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JILT 2002 (3) - Orlan Lee


Contents

Abstract

1.

Language and the Cultural Gap

2.

Unbending Rules vs. 'Rule of Law'

3.

'The Spirit of the Game' vs. Winning at All Costs

4.

The Teaching Technology Model Classroom

5.
6.

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What is 'Unfairness'? In Cricket and in Standardised Testing


Orlan Lee
Adjunct Professor of Law
School of Business & Management
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology,
Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge


This paper was originally presented at SubTech 2002, 7th International Conference on Substantive Technology in Legal Education and Practice, at the University of Warwick, 3-5 July, 2002.

Abstract

'Over the past 10 years, the 'tertiary' education sector in Hong Kong has experienced both lavish spending and unprecedented growth. We are told that full-time equivalent enrollments (FTEs) in higher education increased from 42,000 in 1990-91 to 62,000 by 1995-96, or an increase of roughly 47% in those five years alone, giving rise to mounting concern for how institutions would be able to maintain the 'quality' of their teaching and research commitments[1].

Inevitably, such a tremendous expansion of the student population, often from untraditional sources (and expansion of the teaching faculty as well), has led to conflicts over what 'Quality of Teaching and Learning' means. The formal Research Assessment Exercises (1994, '96, and '98) and Teaching and Learning Process Quality Review (1997) conducted by the University Grants Committee (Hong Kong) have been dealt with elsewhere by this author[2].

In all these studies, very little has been said about the conflicting expectations of the new student and faculty populations in the 'tertiary' education world. Little thought is given to the conflicting expectations of students (and their parents) - who see 'tertiary' education essentially in terms of democratization of accessibility of career opportunity - and the institutional obligation, i.e., the professional obligation of university teachers, to continue to maintain and apply wholesome ideals of higher education. The following attempts to deal only with preconceived notions of some of the participants on both sides.


This is a Commentary published on 6 December 2002.

Citation: Lee O, 'What is Unfairness? In Cricket and in Standardised Testing', The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT) 2002 (3) <http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/02-3/lee.html>. New citation as at 1/1/04: <http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/jilt/2002_3/lee/>.


1. Language and the Cultural Gap

There is nothing more certain to arouse the consternation of an educated person of English speaking culture than to accuse him of being 'unfair'. Nothing seems more unseemly - more devastating. The conscientious educated English speaking person must know 'how to play the game'.

You often hear people use 'fair' or 'fairness', in French, or in German, for lack of a suitable equivalent to translate the English word. The same thing occurs in other languages as well - for example, in Chinese, in either Mandarin, the official language, or Cantonese, the language of Hong Kong and the surrounding region. The adopted term simply becomes accepted usage for lack of an alternative in the other language.

Yet in many such cases you may wonder whether a cultural gap leads the speaker of the second language to attach a whole new meaning to the words. For the English speaking law teacher in Hong Kong, for example, consideration of what is 'fair, just, and reasonable', is part of the basic language of his profession. 'Fairness' often seems to be one of those qualities of conspicuously little concern in his adopted culture. Yet he finds his students talking about it all the time. 'Have they legitimate concerns?' you ask. Or is this intended to attack the unsuspecting expatriate university instructor on the weakest flank?

'It is unfair for you to allow students to make up exams'. One student came to my office to tell me. 'It is unfair for you to allow students to write papers, or do moot court debates, for credit', she went on. 'It is unfair for you to give students as much time as they want to finish exams'. It took me awhile to get to the bottom of what exactly was 'unfair' in all this. The explanation I got from this student was a little strange for a non-quantitative person. The student thought that she had deserved a higher place on a grading curve. If additional credits were added in for these other students, she thought, that had jeopardized her 'place' in a quota for 'A's or 'B's and pushed her down to a 'C' level.

It was inconceivable to the student that I had some expectation of demonstrated analytical ability - quite apart from repetition of memorized subject matter - for passing or distinguished grades, and that I did not grade with fixed quotas in mind, nor rate students against each other on a curve. Meanwhile, I have learned that the academic senate does support this latter practice. It may appear doctrinally neutral to enforce a statistical 'relative performance curve', as a means of maintaining a constant grade distribution. The fear of the label of 'grade inflation' can be worrisome for a young institution, it seems, if there is no predictable fixed distribution curve. Nevertheless, I am prepared to defend the objective of distinguishing performance according to analytical depth rather than quantitative recall.

