Considerations for a Law (CLS) specific future-proofed lecture theatre

In June 2015 the LEaD team ran a focus group with academic staff in the City Law school (CLS) who use the Atkin Lecture Theatre to deliver the schools professional programmes. This review took place as the lecture theatre was seen as not being fit for purpose at that time. The LEaD school relationship lead for CLS, Rae Bowdler ran the project and used observations, interviews and a focus group to gather feedback.

This blog will be used to disseminate the academic staff wants and needs for a future law lecture theatre. Law staff are expected to move to Sebastian Street in 2019 so this project has been timely to help support the move.

The Atkin Lecture Theatre is a 140 seat raked learning space which has a large custom built lectern, two small projection screens, a visualiser, has lecture capture and is WiFi enabled. City Law school academics are exemplary in their practice, ensuring that their teaching sessions are participatory and interactive through group work and are early adopters of lecture capture to provide recordings for their learners.


What sort of learning activities take place in any one session of a law large group lecture?

In Atkin Lecture theatre various events take place that involve audience participation, audience question and answer sessions using roving microphones, content delivery using projection, law text and video displays using the Pod, law books display using the visualiser, role play scenarios using the stage and chairs at the front of the lecture space, small groups with or without using the student PCs, lecture recordings and one off events such as panels, moots and guest speakers.

How do learners engage in the theatre with the learning activities?

A large majority of learners now bring their own devices during these sessions so access to WiFi, charging portals is imperative. The learners also use browsers from their own mobile devices to click to software such as Poll Everywhere, Clickers and lecture capture so again having good interactivity with their own mobile devices is significant.

What are the expectations and enhancements of the design of a new lecture theatre for the teaching of law?

There are a number of enhancements, expected, that will help extend active learning practices through technology enhancement that is integrated with the learning space design. As well as these, the regular learning activities are expected to continue to take place. These enhancements have been disseminated further to the Sebastian Street project team.  If you are interested in finding out more about these enhancements, then please contact Sandra Partington (Senior Educational Technologist for LEaD) or Professor Peter Hungerford-Welch (Assistant Dean (Head of Professional Programmes).

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