An e-publishing platform for legal education: Phase II

An e-publishing platform for legal education: Phase II: A study to explore the use of e-books, e-readers and tablet computing in the delivery of learning materials to enhance the student learning experience

Patricia McKellar (Associate Director, University of London Undergraduate Laws Programme), Pat Lockley (Systems Developer, University of London Undergraduate Laws Programme)

Project goals:

This project aims to discover whether an e-publishing platform, comprising e-reader, tablet device and e-content, represents an effective delivery method for legal studies materials that will enhance the student learning and teaching experience in a distance learning programme. The project will do this by undertaking a second larger and wider controlled pilot with two groups of distance learning students on the Undergraduate Laws Programme (ULP) at the University of London: Group 1 will be issued with a mini tablet device and Group 2 will provide their own devices. Both groups will be issued with ePub versions of the learning materials.

The objectives of the project are to:

  • Assess the tablet device and student’s own devices as an effective method for delivery of resources to students on an undergraduate law distance learning course;
  • Explore the key affordances of an tablet device/e-content delivery platform that will allow for flexibility and mobility in learner study patterns, particularly in relation to students with varying levels of digital literacy, including a comparison of UK-based students with host countries with minimal supporting IT infrastructure;
  • Observe, catalogue and evaluate the changes in study patterns and learning behaviour when using e-content on tablet devices as opposed to hard copy materials;
  • Assess how the use of how learning analytics can affect student behaviour and teacher intervention;
  • Assess how tablet devices can support Accessibility for learning;
  • Assess how e-content can successfully be delivered to students on a distance learning programme in multiple formats for use on a variety of devices including mobile devices;

Expected outcomes: this project will be of high value to those in the distance learning education community and has the ability to make a powerful impact in an area of innovative technology enhanced learning. The findings will offer guidelines for institutions supporting mobile learners and encourage opportunities to increase flexibility in the curriculum. Although the project is being undertaken with distance learning students both in the UK and overseas many of the issues this project addresses will apply to full-time and part-time delivery of legal education and, indeed, Higher Education more broadly in the UK.

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