How to Use This Text

Posted: Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 at 10:22 PM | Category: Legal


Access to Text – All of this material in this text is available in desktop and mobile browser or PDF format at

•    Note: This PDF document allows you to expand the Table of Contents on the left-hand side of the page. You can easily search, bookmark, highlight, and underline the text material.

Summary of Content

The material in this text is organized into subject-matter topics. Each topic is delivered as follows:

•    Chapter Overview – Each chapter begins with a high-level overview of what you will learn about in the chapter. The video explanation briefly introduces the key topics and explains how they come together to provide a cohesive legal structure. This provides students with a holistic view of the material they will experience in the following section. Presenting a high-level overview prior to diving into specific concepts has been shown to aid learns in connecting material and increase proficiency. After watching the video, student should review the key concepts and ask yourself if you recognize or understand these concepts.

•    Questions and Answers – Each concept is presented as question and explanatory answer. This method is known as “chunking”. It isolates key concepts and drives student comprehension. The explanation will generally include a simple example of the concept. Following the explanation of the concept, in the grey-highlighted areas, you will find discussion questions, practice questions, and resource videos. The resource video is a 1 to 6 – minute video containing lecture and powerpoint presentation of the concept.

⁃    Discussion Question: The discussion question is designed to help you think about the conceptual underpinnings of the covered concept.

⁃    Practice Question: The practice question is a sample of a type of question you may see on an exam that tests the covered concept. It includes a video explanation of the question and an acceptable answer.

⁃    Resource Video: The resource video is short video lecture explaining the concept along with PowerPoint slides. This is very useful if you did not fully understand the reading material.

•    Review Outline – The review outline provides a summary of the material presented in the chapter. It allows students to test their familiarity of the material by presenting key words and short statements that should spark the student’s memory of the extended explanation of the material. Students can print this material for class and handwrite notes from the classroom discussion of the topic. Handwriting has been shown to increase information recall far better than typing notes.

•    PowerPoint Slides – All of the powerpoint slides used in the Chapter Overview and Questions and Answers are available for download. Professors may integrate these slides into classroom lectures and students can use these slides a study aids.

Recommended Teaching Methods

Pre-session Assignment and Preparation – Provide students with the dynamic text material prior to class. Students should be instructed to begin by watching the chapter overview video, which provides a holistic overview of the entire chapter. The video sets the stage for what students will learn. Students should then have a quick view of the key concepts that will be covered in the chapter. The students should then read the material, which is structure in a question and answer format. After reading the material, students should immediately read the theoretical discussion question and the practice question. Students do not attempt the questions at this point. The practice question engages the student as to how the material applies to a real-life problem; while, the discussion question explores the theoretical underpinnings of the law and seeks to invoke and emotional reaction and opinion. The student should watch the resource video. Each resource video is 2-5 minutes long and is a recording of the lecturer teaching the relevant topic from PowerPoint slides. This reinforces the short reading section and questions. The students repeat this process for every question in the topic material.

In-Class Session – When students arrive to the class, begin the class with a 10 minute recitation of the chapter overview. At this point, students can ask general questions about the material. You may proceed to choose question from the material at random. Call on students to briefly read the question and provide her answer (1-3 minutes). Allow other students to add to the answer. Then reference a specific aspect of the discussion question and ask for volunteers. Students should now have formed an opinion on the matter and readily volunteer to voice that opinion. Done correctly, this should engages a discussion (2-10 minutes). Proceed with this method for the more challenging topics throughout the class session. Students are active and engaged (and often passionate in their involvement) throughout the entire session. The instructor should serve as a guide through the material and discussion moderator. Students are then instructed to review the study outline to make certain they fully understand all concepts. The outline is constructed to allows students to quickly read the outline and determine if they have a firm grasp of the material.

Recommended Methods of Evaluation

Homework Assessment – Following the in-class activity, students are required to individually attempt an answer to the undiscussed practice questions. Students upload their attempts to an electronic system (D2L or Blackboard). Release a video explanation of each question along with the assignment. Students may use this in answering the question; but encourage them to attempt the question without reviewing the explanation first. Evaluate the student’s attempt rather than grade the detailed content of the effort. More specifically, look to see that the student has identified the legal attribute that applies to the situation. Do not judge whether the student has arrived at a legally accurate conclusion. This incentivizes students to not just copy my explanation in an effort to record the correct answer; rather, students can test themselves to see if they can identify the legal principles.

Examination – The recommended examination method consists of a combination of hybrid multiple-choice questions and short answers. The multiple-choice format is to choose the best answer of A, B, C, All of the Above, or None of the Above. Students have the opportunity to treat any multiple-choice question as a short-answer question. There is no limit (other than time) on the student’s ability to make this election. This allows me to cover a breadth of topics while also allowing students to demonstrate conceptual understanding beyond simple answer recognition. This reinforces the class objectives of demonstrating understanding.

In-Class Assessment – Lastly, a stated percentage of student grades may be based upon participation. Participation consists of a combination of attendance and engagement in the classroom. The lecturer might note each student who answers a practice question or otherwise volunteers to voice an opinion on the discussion question. (Note: This level of assessment may be difficult larger sections.).

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