Faculty of Social Sciences teaching award
Sue Tarrant is a Senior Lecturer in the Kent Business School. Since her appointment in 2010, she has a consistently excellent teaching record.
In 2018, Sue developed a pedagogical innovation and embedded it into the law modules on which she teaches. The innovation was an immersive and inclusive seminar activity based on gamification designed to improve student engagement. Teaching law to non-traditional law students is particularly challenging. Within a very short space of time, students must learn content that has little resonance with any other discipline on their programme. They must also quickly grasp fundamental skills that test all legal scholars, such as recall and effective application of cases, in a subject many find difficult.
Sue developed the LexCarta Let’s Moot!™ game, where student teams act as opposing legal counsel and are faced with a legal problem armed with case cards. These case cards feature a strong image on the front to help trigger the students’ recall of the key facts of the case. Those facts are then outlined in a concise summary on the back of the card, with the decision, a study tip and, most importantly, the key principle of the case – the element that needs to be applied to any given scenario. This means that case reports – that can be tens of thousands of words – have been summarised to under 100 words. The cards act as the active prompts the students need to decide which cases are relevant to the game’s scenario, enabling all attendees to take part no matter how well or how little they have prepared beforehand.
Independent observers of the LexCarta Let’s Moot!™ game stated that it presented an intriguing challenge that provoked a desire in the students for their team to win, and therefore resulted in a high level of engagement.
Students who took part in the game saw it as a better way to understand the legal problem, describing it as a more open and interactive activity that helped everyone participate, and a great experience that was very helpful in applying everything they had learned.