The assessment methods applied are necessarily adapted to advance the range of objectives set for each individual CLE programme. Giddings is in support of this view, stating that "[t]he flexibility of clinical (assessment) methodologies means they can be adapted to support student learning of different kinds".70 Giddings refers to an interview with Hyams71 as part of his review of the Monash clinical programme, where Hyams "notes the problematic nature of assessment if it is "handed down like a decision without any constructive comment" … as assessment is "a vehicle of learning rather than just a handing down. The assessment assists students to do better".72
Regardless of the forms of assessment or combinations thereof chosen by clinics for their CLE courses, cognisance should be taken of the principles of assessment stated by Stuckey.73 These principles are:
Be clear about the goals of each assessment;74
Assess whether students learn what is taught (validity);75
Conduct criteria-referenced assessments, not norm-referenced (reliability);76
Use assessments to inform students of their level of professional development;77
Be sure assessment is feasible;78
Use multiple methods of assessing student learning;79
Distinguish between formative and summative assessments;80
Conduct formative assessments throughout the term;81
Conduct multiple summative assessments throughout the term, when possible;82
Ensure that summative assessments are also formative assessments;83 and
Require students to complete educational portfolios.84
6.1Forms of assessment
The clinical assessment models already used by some South African university law clinics as well as those used in foreign jurisdictions were probed and compared in a recent study.85 These assessment methods will be discussed briefly in an effort to establish the assessment methods best suited for CLE courses in South Africa.
6.1.1 Written tests
Written tests are capable of application to the specific South African context.86 It is submitted that assessment rubrics be designed and used to allow for an even-handed assessment of all the students, specifically where clinics operate across a number of different specialised units.87
6.1.2 Spot tests, minute papers and short essay quizzes
Spot tests and minute papers can be applied successfully during student tutorials,88 but the use of short essay quizzes is discouraged due to the large student numbers clinics generally have to accommodate in South Africa.89
Multiple-choice quizzes can be used to assess students’ understanding of foundational doctrine.90 These can be used either before or after plenary instruction when students’ knowledge and understanding of the substantive law learnt in previous years are re-enforced for application in the clinical context.
6.1.4 In-class short-answer tests
In-class short-answer tests may be applied successfully as a revision exercise of the history on a case file during tutorials. Large student numbers and limited lecture time make this form of assessment less than convenient for application during classroom instruction or plenary sessions.91
6.1.5 Written assignments
Written assignments are useful assessment tools when students’ understanding of legal practice and court processes is tested.92 The use of assessment rubrics is recommended.93
6.1.6 Essay examination
The open-ended nature of essay examination often leads to a failure to test the skills taught in a clinical course, and grading is likely to be inconsistent.94
6.1.7 Oral examination
Oral examination is an ideal form of assessment, as clinicians can test what students have learnt across a wider scope and in more detail.95
6.1.8 Reflective journals
Reflective journals can be successfully required in the South African clinical context, but clinical directors should heed the challenges of having to deal with large student numbers and the time constraints clinicians often experience.96
6.1.9 Self-evaluation and peer evaluation
Self-evaluations are useful formative assessment tools for both students and clinicians,97 specifically where students work with a partner. These evaluations can form part of a tutorial session where clinicians will be able to distinguishing between the approaches of the student partners.98 Peer evaluations are particularly useful when students do group work or operate in student firms.99
6.1.10 Client evaluation
Chavkin states that "clients have enough to deal with in their lives"100 and they might view participation in reviews "as a condition of future service by the clinic". Clients may therefore complete questionnaires in a manner that is not intended to offend the student counselors to whom they entrust their legal problems.101 Client evaluations are not recommended.
6.1.11 Case file work assessment
Case file work assessment is essential in CLE courses.102 It covers the complete range of skills students need to enable them to assist clients and proceed with their cases.103 It is suggested that assessment rubrics be used when assessing case file work.
It has been shown that CLE forms part of the LLB curriculum at most South African Universities. There are many similarities in the approach to CLE, but often also many differences. The clinical models of four South African university law clinics have been reviewed in an effort to find suitable models. Formulating a mission for the law clinic will have a direct impact on the clinical model chosen.
CLE courses are taught at university law clinics and it has been shown that the integration of CLE into the core curriculum of the law school will reveal its value as a teaching methodology. Pedagogic aims can be set and achieved, as CLE has intellectual worth in that it enables students to better understand the concepts and principles of law and the application thereof in practice. It is recommended that CLE courses be mandatory.
The pedagogy of CLE comprise of three basic components, namely the clinical experience, tutorial sessions and the classroom instruction. The extent to which these three components find application in the four South African university law clinics under review has been indicated.
