Group Teaching in Plenum
Active Learning in Labour Law
In order to maximize active learning and foster the development of legal skills (e.g. the ability to identify legal questions in practical cases, use relevant legal sources, etc.) we combine elements of group teaching and traditional lecture while in plenum. In a class of around 100 students (Labour Law at Bachelor level), subdivided in groups of around six, two lecturers conduct case-based exercises in Mentimeter. The students work with their peers within the groups retrieving and interpreting relevant legal sources and discussing the legal questions related to the cases. The groups send their answers to the main screens (through Mentimeter), so that the lecturers can comment providing instant feedback to the whole class and explain the topics more in depth. When necessary, the lecturers alternate the case-based exercises with traditional explanations, also moving from the difficulties encountered by the students.
This method has many advantages and includes several elements related to active learning: cooperative dynamics within group work; exercises inspired by problem-based learning; retrieving of information; a system in which feedback is constantly given to the whole class and students are involved in the process of peer review, which contribute significantly to the development of feedback literacy; a dynamic and flexible nature that might improve the level of the students’ perception of learning. The adoption of a digital tool such as Mentimeter enhances the performance of this model, allowing the activation of the students and improving significantly the pace of the sessions.
This paper presents this approach discussing its main benefits and challenges and the most important aspects emerged during our experience in the current semester (spring 2020).
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