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Monday, January 06, 2020

A teaching experiment

Our new scheduling guru is trying something new this semester--teaching on consecutive days rather than alternate days. So rather than Civ Pro meeting Monday/Wednesday/Friday, it will meet Wednesday/Thursday/Friday.

I am excited to see how this works. It should be interesting to have students working and focused on just my material (or my material and material in one other class) in a few-day block. And it fits how I structure the class and syllabus by topic rather class session--we work through something in however much time it takes, even if that time cuts across multiple classes. I am anxious to see whether that works better when students return to a case or problem in 24, rather than 48, hours.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 6, 2020 at 10:31 AM in Civil Procedure, Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink


DJ: I wrote about this about a decade ago (https://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2009/10/law-school-on-the-block-plan.html). Commenters were skeptical, because of certain things unique to law school and what we are trying to teach in law school.

I met a poli sci prof from Colorado College last spring and we talked about the block plan a bit. He said he teaches a very different class on the block plan--it is not simply talking the ordinary 13-week/2x-per-week class reframed into 17 days. That might change some things.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Jan 18, 2020 12:10:50 PM

Howard, frowned upon partially because they now try to schedule all sections of 1L classes at the same time, and I've never convinced anyone else to try it my way.

Posted by: Jake Linford | Jan 9, 2020 3:44:53 PM

I've taught contracts that way for years. Usually 4 days in a row, sometimes 3. The only downside is that you have to bring the students back up to speed after they have not met for several days.

Posted by: Jeffrey harrison | Jan 8, 2020 8:00:39 PM

I wonder if a law school has ever or would ever try a block system of class scheduling, like Colorado College. https://www.coloradocollege.edu/basics/blockplan/

Posted by: DJ | Jan 7, 2020 11:32:57 PM

Out of curiosity: Why frowned upon?

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Jan 7, 2020 3:44:09 PM

When I was a 1L student, this was how Douglas Baird's Contracts class was scheduled, M-W, at 8am. I loved it. I've tried it at FSU, and loved it, but the schedulers frown upon it now.

Posted by: Jake Linford | Jan 7, 2020 3:35:30 PM

Good idea. My end-of-week classes at UT Law enabled me to hold down a programming job at the same time.

Posted by: Jimbino | Jan 7, 2020 11:36:18 AM

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