Toolwire, Inc. – www.toolwire.com – and the University of East London (UEL) – http://www.uel.ac.uk/ – have collaborated to provide an immersive online learning experience to UEL law students. The venture is the first of its kind to take place simultaneously within the UK Higher Education sector and general legal education.
Toolwire’s Immersive Learning Environments engage students with photorealistic, virtual environments that combine video interaction and real world context. “Real-life” characters guide students through an experience that delivers learning content, assesses progress, and provides remediation. Contextually sensitive assessments are integrated naturally into the flow of the storyline, thereby helping to preserve the student experience.
UEL approached Toolwire in response to The Law Society of England and Wales’ Training Framework Review (TFR). As the Review states:”The traditional law degree has become somewhat ossified. The lecture/seminar format is still an underwhelming student experience for learning.”
In addition, the TFR recommended the adoption of clinical approaches, non-traditional assessment, and work based learning as an “effective and welcome addition to the learning experiences of both students and trainees,” which was endorsed by the UK Centre for Legal Education.
UEL sought a learning solution that would enable students to apply plea mitigation concepts and practices in virtual environments with real world implications and applications.
“We recognised that Toolwire’s development of Immersive Learning Environments offered an ideal technological solution to create an experiential learning tool for enhancing legal education at UEL,” said Sarah Frame, Director of UELconnect.
“Undoubtedly, the strength of the working relationship and effective teamwork between Toolwire and UEL contributed significantly to the success of this innovative new course within such a short timeframe.”
Regarding the co-creation and development process, Michael Watkins, Toolwire’s Director of Instructional Design and Technology, said, “This project began with the same premise as our experiential learning labs – the best way to learn is to do. During this process, we took lessons from what we have learned by creating innovative learning for technology focused environments and re-imagined them in a real world.”
Initial student feedback from the new course has been extremely positive. In the words of one student, “I feel like I’m doing law, not just reading it.” Another student reported, “It helps build a picture of what it is actually like to be in a practice.”
“Toolwire’s Immersive Learning Environments are at the forefront of new learning technology,” said John Valencia, Toolwire’s President and CEO. “By creating immersive, engaging storylines tied to course learning objectives and outcomes, we have been able to blur the line between traditional assignments and real-life tasks, creating an environment where students learn by doing. It’s been exciting to know that together, Toolwire and UEL are infusing new life into law instruction.”