Blended and Mobile Learning: Experiences from a New Zealand Faculty of Law

Blended and Mobile Learning: Experiences from a New Zealand Faculty of Law

Sue Tappenden (University of Waikato, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-479-0.ch006
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In New Zealand, law schools are constrained as to what they can do to incorporate blended or mobile learning into the core programme. There are two major factors to take into consideration when designing any course: a conservative profession, and the cultural needs of Maori students. This chapter will focus on the author’s personal experiences of the practical applications of blended and mobile learning within the Law Faculty and will discuss student expectations of technologically aided teaching practices.
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According to the Tertiary Education Strategy, published by the Hon. Michael Cullen in 2007, the challenges in university education in New Zealand remain the same as they always were – to provide a broad and inclusive system that provides access to quality, relevant tertiary education for all. The emergent international agenda for higher education policy, anchored in globalization demands the development of knowledge economies and learning societies. The transition to a global knowledge economy is dependent on the creation and application of new knowledge and consequently this has placed greater demands on higher education (Weber, 2010). This means finding ways of creating learning environments that promote active learning and critical thinking. By engaging in collaborative learning, students take part in knowledge creation.

By placing the student at the centre of the experience, utilizing all the educational strategies that we have available, including technologically assisted techniques, we can engage the student using a cognitive approach to learning. Individuals develop their own ways of utilizing their existing knowledge to solve problems that are meaningful to the anticipated learning outcomes while remaining comfortably supported. The student is able to move through the stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain from knowledge to comprehension, having had time and opportunity to ensure a firm knowledge basis, in a format that is guided by the lecturer but not constrained by the limitations of the lecture theatre. From there the student can proceed to the next stage in the Taxonomy which is application, by engaging in problem solving tasks with the minimum of direction.

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