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Cognitive Load Theory: Can Interactive Whiteboards improve Corporate Law teaching?

The old-fashioned way of learning at Universities cannot apply anymore as new challenges approach, as those directly motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing both teachers and students to adapt to this new reality in which streaming classes and self-teaching are the norm. We can count on technology to achieve this, but we need to use these new techniques properly in order to avoid misusing them and causing more harm than good to everyone involved.

Nowadays students are considered to be “digital natives”, meaning that they can acclimate easily in a computer-based world like the one we are currently living in. However, they usually refer to themselves as “multitasking”, an idea powered by the way they access information and satisfy their instant needs through internet. Therefore, we cannot take for granted that they will use IT solutions the way teachers want.

Many researchers have been focused during the past decades on understanding how do people learn. Our brain is mostly undiscovered yet, but we can now refer to our learning mechanisms in a seemingly accurate way. Cognitive Load Theory represents a framework that allows us to understand which measures can improve learning quality and have to be fostered by teachers during their lectures to maximize their students’ learning.

Law teaching is affected by all the previous topics: classic-styled lectures given by Law teachers do not fit precisely well in streaming classes, students find hard to follow the lessons this way and the method seems to contradict all the Cognitive Load Theory statements. There is so much room for improvement in this category and this is why we are addressing it in the first place.

In this paper, we focus on Corporate Law teaching. This branch of knowledge is avid of improvement, since it usually requires more than just lecturing the students; visual aid is mandatory for students to fully understand all the concepts and inherent relationships. Our proposal suggests that better Corporate Law teaching can be achieved by implementing an image-based system working on an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB), based on preceding literature on this topic.

Using a standardized image system, we are willing to achieve two different goals: improving the cognitive load for the students so learning is maximized for them and progress on knowledge transference by making our system accessible for any Law teacher that desires to use it, so the same image references are used in any Law School worldwide.

With this work, we encourage other researchers to start working on this topic for a better development and we present the theoretical structure for related empirical research.

Palabras clave

CLT Cognitive Load Theory Corporate Law Teaching Interactive Whiteboards IWB Law teaching

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Daniel Raya Quero

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