Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Debra Moss Vollweiler (Nova), The Year of Magical Teaching: Lessons Learned from One Class in Three Modalities:
This article narrates eight key lessons learned by an experienced law professor teaching one course in three different ways during one academic year. During the 2021-2022 academic year, I taught one course—Secured Transactions—three times, for three different schools, and in three different modalities. While I certainly do not stand alone in self-reflecting on my teaching during recent times, in the recent year, I had a unique situation that allowed me to isolate and consider my teaching of a subject, away from preparing the doctrine of the subject itself.
Although thinking about “teaching” historically was not the focus of law professors in legal education, there has been a slow steady change in the interest of the discipline of teaching among legal educators. More recently, it is already clear that the global pandemic of 2020 has awakened a new wave of thinking about teaching in legal education, although this time, hitting more faculty more personally. It is now clear that law faculty all need—and that students deserve—support and training in best educational practices to ensure success. The lessons learned in this past year can further that goal.
The first part of this article sets out the context of the teaching throughout the year. The second part of this article discusses goals for good teaching, lessons learned about pedagogy from this experience, and provides a narrative guide for professors at all experience levels to better their teaching through understanding these experiences By putting these experiences into the context of good teaching from more than one hundred interdisciplinary resources, it serves as a roadmap for those seeking to set down a path of excellent teaching, or to refresh and adjust law teaching during, and hopefully, in the wake of, the pandemic.