Executive Summary

The project is to take a number of students from the Law and Disorder module and train them to make podcasts, which would be part of their assessment. In Law and Disorder, students become experts in particular aspects of conflicts by following a single conflict through the entire module, before presenting on an aspect of the conflict to their colleagues. The effect of this more free floating process (without set texts, etc) has paid great dividends. This new element would push that further, giving the students access to specialist training, recording and editing equipment, to ensure the production of the highest quality materials.

The reason that I have settled on a podcast is for pedagogic and skills reasons: Firstly, a podcast that is available to the public is more permanent and (somehow) more tangeable than a presentation made to a class of colleagues or an essay read by one or two examiners. In my experience, many law undergrads tend to get stuck on the idea that they simply need to do well in their exams and essays, which are understood as being a matter of gaming the examiner. The production of a public podcast is aimed to get around this problem, getting them thinking as a producer of knowledge which is to be understood by a public, rather than seeing theselves as simply recieving ideas that are regurgitated for an exam/examiner.

Secondly, the podcast and the associated training would prepare the students by supporting the skills for public facing careers. Podcasts are essentially devices for story telling and narrativising ideas. The question is of how to present complex situations and ideas in an approachable and nonlinear fashion. In this sense, the hope is that the training would move them beyond the model of an academic essay or presentation, which has a particular set of skills associated with it.