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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Course Preparation Project

It is that time of year when many profs are just starting to think about course preparations for the fall.  The bookstore is asking for a casebook selection -- you have to choose the book soon.  For those who haven't taught before, the prospect can be daunting.  Seasoned profs may still be puzzled when confronted with a new course to prep, and even profs teaching the course for the 18th time may be curious about other options.  And the casebook is just the beginning.  Statutory supplements may be necessary.  What approach should I take to the materials -- doctrinal, philosophical, law and economics?  And of course, constructing a syllabus to meet the credit allocation is both an art and a science that takes significant time.

In order to help new profs, junior profs, and senior profs with a new prep, PrawfsBlawg will be starting a Course Preparation project this month.  The intent is to go through the steps necessary in constructing a new course.  Thus, for each class we'll have posts on the following:

  • Choosing a casebook
  • Choosing statutory supplements and other materials
  • Creating a course "philosophy"
  • Constructing a syllabus
  • Planning for the first day
  • Teaching the course: the first few weeks

We'll stretch out these posts over the late spring and summer in order to provide opportunities for discussion.  The "Choosing the casebook" posts will begin next week.

In order for discussion to be most fruitful, I'll break down the posts by subject matter.  To begin with, we'll have separate posts for the big first-year courses: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, and Property.  If you have an interest in another course, please email me at this address.  If two or three people express interest, I'll add it to the list.

The purpose of this project is to create the opportunity for new and experienced profs to interact online about the construction of a new course.  Thus, the key will be your input.  If you have questions about your new course, or if you have thoughts on how you've already done it, your input will be greatly appreciated.

Posted by Matt Bodie on May 3, 2007 at 12:30 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink

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Comments

See Howard Katz and Kevin Oneill's "Strategies and Techniques of Law School Teaching: A Primer for New Teachers" on Law Librarian Blog at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2007/05/professional_re_13.html

Posted by: Joe Hodnicki | May 19, 2007 8:27:23 AM

Hey Matt:
How about including a posting about choosing an employment law and labor law text.
Mitch Rubinstein

Posted by: Mitchell Rubinstein | May 17, 2007 3:55:59 PM

Hey Matt:
How about including a posting about choosing an employment law and labor law text.
Mitch Rubinstein

Posted by: Mitchell Rubinstein | May 17, 2007 3:55:51 PM

Would it be possible to hear prawfs' comments on texts for American Indian Law? Thanks.

Posted by: Len Rotman | May 14, 2007 2:59:30 PM

Thanks much for doing this . . .

Posted by: Dave Levine | May 3, 2007 3:33:05 PM

Expressing an interest in the basic tax course, and also in state and local government law to a lesser extent.

Posted by: David Gamage | May 3, 2007 12:40:57 PM

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