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  • Law_Teacher_Submission_Revisions_Jan_2015

    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, The Law Teacher, 49 (2), 2015, © Informa Plc

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Innovative methods of assessment in law: the value of open book exams as a catalyst for improving teaching and learning in the law school

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Law Teacher
Issue number2
Volume49
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)206-218
Publication statusPublished
Early online date20/03/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The question of whether open-book examinations (OBE) are preferable to closed book examinations (CBE) is not a new one. However, little has been written on the question of the use of OBE in the discipline of law or as a means of promoting more effective teaching and learning. This article will examine the arguments for and against the utilisation of OBE as opposed to CBE for students of law at university level. Utilising secondary data, as well as a primary small-scale empirical study the author explores student views of OBE and CBE and their significance for teaching and learning in law. It is suggested that the issue may not be simply a question of choice of assessment methods and their value but rather involves examining and evaluating approaches to teaching, learning and curriculum design. In conclusion it is argued that there are several factors which need to be taken into account when deciding what form of assessment is the most appropriate for these students but that the key requirement is that the course design and teaching, learning and assessment methods are aligned and considered as a whole, matching learning outcomes to teaching and learning activities and to the form of assessment chosen. Only within this context can OBE promote more effective learning.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, The Law Teacher, 49 (2), 2015, © Informa Plc