It seems that this student - perhaps most students in Hong Kong - come from their schools with pedagogical ideas derived from preparation for their two sets of standardised testing examinations at form 5 and form 7. Consequently, they tend to believe that university courses - like courses they have taken in preparation for qualification for university entrance - should continue to follow the same teaching and assessment pattern. Let me say at the outset, however, that although my students gained their experience from Hong Kong, the attitudes they reflect derive from a standardised testing culture that is becoming universal at all levels of education, worldwide. So perhaps for 'Hong Kong students,' here, read 'students who come up through the standardised testing mode, anywhere'.

Students who are brought up like this feel cheated to pay tuition - they think to have lecturers tell them everything they need to know for their examinations - and then have to read books - worse yet to have to pay for books. It must be very satisfying to be able to assemble all the notes that assure success on the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) and the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations (HKALE), the examinations that secure entrance to university, and the GREs, the GMAT, and the TOEFL, the examinations that secure entrance to advanced higher level education, and the standardised professional admissions and certification examinations. That kind of preparation, I have no doubt, is really worth paying for. All of it is aimed at ensuring the steps in one's career. It has to be very troubling, then, to have a foreign university teacher tell you that university education aspires to some other kind of objective. 'To what?' they ask.

In university, I for one, have always felt cheated to hear only what I could have read in a book. 'If I can read it myself, why do I need to waste my time listening to it?' Is it any wonder, then, that the question of provision of education - that few really want in any traditional sense, when they expect solely a means to professional or career advancement - gets transformed into a question of 'fairness' in assessment?

2. Unbending Rules vs. 'Rule of Law'

An Englishman learns 'fairness', they say, on the playing fields - by doing what is 'cricket'. 'Playing the game', at least in cricket, they say, is not playing 'to win at all costs'. Not to win with an 'unfair' advantage, that is. An obvious mismatch would be 'unfair'. Also unsatisfactory to watch.

A game has rules. But, a game is not a war. 'Fairness' in cricket is perhaps similar to what we would call 'equity' in law. What does that mean? 'Law has rules', your next question is going to be, 'does fairness mean that you don't have to follow the rules of law either?'

Actually, Aristotle answered this question over 2000 years ago. Rules of law are made to fit a general situation. There are times when the language of a legal rule, which addresses a general situation, may also appear to be 'unfair' or even absurd in particular circumstances. This is not because the rule was a bad rule for the general situation, but because the framers of the rule did not foresee the application of the language of the rule in those particular circumstances. Therefore, we sometimes say that justice under legal rules alone may leave something to be desired, and that 'equity' in interpretation is also called for.

Our campus used to have a rule that 'overnight parking' was not permitted outside the academic buildings. The rule was intended to discourage people from abandoning their cars in parking spaces (as people sometimes do in Hong Kong, rather than pay to have them towed away). But people also work in the academic buildings at night, both faculty members and students, perhaps even sometimes 'over night'. These people are, of course, allowed to park their cars outside the academic building 'at night', but not 'overnight'.

The question arises, then, when does 'overnight' begin, and when does it end? Is the person who works until 4:00 a.m. parking 'overnight'? And what about the person who goes home for a nap and comes back at 3:00 a.m. to start another full day's work? Is that person parking 'overnight'? Does the rule mean that we all have to go outside before the sun comes up just to move our cars to different parking places? If the intent of the rule is not to prohibit nighttime parking altogether, there will come a time when such a rule must either be re-written, or when reasonable people will ask for the rule to be applied with 'reasonableness', or 'equity' or 'fairness'.

'Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself''[3].

