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Bridging the gap: online materials to equip graduate entrants to a law degree with essential subject knowledge and skills

Pywell, Stephanie (2018). Bridging the gap: online materials to equip graduate entrants to a law degree with essential subject knowledge and skills. The Law Teacher, 52(2) pp. 154–170.

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Graduate entrants to traditional law degree programmes can be unintentionally disadvantaged by their being granted exemption from Level 4 modules. Many lack the law-specific knowledge and skills that they would have gained from their first-year studies, making it more difficult for them to achieve mastery of higher-level modules. This factor poses inevitable risks to their retention and progression. The Open University Law School sought to bridge this gap for its graduate entrants by providing optional online “catch-up” materials, including 12 sessions of knowledge-based learning. Each session was followed by a brief Moodle poll so that we could ascertain that session’s fitness for purpose, and which students had studied it. The sessions were highly rated by respondents, and most had been studied in the target time of around 15 minutes. Studying the sessions was statistically associated with academic success. This finding does not prove that the sessions contribute towards students’ attaining higher grades, but it is encouraging. Only a small percentage of students studied any sessions, and most of those did not study all of them. Since the sessions met their intended purpose for those who studied them, the Law School has now decided on a range of initiatives designed to increase the number of LLB students who study most of them.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1943-0353
Keywords: graduate entrants; law degree; subject knowledge and skills; online learning design; retention and progression
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Law
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Research Group: Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
Item ID: 50793
Depositing User: Stephanie Pywell
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2017 10:45
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2020 21:50
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