The principles informing assessment have been described. Assessment methods appropriate for application in CLE courses, as indicated in a comprehensive study of the topic,104 have been discussed as to their applicability to CLE courses in the South African environment.
Barry et al 2012 Clin L Rev
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Hall J and Kerrigan K "Clinic and the Wider Law Curriculum" 2011 IJCLE 25-37
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Haupt F and Mahomed SH "Some Thoughts on Assessment Methods Used in Clinical Legal Education Programmes at the University of Pretoria Law Clinic and the University of the Witwatersrand Law Clinic" 2008 De Jure 273-292
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Levy-Pounds N and Tyner A "The Principles of Ubuntu: Using the Legal Clinical Model to Train Agents of Social Change" 2008 IJCLE 7-20
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Munro GS "How Do We Know if We are Achieving our Goals? Strategies for Assessing the Outcome of Curricular Innovation" 2002 JALWD 229-246
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Parmanand SK "Raising the Bar: A Note on Pupilage and Access to the Profession" 2003 Stell L Rev 199-204
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clinical-legal-education/ accessed 14 June 2011
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Yanmin and Pottenger "Chinese Characteristics"
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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education
Applied Legal Studies
Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative
Clinical Legal Education
Clinical Legal Education Association
Clinical Legal Education Organisation
Clin L Rev
Clinical Law Review
Elon L Rev
Elon Law Review
European Network for Clinical Legal Education
Fordham Int'l LJ
Fordham International Law Journal
Griffith Law Review
International Journal of Clinical Legal Education
Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors
* Riette (MA) du Plessis. BA LLB (Stell) LLM (Wits) PhD (Wits). Associate Professor, School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Email: Riette.email@example.com.
1 The following South African university law clinics, are listed members of SAULCA (South African University Law Clinics Association), which describes part of its mission as being to promote high-quality CLE programmes at universities in South Africa: Rhodes University Law Clinic, University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic, University of Cape Town Law Clinic, University of Fort Hare, University of Johannesburg Law Clinic, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Limpopo Law Clinic, University of Pretoria Law Clinic, University of South Africa Legal Aid Clinic, University of Venda, University of the Witwatersrand Law Clinic, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Law Clinic, University of the Free State Law Clinic, North West University Law Clinic, Walter Sisulu University Law Clinic, University of the Western Cape Legal Aid Clinic, and University of Zululand Law Clinic. SAULCA 2014 http://www.saulca.co.za/home.
2 For Southeast Asia, see BABSEA CLE 2015 https://www.babseacle.org/clinical-legal-education, where the Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEA CLE) has worked collaboratively with universities, law students, law faculties, lawyers, members of the legal community, and justice related organisational partners since 2003 to develop CLE programmes throughout Southeast Asia. For the USA, see Fordham University School of Law 2015 http://law.fordham.edu/clinical-legal-education/clinics.htm; CLEA 2015 http://www.
cleaweb.org/; and Columbia Law School 2015 http://web.law.columbia.edu/clinics. For Europe, see ENCLE 2015 http://encle.org/, stating that CLE is a rapidly growing form of legal education across much of Europe and that it is widely accepted as a powerful pedagogical model which engages students and universities in the life of the community. For India, see Cornell University Law School and Jindal Global Law School 2015 http://www.gaje.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Cor-JGLS-web_low.pdf; ForCanada see ACCLE 2015 http://accle.ca/ (Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education). For the UK see Lewis Date Unknownhttp://orca.cf.ac.uk/27655/1/CLINICED.pdf. For Ireland see NUI Galway 2015http://www.nuigalway.ie/business-public-policy-law/school-of-law/students/cle/. For the Middle East see Thomas and Mahasneh 2012 http://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/view
content.cgi?article=1753&context=articles; Qafisheh 2012 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/ journals/LegEdRev/2012/8.html. For Australia seeEvans et al 2012 http://www.cald.asn.au/assets/lists/Resources/Best_Practices_Australian_Clinical_Legal_Education_Sept_2012.pdf. For South America see http://wp.cedha.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/ International-Developments-in-Clinical-Legal-Education.pdf and Lennertz Date Unknown http://preview.ialsnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Lennertz.pdf. For Eastern Europe seeBryxova, Tomoszek and Vlckova 2006 JCLE; Polish Legal Clinics Foundation 2005 http://www.fupp.org.pl/down/legal_clinic.pdf; Ogilvy and Czapanskiy 2004http://wp.cedha.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/doc246-eng.pdf; http://www.germanlawjournal.net/current-issue.The Far East: for China, see Phan 2005 http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol8/iss1/;Also seeLing 2006 Fordham Int'l LJ; Anon 2007 Harv L Rev; Yanmin and Pottenger "Chinese Characteristics". For Japan see Martinez 2012 http://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1311&context=faculty_scholarship.
