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Law School Course Page Options & Best Practices

Law School Course Page Options & Best Practices

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Published by Bonnie Shucha
This handout highlights the pros and cons of several law school course page tools. It also includes a list of best practices based on what law students like and dislike about course pages.
This handout highlights the pros and cons of several law school course page tools. It also includes a list of best practices based on what law students like and dislike about course pages.

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Published by: Bonnie Shucha on Oct 24, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/14/2012

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Dos
Make your intentions for the course page clear at the beginning of the semester andstick to them. Let students know what types of material you’ll post and how oftenthey should check the page. The biggest frustration students had with course pageswas feeling obligated to continually check the page and finding no new content.
Use a little or use a lot. The amount of content posted and features used weren’tnecessarily indicators of success. Rather, success depended on whether use wasconsistent with the instructor’s stated intentions.
Post your syllabus, reference material, and old exams. Students liked having theseavailable on course pages to refer to when needed.
Don’ts
Don’t assume that students will see something just because you’ve posted it to thecourse page. Rather, when making course announcements or posting new content,send out an email via the class listserv. Students preferred the directcommunication and found it more reliable.
Don’t post a large amount of required supplementary material
exclusively 
to thecourse page. Students who prefer to read offline stated that it can be expensive andtime consuming to print out these materials. Also create a course pack with thesupplemental reading.
Don’t post documents in WordPerfect format. Most students use MS Word andprobably won’t be able to open WP files. Rather, post documents in Word or PDFif possible.
LAW SCHOOL COURSE PAGES
Best Practices— from the Student Perspective
These best practices arebased on UW LawSchool studentfeedback, Oct. 2008.
Compiled byBonnie ShuchaHead of ReferenceUW Law Librarybjshucha@wisc.edu
 
 
Pros
Reps can help set up page and uploaddocs
Can upload any document or file type
Easy to add links to content inLexisNexis or external websites
Lots of other features includingannouncements, discussion,collaboration, chat, calendar,scheduling, assignment submission,quizzes, grading, groups, plagiarismcheck feature
Can monitor student usage
LAW SCHOOL COURSE PAGES
LexisNexis Course Pages(Blackboard)
Cons
Vendor branding
Advanced features can be complex
Tied to LexisNexis ids; may beproblematic for non-law studentsenrolled in course
 
 
Pros
Reps can help set up page and uploaddocs
Can upload any document or file type
Easy to add links to content inWestlaw or external websites
Lots of other features includingannouncements, discussion,collaboration, chat, calendar,scheduling, assignment submission,quizzes, grading, groups, instantpolling
Can monitor student usage
LAW SCHOOL COURSE PAGES
TWEN(The West Education Network)
Cons
Vendor branding
Advanced features can be complex
Tied to Westlaw ids; may beproblematic for non-law studentsenrolled in course

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