Top 5 Most-Read Articles in 2020

It has been a challenging year. Legal education around the world has also faced unprecedented change.  Thank you for sticking with the blog over the past year as we navigated some of those challenges together.  As we near the end of 2020, here is a look back at the top 5 most-read articles in 2020.

1.  Are your students paying your lazy tax?

The most popular article in 2020  was not about the pandemic at all. It asked whether, as law teachers, we should be throwing another hurdle into law students’ path into law school by over-prescribing expensive texts. It posed five questions for law teachers that might help guide a cheaper and more useful reading list.

2.  Academic misconduct at law school

The move online this year raised some interesting questions about preserving academic integrity in our assessment. The second most popular article in 2020  looked at why law students cheat. And it suggested some simple ways to improve assessment to remove the incentive to cheat as well as limiting avenues for cheating.

3.  Five things I’ve learned (so far) about online tutorials

As well as assessment, many of us faced the prospect of having to deliver all of our law teaching online. For me, it presented some difficult questions about to do what I do in class in a virtual setting.  Even though we have all started to settle into what is a brand new environment, the third most popular article offers some things to keep in mind in a virtual classroom.

4.  Thinking about a paralegal job?

One of the new things we tried this year on the Mermaid’s Purse was using animated videos. The third most popular article was an animated re-post of some questions for law students to think about before and after applying for a paralegal job.  It received some fantastic feedback from law students.  You might see some more animated posts next year.

5.  Recording affects lecture attendance, but they are listening

The fifth most popular article this year was a pre-pandemic discussion of lecture recording.  It looked at an original study of Australian law students and the effect of lecture recording on their attendance at lectures. Unsurprisingly, fewer students attended recorded lectures. But the study found that students were listening. And they were sometimes listening more than once.

About Andrew Henderson

I am a law school teacher in Canberra and a PhD candidate at the Australian National University, researching the 'hidden' or informal curriculum of law school. I am passionate about developing engaging and authentic educational experiences for law students.

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