Try it out! Technology Project Enhances Memory and the Law Course

Equal Justice Under LawLast semester a team of instructional designers worked with Dr. Charles Brainerd to enrich his current course "Memory and the Law" with interactive content, quizzes, additional links, and video of his lectures. The Memory and the Law course at Cornell is a cross-college course (Law/Human Ecology) and students in this course come from very different backgrounds. The course is lecture-based, and the units of the course progress from exploring the science of memory to the application of memory issues in the courtroom. Brainerd saw this project as an opportunity to repurpose and augment his materials so that students could review the course content, but also so that professionals and other types of learners could benefit from the portions of the course that were specific to their immediate needs. The intention was to simultaneously provide materials for Cornell students, and to create materials that could be used in a future distance learning format.

Noni Korf Vidal, project manager for this project, and instructional projects manager for CIT, worked on this project with her colleague Eric Howd, and 3 of Dr. Brainerd's students, Courtney Eisner, Eric Zember, and Liz Curran. Their insights into how the course materials could be improved for students were an essential element in the process.

A comprehensive online FAQ document was among the course enhancements developed, based on analysis of past tests to identify concepts more frequently misunderstood. Dr. Brainerd’s lectures were recorded, benefiting both current students who may need to miss a class as well as distance learners. Supplementary video lectures were identified as well. Interactive diagrams were developed for some of the more complex models presented in the course. But most fun are the recreations of memory tests which are conducted in the classroom.

Click here and you can try a few examples!

This project was one of the Faculty Innovation in Teaching (FIT) Program projects, 20 of which are awarded annually. The FIT program is part of a larger distributed learning initiative supported by the President and the Provost. The program is designed to allow faculty to develop innovative instructional technology projects that have the potential to improve the educational process. The program provides faculty with the technical staff and other resources necessary to plan and implement their projects, thus allowing faculty to focus on their pedagogical objectives.

The CIT staff who work on the FIT awards are also part of the Faculty Support Services team at CIT. They provide consultation for instructional design, use of course technologies such as BlackBoard, and helping faculty adapt technology for their teaching needs.

For Further Information

Faculty Innovation in Teaching Program

Law, Psychology and Human Development: /HD/Research/concentrations/law-psychology-and-human-development.cfm