation, another course — the Diploma in Insolvency & Corporate Restructuring — a bigger audience.  Greater use of e-pub for all materials.  They’ll issue a questionnaire pre-course so that the participants will be streamed according to IT skills — mixed profile..  And they’ll get a practitioner to ‘champion’ the iPad from work perspective — also use it with professional social software such as LinkedIn for discussion purposes.

Very interesting discussions afterwards, especially with contributions from Tom Laidlaw (Lexisnexis) and Bill Boyd (Arizona).

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