Bond University


One of the major contemporary challenges to legal educators is the effective incorporation of skills training into the undergraduate law curriculum. Many of the most interesting issues in curriculum development in law schools are concerned with the identification of skills that should be taught, the subjects with which they should be associated, and the particular means of teaching by which skills can be conveyed to the undergraduate. It is possible simultaneously to affirm the importance of skills training, while feeling uneasy about legal educators’ capacity to give reasoned answers to the above curricular questions. These doubts arise from a lack of useful applications of assessment theory to educational practice, and most particularly, legal educational practice. The way in which teachers assess the material which they teach has far-reaching implications for student learning. Assessment not only influences what, and how, a student learns; it also has pervasive “feedback effects for how one teaches. We argue that this point is especially germane to skills training. Assessment theory informs the structure, content and processes of skills training.