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Let's Research Together, so join.me

Neacsu, Elena Dana

At Columbia Law School librarians have been an integral part of the legal research and writing curriculum since 2005. We teach incoming 1L students the travails of researching as a lawyer. The research component has changed since then many times. At the beginning, it was very ambitious. The librarians intended to impart all their research knowledge to first-year students in only seven 50-minute classes. We did not succeed. But we learned from our mistakes and we moved toward further cooperation with the writing instructors. Eventually, the research classes focused only on how to use the proprietary databases to research the writing assignment. The formula was quite successful as we met with our 10-15 students in seven classes (four classes taught by us and 3 by the vendors). Alas, nothing good lasts long, and our classes are now incorporating 40-45 students in seven classes. How can we maintain the on-hands individualized teaching that legal research to new students requires? When the classroom time does not allow for individualized, hands-on teaching methodology, then the research instructor needs to find ways to have a similar impact on students. How? There are new platforms which enable the instructor-student connection while the instructor is able to perform well defined tasks for more than on student. Librarians need to be innovative and adopt the newest, least expensive technology which gives them if not face time, screen time with their students. This is the role of using join.me in after class digital meetings.

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Notes

Presented on February 27, 2013 at Research Data Symposium, Columbia University, New York, NY.

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