PBL Around the World
Using the participatory learning model introduced previously is not something new. Legal educators have been promoting the technique across the world, and it is especially prominent in European schools.
PBL is Good for Case Law
Moens describes how his institution effectively uses PBL, and proposes the following framework for analyzing cases:
- M – Material Facts – present or absent
- I – Issues of law and “policy”
- R – Rules and Resources
- A – Arguments or Application
- T – Tentative Conclusion
So Why Not in Canada?
So why isn’t PBL being adopted by law schools across Canada? Perhaps the upcoming issue of the Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research will seek to answer this question.
There are some drawbacks from adopting PBL mentioned in the sources here, but primarily it comes down to resources.
The University of Western Ontario is one of the few law schools that prides itself on its small-group learning, intended to develop specialized legal skills. But this is limited to a single class in the first year, and it is up to students to foster their own supports independently beyond this.
The “Bigger” Study Group
Students intuitively realize the advantage to collaboration in education, and form their own study groups to assist each other.
The potential to broaden this to a larger audience and generate deeper inputs only need be realized for the brave and ambitious.