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Innovation Highlighted During Teaching Symposium

Faculty and senior administrators again put their own methods under the microscope for the fourth Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Showcase Week. In the keynote “Creating a ‘Community of Learning’ in the Classroom,” Roberto Corrada, professor of law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, emphasized cooperative and active learning to help his students’ long-term retention and transfer of knowledge to unfamiliar settings.

SoTL Showcase_Corrada“My goal is to educate for understanding,” said Corrada. “In my labor law and administrative law classes, my job is to get the students thinking like lawyers and to help them learn how to act and think well in unfamiliar situations.” Corrada gave an overview to his innovative approach.

Corrada has his labor law class organize, certify and institute their own union. Because most of the students have not worked in a union environment, he said, they need to gain practical experiences, such as negotiating work rules, filing petitions with the National Labor Relations Board and conducting elections. Corrada found that this process gives his students a better understanding of the law and a greater appreciation of the role of lawyers in the legal process. In the time Corrada has used this method, only one class voted against forming a union.

Corrada’s “Jurassic Park” administrative law class, based on situations and issues that arise in the 1990 science-fiction novel by Michael Crichton, has been copied by several law professors who want their students to have the experience of writing statutes and regulations.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is the name of an international movement that takes a scholarly approach to questions about teaching and learning, submits results to peer review and makes them available for others to build upon.

LMU’s Showcase Week, presented by the Center for Teaching Excellence, included a poster session, a workshop with Corrada and a presentation by Andriana Jaroszewicz, assistant professor of animation in the School of Film and Television. Jaroszewicz, LMU’s most recent scholar to attend the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Creighton University, presented her SoTL research on 3D animation skills.

For more information about the Center for Teaching Excellence, click here.

Posted Oct. 4, 2010