Of Grading Rubrics and Formative Assessment

Lawyering Skills in the Doctrinal Classroom (2020, Carolina Academic Press)

Posted: 10 Nov 2020

Date Written: September 21, 2020


No one reasonably expects that every class that you teach will be an award-worthy, primal act of creation. Indeed, there is the comfort of a home-cooked meal in traditional methods of law teaching because they remind us of how we were taught. It is time to recognize, however, that the success of traditional pedagogical approaches such as Socratic method — which has its place when carefully planned questions scaffold substantive information in such a way that a novice is drawn down a structured path — is wildly exaggerated by the legal academy. There is a disconnectedness from the learning process implicit in hiding the ball for the sake of hiding the ball, without ever pausing to assess whether the ball has indeed been found. This type of disconnectedness from the students is both familiar and entrenched, but is also slowly becoming less normative. Forward-looking legal education is rejecting the professor in this role and there is no question that the times they are a changin’.

The ABA has seen fit to ensure that formative assessment is here to stay, and there is no closing the lid on Pandora’s box. This chapter is designed to assist the doctrinal faculty member who has little experience with formative assessment and would like one straightforward example to incorporate into their class — in other words, this chapter is a dipping of one’s toe into the water.

Keywords: assessment, formative assessment, rubric, higher education, law school, pedagogy, learning methods, lawyering skills

Suggested Citation

Haneman, Victoria J., Of Grading Rubrics and Formative Assessment (September 21, 2020). Lawyering Skills in the Doctrinal Classroom (2020, Carolina Academic Press), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3696585

Victoria J. Haneman (Contact Author)

Creighton University - School of Law ( email )

2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
United States
8586827656 (Phone)

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