chapter  7
60 Pages

Computer-aided Instruction in Law: Theories, Techniques, and Trepidations

ByRoger Park, Russell Burris

This chapter describes the development of law-related programmed workbooks. It discusses whether computer-aided instruction in law can be useful within the limitations of computer technology. The chapter seeks to provide some of the advantages of computer-aided instruction over printed material and suggest how computers can be used for simulations and “tutorials” that encourage students to exercise complex legal skills. It also describes attempts that have been made to measure the effectiveness of computer-aided instruction (CAI) as a method of law school instruction. Some CAI exercises do no more than call for rote memorizing by students or reinforce the ever-present student tendency toward formalistic legal analysis. Development at the University of Illinois began in fall 1972, when Peter Maggs became interested in writing CAI after seeing a demonstration of nonlaw materials on the PLATO IV system. CAI has some advantages over class discussion when this sort of close textual analysis is involved.