Monash Law professors flip the classroom

11 February 2015

Students studying the first year unit “Foundations of Law” have been part of an innovative teaching practice.
Monash Law School senior lecturers Ross Hyams and Melissa Castan produced 12 short videos supporting their flipped classroom project for first-year law students. They were funded by the Better Teacher, Better Learning small grants scheme, an innovation from the Office of the Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching).
The scheme provides funding to promote excellence in learning and teaching, to seed learning and teaching activities, and to link faculties with the Better Teaching, Better Learning Agenda.
With the support of production research assistant Sam Blashki, Mr Hyams and Ms Castan were able to build on their self-recorded video pilot and create a semester’s worth of refined video resources.
The pair shared their experiences and outcomes with Monash University colleagues in an informal presentation you can view on YouTube. They strongly encouraged to keep things simple and above all, maintain consistency.
We’d been talking about it for a year and finally we said let’s just make a movie,” said Ms Castan.
“To begin with we used an iPad and I held it up while Ross spoke. We deliberately used existing lecture notes to avoid rescripting.” 
“We topped and tailed each video so they look the same and are consistently bookended every time. Each begins with ‘today we’re going to look at’ and each ends with ‘so in summary we’ve looked at’,” said Mr Hyams.
Mr Hyams and Ms Castan concluded by answering audience questions on recording and editing, incorporating shelf life into the materials and technology recommendations.

About Monash Law School Juris Doctor

The Monash JD is a graduate law degree designed to teach the knowledge and skills required to practice law. This innovative law degree recognizes the needs of graduates who wish to study law, providing the transferable skills and knowledge only a law degree from one of Australia’s leading universities can provide.
Program: Juris Doctor (JD)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intakes: January, May, August
Duration: 3 years (accelerated option: a minimum of 2.5 years)
Application deadline: Applications are generally assessed on a rolling admissions basis.

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