Bond University

Article Title

A Case Study of the 'Offices Project (Teacher-less, Cooperative Learning Groups) at Griffith University: Implementing Educational Theory


Although articles which discuss new ways to teach and assess students in law programmes are not uncommon in law journals in Australia today, few papers attempt to describe how innovations can be introduced into law curricula. Reputable journals in law or education simply, and rightly, refuse to publish work which lacks a sound educational basis. To achieve an appropriate balance of description, prescription, and theory in academic writing can be difficult. Nevertheless, some law teachers are eager to hear about the implementation of new methods of teaching as they consider introducing similar reforms into their courses by building upon the knowledge and expertise — as well as the mistakes — of the original designers. In this article, we discuss recent developments in the use of teacher-less, cooperative learning groups by focusing on the “Offices” project, which was introduced and developed by Le Brun into the Griffith University Law curricula in 1992. A framework, outlining the educational theory and rationale that provided the foundation for the conception and ongoing design of Offices, is presented. We, then, review the use of Offices in order to provide some practical guidance to individuals who wish to introduce similar learning opportunities.