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Popielarski: Experiential Learning - SWALL 2015

Published on Nov 20, 2015

Observe the most important element in the landscape. This will set the tone for the rest of the landscape.


Experiential Learning

Developing a Business Legal Research Class for Contemporary Students


  • Love of teaching and business
  • Connecting learning with the real world
  • Wanting to try something new!


  • Design experiential course focused on a complex business transaction
  • Cover multiple subject areas
  • Expose students to different resources and strategies
  • Develop information literacy skills that transfer across subjects, resources, and disciplines
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  • Ultimate Goal - Experiential Course
  • Read, talk to professors, and attend presentations and workshops
  • Recognized full realization would take several years
  • Course development, like legal research, is an iterative process!
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Learning Objectives

  • Identify, locate, and use resources across material type, platform, and subject area
  • Critically evaluate information
  • Transfer knowledge and skills to new situations
  • Develop confidence in legal research abilities!
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Learning/Communication Styles

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Reading/Writing
  • Kinesthetic

Instructional Tools

  • Readings selected from practice-oriented materials
  • Tutorials for various research platforms
  • Hands-on exercises
  • Legal memorandum


  • Nongraded Exercises: Preclass quiz on reading and in-class exercise (failure is an option!)
  • Graded Assignments: Four take home assignments and final legal memorandum

First Attempt - Key Features

  • Multisubject model
  • Incorporate real-world readings
  • Hands-on exercises, but a bit lecture heavy
  • Nice start, but room for improvement!

Take Two

  • Actively incorporated startup business theme
  • Improved selection of readings
  • Created more instructional support content
  • Greater emphasis on hands-on experience and multiple assessment/feedback mechanisms
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Third Time's a Charm?

  • Hone course structure to better teach skills
  • Incorporate more "real-world" aspects into class (balancing act)
  • Develop exercises and activities which consistently encourage good student interaction
  • Learn and share experiences!
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Collaborative Discussion

  • Sources of inspiration
  • Types of instructional material used
  • Technology employed
  • New/Innovative/Different ideas tried (successful, unsuccessful, and anywhere in between)
  • What yielded positive student feedback or contributed to learning
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