Gizmos, Gadgets & Grimoires: Enchanting Students by Enhancing Your Online Course World

With the support of professional online instructional designers, the IU McKinney Law faculty has created a virtual cauldron of gizmos and gadgets guaranteed to lure even the most obstinate student into a whole new online world of learning and engagement. Thanks to a grant from the American Bar Association, we’ve designed a bevy of courses as a “pipeline-to-law school” program for disadvantaged undergraduate students aspiring to a career in the law. Whether your school is contemplating a similar program or you’re merely searching for creative approaches to teaching your own courses, we’ll turn your musings upside-down as we share our gizmos, gadgets, and grimoires with you:

  • Lightboards (a glass chalkboard full of light) to mimic in-person lectures using diagrams and charts;
  • Scavenger Hunts to encourage learning course policies;
  • Online Tools, such as LucidChart, for diagramming and mind-mapping arguments and judicial opinions;
  • Google Docs and Discussion Forums to create an ongoing collaborative “evolving law” exercise where students collaborate in “courts”;
  • Scoreboards and Fantasy Icons for badges and expertise “levels” to encourage mastering the course material;
  • Student-Created Video “reporting on logical fallacies in the media” and “personal introduction” assignments; and
  • Quick Check to assess their critical reading skills (e.g., court opinions).

Novices to experts will come away with their own grimoire of tips, tricks, and conjuring.

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