Connecting students through communal reflections: using online discussion to expand workplace learning for the legal professional

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Woodley, Carolyn, Beattie, Scott and Robertson, Su (2010) Connecting students through communal reflections: using online discussion to expand workplace learning for the legal professional. In: Work integrated learning (WIL) : responding to challenges : ACEN national conference 2010, conference proceedings. Campbell, M, ed. Australian Collaborative Education Network, Rockhampton, Qld., pp. 553-562.


There is an increased expectation that Australian universities should assume responsibility for ensuring that their graduates are work - ready. Victoria University (VU) in Melbourne is in the midst of implementing a commitment to Learning in the Workplace and Community (LiWC) which requires that 25% of all courses involve learning in and through the workplace and community. The LiWC approach seeks to achieve an enriched learning experience for students through workplace learning , increased industry engagement with curriculum and enhanced work - readiness in our graduates. Work placement as a teaching strategy has a long tradition in legal education and, indeed, the historically and legally entrenched value assigned to the experie nce of the ―real‖ work environment as basic to the student of law and training of legal professionals considered worthy of admission to practice. In the Law degree at VU, work placements have often occurred outside the curriculum and have often been invisi ble in terms of measurable learning outcomes. Law in Practice is a new unit that provides a way to accredit and recognise the learning that occurs in the legal workplace. It also invests the workplace with academic rigour to ensure that it is a professiona lly appropriate and rich learning space. As well as reporting on the curriculum design of the online unit and evaluations of student learning in a pilot of Law in Practice activities, the discussion will draw on generalised analysis of student journals to report on student responses to LiWC as a learning experience enhanced through personal and social reflection in online discussion.

Item type Book Section
Official URL
ISBN 9780980570618
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Historical > FOR Classification > 1801 Law
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Law
Historical > SEO Classification > 9404 Justice and the Law
Keywords ResPubID20968, ResPubID21255, Law degree, Law in Practice unit, LiP, Professional Legal Practice unit, legal education, Victoria University, VU, vocational education, work integrated learning, WIL, online journalling, Blackboard, professionals, communities of understanding, Melbourne, undergraduate students, curriculum, Faculty of Business and Law
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