3 See the discussion in para 4 below.
4 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 15.
5 Hyams 2008 IJCLE 25.
6 Hyams 2008 IJCLE 25.
7 WLC Vision and Mission. Available from the Wits Law Clinic.
15 For example: Vawda 2004 JJS 124; Parmanand 2003 Stell L Rev 202-204; McQuoid-Mason 1982 JJS 162.
16 McQuoid-Mason 1982 JJS 162.
17 Advised by the Director in an interview with the author in 2013.
18 Advised by the Director in an interview with the author in 2013.
19 For a discussion on the social justice component of CLE, seeBarry et al 2012 Clin L Rev 401-458; Levy-Pounds and Tyner 2008 IJCLE 12.
20 Advised by the Director in an interview with the author in 2013.
21 Advised by the Director in an interview with the author in 2013.
22 Advised by the Director in an interview with the author in 2013.
23 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 37-43.
24 The method described here was followed until the end of 2014. Student firms were introduced during 2015. Their success will be measured over time.
25 Haupt and Mahomed 2008 De Jure 278.
26 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 62.
27 Haupt and Mahomed 2008 De Jure 278.
28 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 63.
29 Research done by the author, see Du Plessis Assessment Methods 62.
30 Research done by the author, see Du Plessis Assessment Methods 62.
31 The UFSLC is situated in Bloemfontein, which is also the seat of the South African Supreme Court of Appeals.
32 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 63.
33 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 63.
34 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 28-31.
35 A semester course allows for the division of the students into two groups, each group being allocated to a different semester, resulting in there being fewer students per semester. Student numbers may be limited in elective courses, as such courses will not be regarded as foundational courses for the LLB degree.
36 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 28-31, 63.
37 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 28-31, 63.
38 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 39-42.
39 "Experiential courses … rely on experiential education as a significant or primary method of instruction. … [T]his involves using students’ experiences in the roles of lawyers or their observations of practising lawyers … to guide their learning". Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 165.
40 These specialised units are: family law; refugee law; consumer law; labour law; land, housing and evictions; the law of delict; and a general unit to accommodate cases that cannot be allocated to any of the other units.
41 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 63-65.
42 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 63-65.
43 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 63-65.
44 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 63-65.
45 WLC Vision and Mission.
46 WLC Vision and Mission.
47 WLC Vision and Mission.
48 WLC 2015 PLS Course Outline.
49 WLC 2015 PLS Course Outline.
50 WLC 2015 PLS Course Outline.
51 These specialised units are: family law; refugee law; consumer law; labour law; land, housing and evictions; the law of delict ("tort"); and a general unit to accommodate cases that cannot be allocated to any of the other units.
52 UPLC "Practical Law 410" 2013 SG 7-16.
53 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 71.
54 UPLC "Practical Law 410" 2013 SG 7-16.
55 Students have prescribed reading materials for every Study Theme. Du Plessis Assessment Methods 71-74.
56 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 71-74.
57 UJ "ALS" 2013 LG 2-30.
58 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 74-80.
59 UFSLC "RPK 412" 2013 Course Outline.
60 UFSLC "RPK 412" 2013 Course Outline.
61 UFSLC "RPK 412" 2013 Course Outline.
62 UFSLC "RPK 412" 2013 Course Outline.
63 UFSLC "RPK 412" 2013 Course Outline.
64 De Klerk Clinical Law.
65 UFSLC "RPK 412" 2013 Course Outline.
66 The topic of legal costs is discussed in a study guide handed to the students.
67 Bloch and Noone "Legal Aid Origins" 158-162.
68 Bloch and Noone "Legal Aid Origins" 158-162.
69 Bloch and Noone "Legal Aid Origins" 158-162.
70 Giddings Promoting Justice 39.
71 Giddings Promoting Justice 175.
72 Giddings Promoting Justice 175.
73 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 240-263.
74 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 240, 241.
75 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 241-243.
76 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 243-245.
77 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 245-253.
78 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 253.
79 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 253-255.
80 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 255.
81 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 255-259.
82 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 259, 260.
83 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 260, 261.
84 Stuckey Best Practices for Legal Education 261-263.
85 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 111-192.
86 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 112, 113.
87 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 112, 113.
88 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 112, 113.
89 See Klein "Engaging and Assessing our Students"; Krause-Phelan "Connecting the Dots".
90 Sparrow 2011 Elon L Rev 4-9.
91 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 119.
92 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 111-124.
93 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 111-124.
94 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 111-124; Sergienko 2001 San Diego L Rev 469-474.
95 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 126-128.
96 Du Plessis Assessment Methods 130-140. See Du Plessis and Swanepoel 2014 De Jure 283-297 for a full discussion.