McGeorge School of Law

Jones Addresses ABA On Course Assessment

August 13, 2010

Professor Ruth Jones

Professor Ruth Jones

Professor Ruth Jones gave a presentation on course assessment on August 7, 2010, at the ABA Annual Meeting to the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in San Francisco.

During her presentation, she described course simulations and exercises employed by McGeorge faculty as examples of the type of assessment exercises that are consistent with accreditation student assessment requirements.

"We are committed to providing a quality education to our students, and that commitment has resulted in faculty at the forefront of developing techniques to assess what the individual student is learning in our classrooms," said Jones, the Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship at McGeorge. "Every law school uses final exams in testing, but that's much too late for many students. The formative assessment techniques that we employ during the semester allow us to reach out and pull each student along."

As evidence of that philosophy's success, the McGeorge attrition (involuntary academic disqualification) was under 2 percent last spring -- the lowest rate in the history of the law school.

Jones was part of a panel discussion that looked at the importance of both student feedback and institutional assessment. Detailed examples of assessment tools she shared with her legal education colleagues included a rubric she uses in one of her courses at McGeorge.

"Legal education is evolving and integrating formal assessment into courses is a part of that evolution." she said. "It all comes down to 'What is the individual student learning'?"