2017 Symposium

The Impact of Formative Assessment:
Emphasizing Outcome Measures in Legal Education

The University of Detroit Mercy Law Review held its annual academic Symposium on March 3, 2017, at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. The Symposium contemplated how the American Bar Association’s emphasis on outcome measures in its revised Standards for Approval will affect law students’ educational experience.

Symposium Schedule
7:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:15 a.m. Opening Remarks
Sandra L. Simpson
Co-Director, The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Gonzaga University School of Law
8:30 a.m. Session 1:  In Theory, This Will Work: Cognitive Science and Learning Theory Bases for Formative Assessment

Planning Your Class to Maximize Your Students’ Use of Highly Effective Learning Techniques
James McGrath
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Support and Bar Passage
Texas A&M University School of Law

Embodied Legal Education: Incorporating Another Part of Bloom’s Taxonomy
Sue Liemer
Professor of Law and Director of Lawyering Skills
Southern Illinois University School of Law

Contemporary Teaching Strategies: Effectively Engaging Millennials Through Formative Assessment
Renee Nicole Allen
Director of Academic Success Program
University of Tennessee College of Law

Alicia Jackson
Associate Dean for Student Learning and Assessment
Florida A&M University College of Law

Moderator: Prof. Victoria VanZandt, University of Dayton Law School

9:45 a.m. Session 2: Crunching the Numbers: Empirical Studies of Formative Assessment Trials

Formative Assessments: A Case Study
Ruth Colker
Distinguished University Professor & Heck-Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Formative Peer Review: Promoting Interactive, Reflective Learning, or the Blind Leading the Blind?
Dr. Andrew W. Noble
Tutor in Law
Coventry University College (United Kingdom)

Should you bother reaching out? Performance Effects of Combining Early Direct Outreach to Low-Performing Students with Formative Assessment
David Siegel
Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law and Social Responsibility
New England Law

Moderator: Prof. Sue Liemer, Southern Illinois University School of Law

10:45 a.m. Session 3: Herding Cats: Coordination of Assessment and Standards (Part One)

Suppose the Class Began the Day the Case Walked In the Door: Accepting Standard 314’s Invitation to Imagine a More Powerful, Professionally Authentic First-Year Learning Experience
Jennifer Spreng
Instructor in Law Success
St. Mary’s University School of Law

Avoiding Assessment Fatigue: Garnering the Lessons Learned from K-12, and thereby Helping Students Balance Numerous Types of Formative Assessments
Sandra L. Simpson
Co-Director, The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Gonzaga University School of Law

The ABA Assessment Mandates and Academic Freedom
Victoria Van Zandt
Coordinator of the Legal Professor Program
Professor of Lawyering Skills
University of Dayton School of Law

Moderator: Prof. James McGrath, Texas A&M Law School

12:00 p.m. LUNCH – in the Atrium
1:00 p.m. Session 4: Herding Cats: Coordination of Assessment and Standards (Part Two)

The Rubric Meets the Road in Legal Education: Program Assessment of the Degree to Which a Law School’s J.D. Program is Achieve Its Learning Outcomes
Benjamin V. Madison, III
Professor of Law
Co-Director, Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform
Regent University School of Law

Designing Assessments Around Learning Outcomes
Joni Larson
Professor of Law
Indiana Tech Law School

Linking Course Level and Institutional Assessment
Docia L. Rudley
Executive Director for Assessment
Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Moderator: Prof.  Ruth Colker, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

2:15 p.m. Session 5: Did We Forget Anything? The Students!

Creating Desirable Difficulties: Strategies for Reshaping Teaching and Learning in the Law School Classroom
Elizabeth M. Bloom
Professor of Law and Director of Academic Excellence Program
New England Law

Benefits of and Methods for Incorporating Formative Assessment into the Classroom
Julie St. John
Assistant Professor of Comparative Legal Writing and Research
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Unrealized Potential: How Shifting the Focus to Student Learning Outcomes Could Positively Impact Law Students’ Mental Health
Elizabeth Usman
Assistant Professor of Law
Belmont University College of Law

Abigail DeBlasis
Assistant Professor of Law
Belmont University College of Law

“If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”: Increasing Assessment and Individualized Feedback in Law School Classes through Bar-Style Essay Questions
Julia Belian and Karen McDonald Henning
Associate Professors of Law
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Moderator: Prof. David Siegel, New England Law

3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
Nadia Maraachli
Editor-in-Chief, University of Detroit Mercy Law Review