Addressing the high levels of psychological distress in law students through intentional assessment and feedback design in the first year law curriculum

  • Rachael Field Queensland University of Technology
  • Sally Kift Queensland University of Technology

Abstract

A study of the Brain and Mind Institute released in 2009 established that more than one third of Australian law students suffer from psychological distress (BMRI, 2009). The psychological health of law students is therefore a critical issue for Australian legal education, and strategic change is necessary to address the stressful nature of studying law. This paper argues that intentional first year curriculum design has a critical role to play in addressing and preventing psychological distress in law students. In particular, we argue that assessment and feedback practice in the first year can be harnessed to assist students to successfully transition to studying law at university by supporting their development as independent and self-managing learners, and assisting their acquisition of the necessary tertiary literacies. First, we consider the problem of psychological distress in law students. Second, we explore a range of theoretical and practical strategies to assist the implementation of good assessment and feedback practice in the first year of legal education. The paper concludes that intentional assessment and feedback design in the first year of law is critical to alleviating psychological distress levels in law students.

Published
Jun 17, 2010
How to Cite
FIELD, Rachael; KIFT, Sally. Addressing the high levels of psychological distress in law students through intentional assessment and feedback design in the first year law curriculum. The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 65-76, june 2010. ISSN 1838-2959. Available at: <https://fyhejournal.com/article/view/20>. Date accessed: 18 aug. 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.5204/intjfyhe.v1i1.20.
Section
Articles

Keywords

first year curriculum, assessment and feedback, assessment design, good practice, law students, psychological distress
Since 2015-11-27
Abstract Views
1078
PDF Views
595
Until 2015-11-27:
Abstract Views
5435
PDF Views
3254