Legal Education in a Virtual World – A Virtual Presentation

Paper presented at the 2013 CLEA Conference in Durban

Clare Chambers
Associate Professor in Banking and Finance
University of the West of England, UK

A virtual world can be described as a “spatially based depiction of a persistent virtual environment, which can be experienced by numerous participants at once who are represented within the space by avatars”. (Bell 2008) Virtual worlds are not just games, indeed they offer cultural, social and education uses. The education uses will be explored within this paper. Therefore this paper will consider the notion of learning and constructivism in legal education. The paper will provide a unique insight into how the use of virtual worlds such as Second Life can be used to teach law within law schools. The paper will be divided into three main parts. Firstly the paper will examine what virtual worlds are and how they afford the feeling of presence and identify and how this differs from other virtual learning environments (VLE) such as blackboard. The paper will then consider the how virtual worlds can be used within a legal setting, providing a practical demonstration of the world and class simulation for Banking and Finance Law. The paper will then conclude that technology has allowed legal education to be transformed so that legal reality can be bought into the legal curriculum for not just distance learning students but also home students as well.

Virtual Presentation

Clare’s presentation was broadcast to the conference, and was recorded for viewing on YouTube.

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