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Association of Law Teachers Annual Conference 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference -Mixed Audience


Legal academics often comment anecdotally that the nature of a law degree has changed, and that it is now led by feedback from students as consumers. The need to meet student expectations as articulated in feedback is seen by some as one of the main determinants in the development of our teaching. The inference drawn from this belief is that student expectations have changed in the light of increases in fees, and that this has had a negative impact on curriculum design and development. However, before anything can be said about the nature of any such impact, it must first be determined whether or not there has been a change in student expectations, and whether staff responded to this. We will examine whether there has been a measurable change and, if there has been, to what extent this is the case. This will form the basis for subsequent research to assess to what extent the beliefs held by academics are well-founded. Our work draws on Lancaster University End of Module Surveys (LUMES), and the End of Year degree scheme surveys (also LUMES), which contain quantitative and free-text feedback, to analyse whether student expectations have changed over time (2006 – present). We then use departmental and module Annual Teaching Review documentation to assess how staff responded to feedback from LUMES on a year-by-year basis. Looking ahead, we hope to carry out interviews with staff and students to better understand the data. Our work focuses on the core compulsory modules taken in the first year at Lancaster (Law of Torts, Contact Law, Public Law, European Union Law, Criminal Law, and Foundations of the English Legal System). The data is currently being analysed, but our starting research questions are: 1. To what extent does the LUMES data indicate that student expectations of teaching provision (e.g. resources, contact hours, style of teaching) have changed in the light of increases to tuition fees? 2. If there has been a change, to what extent have universities responded (e.g. by recording lectures, increasing contact hours)?

Event (Conference)

TitleAssociation of Law Teachers Annual Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleALT 2016
LocationNorthumbria University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionInternational event