Using TWEN to Flip the Classroom

April 7, 2014

Flipping the Classroom is a popular topic and the subject of a recent webinar given by Westlaw.


Many of the tools available in a TWEN course site can be used to flip the classroom:

  • Class Materials for posting text, audio and video
  • Weekly Discussions using the Forum
  • Customized Polling to solicit student feedback
  • Assignment DropBox  for student assessment
  • Email Options - communicate with students individually or in a group
  • Quizzes – new functionality available starting in May (integrated into Gradebook & Assignments, can insert media, create sections, etc.)
  • Wiki – group projects (collaborative)
  • Cite Station – exercises available

How do your professors use TWEN to flip their course?

“Igniting Law Teaching” a TEDx-Styled Conference is being broadcast live today

April 4, 2014


So if you couldn’t attend, listen here:

This is the schedule of speakers:

8:15am: Welcome and Introduction

  • Billie Jo Kaufman, Assoc Dean for Library and Information Services
  • Michele Pistone, Villanova University School of Law, Visiting Professor American University Washington College of Law: “Why Law Schools Need to Change”

8:45am—Flipping the Law School Classroom

  • William Slomanson, Thomas Jefferson School of Law: “Why Flip? & Macro Design”
  • Jennifer Rosa, Michigan State Univ., College of Law: “Legal Writing on Steroids: The Art of Flipping Your Classroom”
  • Debora L. Threedy, University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law: “Flipping Contracts: The Making of the Videos”
  • Wes Reber Porter, Golden Gate University School of Law: “A Better Class to Class Process to Accompany Flipping”
  • David Thomson, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law: “Move 1L Online”

9:45am—Using the Classroom for Active Learning

  • Jamie R. Abrams, University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law: “The Socratic Method, Revisited”
  • Jeremiah Ho, University of Mass. School of Law (Dartmouth): “Not Your Father’s Case Method: Bringing Skills into Doctrinal Courses”
  • Victoria Duke, Indiana Tech Law School: “Bringing Exercises in Large Classes”
  • Enrique Guerra-Pujol, Barry University School of Law: “Using Film to Teach Torts”
  • Victoria Szymczak, University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law: “An LLM, an Oral Presentation, and a Video Camera”

11:15am—Applying Learning Theory to LegalEDucation

  • Leah Wortham, The Catholic Univ. of America, Columbus School of Law: “Graduating Them Whole Not Broken”
  • John P. Joergensen, Rutgers University School of Law (Newark): “Scaffolding”
  • Paul D. Callister, University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Law: “The Metacognition Imperative: Beyond Research Training”
  • Warren Binford, Willamette University College of Law: “How to Be the World’s Best Law Professor”
  • Jeffrey B. Ritter, Georgetown University Law Center: “Mapping the Law: Building and Using Visual Mindmaps in Legal Education”

12:15pm—The Craft of Law Teaching

  • Sharon Keller, University of the District of Columbia—David A. Clarke School of Law: “Old Professor Tricks”
  • Kim Hawkins, New York Law School: “What Law Professors Need to Know About Visual Arts”
  • Jill A. Smith, Georgetown University Law Center: “Going Hollywood on your Desktop: Creating Great Screencasts”
  • Doni Gewirtzman, New York Law School: “Teaching and Theater: The Craft of Law Teaching”
  • Leah A. Plunkett, University of New Hampshire School of Law: “An Improviser’s Guide to Law Teaching”

1:15pm Luncheon: Leo Martinez, University of California, Hastings College of Law, President, Association of American Law Schools (AALS)

2:15pm—Simulations, Feedback, & Assessment

  • Shawn Marie Boyne, Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law: “Disaster in the Classroom: Using Simulations to Teach National Security Law”
  • Renee Nicole Allen, Florida A&M University College of Law: “Metacognition and the Value of Reflection in Learning”
  • Michele Gilman, University of Baltimore School of Law: “Why Use Clickers? To Provide Students Real Time Feedback”
  • Sydney Beckman, Lincoln Memorial University, Duncan School of Law: “Using Technology For Engagement and Assessment”
  • Margaret Hahn-Dupont, Northeastern University School of Law: “Learning Through Reflection and Self-Assessment”

3:15pm—Beyond Traditional Law Subjects

  • John M. Bickers, N. Kentucky University: Chase College of Law: “Using a Wok:  How Non-Bar Tested Electives Can Teach Lawyering”
  • Susan L. Brooks, Drexel University School of Law: “The ABCs of Communication for Teaching Relational Lawyering and Resilience”
  • Ryan Dooley & Allison Robbins, CUNY School of Law: “The Law School as a Classroom”
  • Vicenç Feliú, Villanova University School of Law: “Clinics and Librarians Collaborating”
  • Elizabeth Keyes, University of Baltimore School of Law: “Teaching Narrative”
  • James G. Milles, SUNY Buffalo Law School: “Returning the Client to Legal Education”
  • Emmeline Paulette Reeves, University of Richmond School of Law: “Teaching with the End (Bar Passage) in Mind”

5:00pm—Teaching for the 21st Century

  • Dan Jackson, Northeastern University School of Law: “Designing Lawyers: Leading an Experiential Law School Design Lab”
  • Jay Gary Finkelstein, DLA Piper: “Get Real!: Using Experiential Learning and Collaborative Teaching to Train ‘Practice Aware’ Lawyers”
  • Christine P. Bartholomew, SUNY Buffalo Law School: “Finding Time”
  • Jeanne Eicks, Vermont Law School: “Game On! Educational Games for Law Students”
  • Brett Johnson, Harvard Law School: “H2O: Remixing the Casebook”




WestLaw Webinars

March 28, 2014


Content providers are realizing that faculty are busy and need to learn on their own schedule.

That’s why webinars have become so popular.

Lexis has offered sessions on teaching transactional law.

Westlaw now will be offering 30 minute webinars on a variety of topics:

  • Alerts on WestlawNextMarch 28, 2014 - 2 p.m. ET
  • Flipping your Classroom with TWENApril 4, 2014 - Noon ET
  • Practical LawApril 11, 2014 - 2 p.m. ET
  • Custom Pages on WestlawNextApril 18, 2014 - 1 p.m. ET
  • Advanced TWENApril 25, 2014- 1 p.m. ET

Unlike Lexis, there will be NO Starbucks gift card as an incentive, though!

Will your law school professors be registering for any of these webinars?


CALI Conference 2014

March 26, 2014


Registration has just opened for the Conference for Law School Computing® (CALI), three days of legal education and technology fun.

This year the conference will take place at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts from June 19-21, 2014.

To register for the conference, you will need to create a new username/ password on the conference website even if you have an existing username. There are three levels of conference registration:

The cost for attendees is $295 ($100 lower than last year).  Speakers will now pay a $95 registration fee.  As always, 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and an evening reception are included with registration.

There will be approximately 50 sessions in 5 tracks covering a wide range of topics related to law school and technology.

In addition to the conference sessions, there will be two exciting and thought-provoking speakers for this year’s plenary sessions:

  • Jason Scott, “rogue archivist”, documentary filmmaker and organizer of the Archive Team.  Jason is currently working with the Internet Archive to preserve the history of early computing.  You can read more about him on his website
  • Dorothea Salo, an educator, author and frequent speaker on the topics of scholarly communication, data management and open technologies.  You can read more about her on her personal website.

If you are not able to attend, most of the sessions will be streamed live and then available on YouTube after the conference.

I have attended several CALI conferences  (2008, 2009, 2011) and have found them to be extremely worthwhile.  I have always learned a lot from the presentations and from networking with fellow IT law folks.

Have you attended a CALI conference?  Do you plan to go this year?

Changes for TWEN

March 24, 2014

Coming on May 1, 2014, there will be improvements to the quizzing function in TWEN.

  • Totally integrated into Grade Book & Assignments (add a quiz option)
  • Ability to insert media
  • Ability to create sections
  • More control over type and timing of feedback that professors provide to students
  • Incorrect answer mode
  • Reporting:
    • At a glance, professors will be able to see what concepts students are struggling with and who is having the most trouble


    • Dig deeper and see the details of each student’s performance.
    • Compare answers from student to student.


More improvements are planned for Summer 2014:

  • New tool allows automatic enrolling of students into courses
  • Registrar sends file to designated contact
  • File in .csv format lists course name, first name, last name, email address an student ID


  • Process matches uploaded
  • File data to registration information and adds students to course

Westlaw TWEN is continuously looking at changes and are mapping their improvements to the new law school environment as recommended by the ABA:


If you use TWEN at your law school, will these changes be helpful to you?

LexisAdvance Offers Resources for Teaching Transactional Law

March 20, 2014

Lexis Practice Advisor® provides faculty and students with a one-stop online practical guidance tool for transactional legal matters including access to original practical guidance, thousands of model forms and many other transactional resources, all hand-selected and written by attorneys currently practicing at leading law firms.

Practice areas covered:

  • Banking & Finance
  • Business & Commercial
  • California Business & Commercial
  • Corporate Counsel
  • Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy
  • Intellectual Property & Technology
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Real Estate
  • Securities & Capital Modules


  • Model forms that are drafted and vetted by leading attorneys currently practicing in the area of law
  • Drafting notes and Checklists
  • Alternative clauses
  • Practical guidance on carrying out a transactional matter from start to finish
  • Current awareness of emerging issues and developments
  • Relevant legal analysis, cases and codes already compiled on transactional topics
  • Secondary materials including Matthew Bender® treatises

To access Lexis Practice Advisor:

  • Go to and enter your ID and Password
  • In the Lexis Advance landing page, click the red Research button (top left) and select Lexis Practice Advisor from the drop down menu


For more info:

Another New App

March 18, 2014

ezbriefRecently a third-year law student at The University of Michigan Law School invented an iPad app that automates the creation of case briefs.

David Lutz was apparently looking to simplify the process of printing out case PDFs, annotating them and then typing the information into the brief so he came up with BriefCase.

According to Lutz,

the app allows you to annotate PDFs of court decisions using nine customizable highlight colors, with each color representing a facet of a case.  You can also edit the colors to give them any label you want.

Once you’re done, tap the “Brief” button and a case brief is created, with your highlights organized in bullet points under the labels associated with each color.  Each bullet point links back to its place in the text.

There are no iPhone or Android versions. The app is free but for a price of $9.99 a year, users can get additional features. (iTunes download.)

Goodreader is also an app for iPad that allows you to read and in most cases mark up PDFs and many other varieties of documents.  It also has a document management system that allows for multi-level document files and integrates well with Dropbox, email and other applications.

Click HERE for the Hytech Lawyer’s list of 31 great apps for lawyers.

Are there any others that you use at your law school?


Flipped Learning

March 14, 2014


Reposted from:

To counter common misconceptions and offer educators a practical framework for Flipped Learning, the governing board and key leaders of the Flipped Learning Network (FLN) today announced a formal definition of the term. According to Aaron Sams, FLN board member and coauthor of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day, “One of the biggest misconceptions is that the main component of Flipped Learning is the use of video … although video is a very important component of Flipped Learning, the most valuable benefit is the enhanced use of class time to get students engaged in higher-order thinking.”

The FLN definition of Flipped Learning is the following: “Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.”

Along with the definition, FLN announced its Four Pillars of F-L-I-P and a checklist of 11 supporting indicators for educators. Jon Bergmann, coauthor of Flip Your Classroom and secretary/treasurer of the FLN, said of the checklist, “Educators can use it as a frame of reference because it demonstrates what effective Flipped Learning looks like. It’s a baseline — or roadmap — containing the principles of Flipped Learning.” FLN’s Four Pillars are the following:

Flexible Environment

Educators can create flexible spaces in which students choose when and where they learn. Furthermore, educators who flip their classes are flexible in their expectations of student timelines for learning and in their assessments of student learning.

Learning Culture

The Flipped Learning model deliberately shifts instruction to a learner-centered approach where class time is dedicated to exploring topics in greater depth and creating rich learning opportunities. Students are actively involved in knowledge construction as they participate in and evaluate their learning in a manner that is personally meaningful.

Intentional Content

Educators continually think about how they can use the Flipped Learning model to help students develop conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. Educators use intentional content to maximize class time in order to adopt methods of student-centered, active learning strategies.

Professional Educator

Professional educators continually observe their students, providing them with feedback relevant in the moment and assessing their work. Professional educators are reflective in their practice, connect with each other to improve their instruction, accept constructive criticism and tolerate controlled chaos in their classrooms.

Bergmann concluded, “We created the definition and checklist to help administrators and teachers alike get a better handle on what Flipped Learning really means. According to a survey from Project Tomorrow (2013), administrators are just as interested in Flipped Learning as teachers. So we see administrators as playing a vital role in supporting teachers. Flipping a classroom doesn’t happen overnight. It requires buy-in, collaboration and commitment.”

For complete details about the Four Pillars of F-L-I-P and a checklist of the 11 supporting indicators, visit FLN’s Flipped Learning definition page.

Other posted related to Flipped Learning:

Are any law schools using the Flipped Learning Model?

Incorporating Online Technologies

March 7, 2014

ala class

This semester, a course offered to 3L students that will prepare them to be successful on the Bar Exam is being taught remotely one day a week using Adobe Connect.

What is Adobe Connect?

Adobe Connect is a desktop videoconferencing tool. With this tool, one can be at his/her desk and using a computer with an Internet connection and a browser and share documents, images, and audio and/or video.

It was primarily developed to allow one person to give a PowerPoint presentation to one or more participants (students) at the other end. Adobe Connect will let you upload your pptx file and will convert it to Flash. Everything in Adobe Connect is Flash-based since Flash is the video format most conducive to the Internet and is installed on almost all personal computers.

For interaction with participants (students), there is a Chat pod and a Notes pod for posting important information.


Each meeting or class is recorded and this flash video is posted in TWEN for students who missed the class or would like to review the material for a second time.

ala links

Using this technology, the students have the advantage of a live lecture from an expert on the topic being presented.  This expert can present from anywhere in the country.

ala prof

Each professor has a different area of expertise.

On the remote instruction day, the class is divided into two smaller sections. On the other day, the combined class receives face-to-face instruction.

At the beginning, students watched, listened to and took notes on the lecture than was delivered remotely.  There was little interaction but students were encouraged to email the professors with any questions or concerns.


After a few weeks, this changed. Students were now given the link so they could sign into the site. (Their names were listed in the Participant List and the presenter could then address the students by name.)

This made the students feel more a part of the class.  When the presenter asked questions, the students could respond in the chat pod. The students were more engaged and the presenter could direct his lecture toward the students’ answers and respond instantly to their questions.

This also enabled students to participate even if they were unable to attend class that day. They could log in from their home computer.

Remote instruction cannot replace those face-to-face live discussions that take place when the professor is physically in the classroom. However, in our case, students do meet one of the professors one day a week.  On the second day, instruction is synchronous where a professor lectures live through Adobe Connect to the whole class and the students participate through chat.

Any other law schools use remote instructors for their courses?

Lexis Offers Faculty Tips

February 10, 2014


Lexis is offering the Lexis Advance® Faculty Tip of the Week program so that  professors can stay current on new content and features in the products that they and students use.

Here’s how it works:

  • For the 8 weeks, a weekly email will link professors to a 1-2 minute faculty video tip on an important resource or tool on Lexis Advance, including Verdict & Settlement Analyzer, Law360, Legal Issue Trail, and more.
  • If professors view all 8 short videos to receive a $25.00 Gift Card.

The FIRST Faculty Tip of the Week videoEnhance Practical Skills Training with Verdict & Settlement Analyzer explains how to better prepare students for practice by exposing them to a tool lawyers use to evaluate cases, find expert witnesses and more.

So in just a few minutes per week, professors can learn valuable information and earn a $25.00 gift card in the process.

Other tips, in case you missed them:


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