CALI, short for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, has been providing online interactive lessons and tutorials on a variety of legal subjects since 1983. But this summer, while students and faculty have been away, CALI has been giving itself a significant makeover.
When students and faculty return for the fall semester, they might notice that the CALI Lesson viewer has changed. The new viewer has a cleaner look and is noticeably less – retro – shall we say. Updates to CALI also include smartphone/tablet compatibility, so students can run the lessons just about anywhere. Here’s how the new lesson viewer looks:
Additionally, for faculty, CALI has added some new features to help with integrating CALI lessons into courses. For one, CALI lessons are now coordinated with specific casebooks, including many of the leading casebooks in 1L subjects such as Contracts, Torts, Property and Civil Procedure. See if your casebook is included here.
Additional features for faculty include a full preview of each CALI lesson on a single webpage and a new LessonsLink feature that lets you create a unique URL that tracks your students’ usage of assigned lessons. To read more about the faculty updates in CALI, click here.
If students would like to learn more about CALI, you can read more at CALI’s website – or you can visit the Reference Desk in the library for more information. At pre-orientation, each new student was given an online login for CALI as well as a DVD that contains all of the CALI lessons so you can run them on your laptop even if you don’t have an internet connection. Don’t worry if you can’t find your CALI password or DVD. Come by the Reference Desk – we have plenty more.
I had the pleasure of attending the Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) conference at the Marquette University Law School from June 25-27. The law school building was a sight to behold. The building is only a year old, cost over 82 million, and has as much state of the art technology as anyone could ask for. The classrooms are designed to engage students – from push to talk mics to clean sight lines to configurable spaces that are geared towards collaboration or traditional lecture, depending on the class being offered. Their “conference center” is set up to accommodate guests, let local tv stations plug into their state of the art recording studio, and give conference goers a beautiful view of downtown Milwaukee at the same time.
View of the School from one of the upper floors – notice the “exploded library” located on every floor!
The CALI conference was a real eye-opener on a variety of topics. Speakers presented information on topics ranging from the latest uses of iPads in the classroom to new technology options for sharing and collaborating on faculty scholarship. The crowd was nearly as enthusiastic as the speakers were for all the sessions I attended, and the questions were interesting as well. To see the list of conference sessions, view the recordings, and listen to those questions, go to http://conference.cali.org/2011/webcast
The iPad sessions focused on not only the latest apps available in the legal market, but on some very creative classroom uses of apps. At least two of the sessions used Xtranormal to illustrate ways of capturing students’ attention and introducing a topic that might normally be a little dry. The speakers suggested that new apps and cartoons created using Xtranormal may just be the trick for getting students away from those FaceBook pages and back to concentrating on the law school topic of the day!