CALI Launches the Legal Education Podcasting Project

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI has a launched a project where over 50 law faculty from 44 US and one Canadian law schools are creating podcasts of their courses in the Spring 2006 semester.

The goal of the project is to investigate the use of podcasting in legal education. Faculty and students will be surveyed throughout the semester to determine their reactions to this new legal education medium.

About half of the faculty will be recording all of their classroom lectures and the other half will be creating weekly summaries of the course. The podcasts will be posted to blogs hosted on CALI�s Classcaster service (

The individual faculty have the option of putting the blogs behind a password only for their students or leaving the blogs open for the public Internet to listen along.

Besides blog/podcasting space, all faculty have been provided with a personal digital recorder (specifically, and Olympus ws-100) and a lapel microphone which allows for hands-free and podium-free recording in the classroom.

Podcasting is just audio delivered over the Internet. When connected to a blog and an RSS feed, students can set up a subscription so that it automatically downloads new podcasts to their MP3 players (i.e. Apple iPod).

Legal education has a long oral tradition. The classroom lecture is the core of legal education, but once it�s done, it�s done. CALI posits that when students can re-listen to classroom lectures or weekly summaries created by the instructor, they will benefit educationally. CALI seeks to understand the qualitative benefits from the student and instructor viewpoints.

Some students take too many notes and do not listen carefully to classroom lectures. Even the best students may miss something or need to hear it more than once before it sinks in. Some students are better aural learners than visual learners and would benefit from access to audio recordings of lectures or weekly summaries. Every student is different and every instructor is different. One size does not fit all.

CALI expects that this project provide excellent insight into how a podcast-enhanced course might be done differently and better than a non-podcast-enhanced course. Ideas that arise from this project will manifest as new features and services from CALI and especially in design changes in the Classcaster service.

A forum for faculty to discuss technical issues and share experiences has been setup and interim observations and analysis will appear from time to time at CALI�s blog at A list of participating faculty and their schools and courses can be found at

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