Posted in AALL

AALL Annual Meeting, Day One

As promised, here’s my first post from day one of this year’s annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries.

While regular programming doesn’t begin until tomorrow, I began this year’s meeting by attending one of the day-long workshops: W2: Classroom Makeover – Renovate Your Class with Technology that Promotes Hands-On Learning.

Principally, we were talking about the flipped classroom approach to legal instruction.  I’ll be honest, I’ve attended several programs and read several articles this year on the flipped classroom, so I was less enthusiastic about this workshop than I had initially been when I signed up.  HOWEVER: This was a great workshop!  Yes, some of the material – such as the history of this method, the pros and cons, the ideal law school classes for using this method – I had already heard before.  But what’s great about workshops is the practical aspect.  The instructors – Jane Larrington and Judith Lihosit  of the University of San Diego – had us break into groups periodically throughout the day to plan our own flipped classroom.  (Anna Russell (who was also slated to lead this), you were missed, but they showed us a picture of your baby – adorable!  Congratulations!)  We were asked to bring along our own syllabi for a class we were going to be teaching so that we could work with our own curricula to see how we could apply this method to our teaching.

I especially appreciated the progressive nature of these exercises.  We began by picking one of our planned lessons and identifying a learning objective that we could better teach through a flipped approach.  In another breakout session we then identified what material from that lesson would be out of class and what would be in class.  We later designed exercises that we could do in class with this lecture.  And later attendees learned how to narrate PowerPoint slides in order to create the pre-class lecture portion of a flipped lesson.  (I missed this last portion, having to leave early for a committee meeting.)

While I had been feeling “flipped-out” before attending this workshop, I am so grateful for having been able to attend – the exercises and discussion made the idea of flipping my own teaching seem much more tangible.

As with many conference attendees, I next attended the Exhibit Hall opening.  I always enjoy the vastness of the Exhibit Hall the first time I walk in each year – it’s hard to imagine we have that many vendors to choose from, and I love seeing what’s new or in development each year.  (Will Westlaw have a caricaturist again this year?  I guess we’ll see…)  🙂

In addition, our library (at IU’s Maurer School of Law) received an award this year for Excellence in Marketing – Best Use of Technology; award recipients had a photo-op at the Exhibit Hall this evening, and it was nice to see my colleagues commemorated for their hard work.  The award was based on a video, “Law Library Infomercial,” that Cindy Dabney, our Outreach Services Librarian, created last year:

It’s shaping up to be a great conference this year.  My calendar has certainly filled up.  Though I do hope to see a little of the city before I leave – what I’ve seen so far is just beautiful.  See you around!


I am the Assistant Director for Public Services at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law. My research interests include exploring how emerging and existing technologies can be used to enhance library services and legal education as well as how to address knowledge gaps and meet the educational expectations of today's law students.

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