Reflecting on the experience of faculty at Boston College Law School and Tashkent State University of Law in Uzbekistan during the early months of the covid-19 pandemic, this essay discusses how law teachers can promote student engagement in remote learning by adapting classroom assessment techniques, or CATs, to the remote learning environment. Originally promoted in a 1988 book by Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross as tools “to help teachers find out what students are learning in the classroom and how well they are learning it,” CATs are well-designed and well-tested in-class activities that require students to interact with the teacher and with content; thus, in addition to providing information about learning, CATs can be used as methods to engage students in learning. CATs adapt easily from the physical to the virtual classroom, which to many law teachers in the U.S. offers the promise of engaging students in a manner similar to the physical classroom. In light of drawbacks of the virtual classroom, however, U.S. law teachers may find instructive the experience of teachers at TSUL, who have devised ways to employ activities that function similarly to CATs in lower bandwidth contexts.
E. Joan Blum. "Herding CATS: Building Student Engagement in Remote Learning in the U.S. and Uzbekistan." Journal of Legal Education, Forthcoming (2021).