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A comparison of learning and retention between students taught in a traditional versus an accelerated format over four months in a clinical legal trial advocacy course: A quantitative evaluation study

John T Baun, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Legal education is under pressure from independent scholars to the Carnegie Foundation to alter the traditional methods of course delivery. One problem with implementing alternative systems is the dearth of research into the efficacy of different delivery systems in legal education. ^ The purpose of this study is to add to research, specifically targeted at one clinical legal study course at one law school, that examined whether students taught in an accelerated nine day, six to eight hour per day program learned text material as effectively as students taught in a traditional thirteen week semester. This study also examined whether the students in the accelerated program retained the material as well as those students taught in the traditional program. ^ The study was a quantitative evaluation study. Classes of accelerated students (N=185) and classes of traditional students (N=355) were asked to participate in the study from the Trial Advocacy courses at one law school between August 2006 and May 2007. Ninety-eight (N=98) students responded for the assessment of learning and fifty-four students (N=54) responded for the assessment of retention. ^ Privacy concerns precluded data acquisition for potential covariates of independent variables. This fact reduced the validity of the study and required the use of a t-test versus a multiple regression analysis and a corresponding ANCOVA with covariates. ^ The major conclusions of the study are: (1) The accelerated course delivery is as effective at learning as a traditional length semester delivery. (2) The accelerated course delivery is as effective at retention as a traditional length semester delivery. ^ The small samples used in this study, along with the lack of identification of potential covariates, preclude the generalization of these results beyond the course studied, the purpose for which the study was conducted and the institution at which the study took place.^

Subject Area

Law|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Baun, John T, "A comparison of learning and retention between students taught in a traditional versus an accelerated format over four months in a clinical legal trial advocacy course: A quantitative evaluation study" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3297656.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3297656

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