Last month, Matt Lister at The Faculty Lounge wrote about Field Trips for Law School Classes and this was followed up by the Law School Innovation blog. From the replies and comments so far, it looks like the following issues exist:
- Inertia on the part of the academic
- Fitting a visit in around other classes
- Large classes
- Cost of transport
- Share ideas (see the comments here and below)
- Set aside full days in the timetable for visits
- Suggest students make visits themselves!
One comment in particular from Doug B suggests using videos (in this example from the Eastern State Penitentiary) as an alternative.
Eric Fink suggested visiting landmarks relating to cases, in particular the bridge from Rockingham County v. Luten Bridge Co., 35 F. 2d 301.
On the issue of multimedia resources, there are many sites with stuff that can be used to augment lectures or the VLE - In particular, scottishlawreports.org.uk have pictures of 'the most famous litigant of all time' May Donoghue, the Paisley Snail Bottle and the Wellmeadow Café.
Although Paisely is almost on the doorstep to many law students in Glasgow, a visit is perhaps less valuable than the image of the bottle - which takes some effort to explain why the 'the bottle is brown and opaque, its content completely incapable of intermediate examination'!
On a related note, I remember being 'taken on a walk', by the law teacher of the year at the 2009 LILAC conference as part of his conference presentation - this was easy enough with small numbers, but I also know staff members who regularly take students to a variety of places:
- employment tribunals
- buildings (historical)
- construction sites
- police stations