3. 'The Spirit of the Game' vs. Winning at All Costs

Not all Englishmen play all games like they are said to play cricket. British football fans abroad are notorious for rowdy behaviour. Obviously the spirit of football is not the same as the spirit of cricket. You might think there is sometimes a class distinction between Englishmen who play football and Englishmen who play cricket. I have heard a story of a Cambridge student who withdrew to go elsewhere, because, he said, 'My father was a taxi driver, and these guys don't even play the same kind of games I do'. I am prepared to believe that this particular student 'didn't ... play the same kind of games'. I don't play cricket either. I do not think that the obstacle was that the student's father was a taxi driver, however, except in his own head. But it is true that many people play games, or watch games being played, principally to enjoy the humiliation of the other side, and could not care less about just playing the game.

The paradox of the notion of the 'other kinds of games'- if teaching field sports and team played games is supposed to teach 'respect for the rules of the game' - is that if a person does not also learn to expect anyone else outside his or her own family, or circle of best friends, ever to exercise any particular consideration towards a stranger, rigid enforcement of the rules can become a surrogate notion for the protection of what everyone is ordinarily entitled to.

'Games' of the workplace, and of the career ladder, that become a contest for survival often need firm rules to keep people from attempting to ruin one another. However, it is not in any way to diminish the importance of reasonable rules of conduct, to add that bare rules without exercise of judgment is not exactly what we mean by 'rule of law'.

The British in Hong Kong seem, for example, to have developed an extreme sensitivity in Hong Kong students to 'unfairness', that is, to fear of the non-adherence to the rules when one's fate in his or her career depends on it. But, this is only in the key area in which, by contrast, Hong Kong students are 'socialised', namely, in standardised testing, and the special schools that prepare them for it.

The British may have made their place in the world by being 'sporting'. But, Hong Kong only had 150 years of cricket. China had already had 5000 years invested in 'the examination system'. The Chinese invented bureaucracy and the examination system to support it. The primary spirit of the Hong Kong student community, therefore, tends to be not 'good fellowship', although Hong Kong students admire that too, but more what Americans like to call 'competitiveness'.

'Fairness' in the Hong Kong classroom is, therefore, not primarily cultivation of generosity and fair play. Rather, the prevalent concern is more in combating 'unfairness' - as if the Hong Kong student were constantly being forced to act as his or her own education policeman, or as agent of a private 'ICAC' [that unique Hong Kong institution, the Independent Commission Against Corruption], compelled to brood over every occasion in which, contrary to schooldays' experience in standardised testing, another student obtains, an assessment 'advantage' on individual 'academic merit', whereas 'fairness' in assessment has been assumed to require a universal standard applied universally.

'Unfair' in the Hong Kong student vocabulary, therefore, tends to mean anything that violates the principles of how professional testing organizations, that administer the HKALE or the HKCEE, conduct large scale standardised testing. Consequently, what such students expect - and demand - is anonymity, uniformity, packaged courses, model questions, model answers, and curved results. If university lecturers adhere to these principles, even the most mediocre student knows that he is guaranteed equal opportunity with every tycoon's son or daughter to memorise and repeat his course material, and compete, score for score, for the key jobs of Hong Kong.

The liberal arts ideals of education, on the other hand, ideals that stress individual thinking and development of the personality - ideals that many traditional university teachers, including this author, still firmly adhere to - tend to violate every one of those precepts.

Hong Kong students, therefore (as I have said before, for 'Hong Kong students' read 'students brought up on standardized testing' guidelines) tend to have an entirely different notion of what 'teaching and learning' is from accepted notions in the older, traditional schools in Britain and America, so that the concerns just expressed probably would never arise for them. 'Teaching' in the Hong Kong school vocabulary, is the efficient, well-organised, and anonymous, transmission of information. 'Learning' is acquisition of information, with the formulas for silent application.

Asking the student to give a verbal answer of how to apply recognised legal concepts or how to apply doctrines and principles of law, on the other hand, tends to be regarded as 'unfair'. To do that the student must come out into the open, deal with reasoning that is not simply data oriented, and perhaps reveal that his English is less than perfect. (It would not make any difference if the student were asked to respond in Cantonese, or any other language or dialect. Without practical experience in use of language, verbal expression in any language will be less than perfect.)

4. The Teaching Technology Model Classroom

I suppose that it is theoretically possible to mandate that all courses should follow the same pattern that presumably the Hong Kong student comes prepared to find. From comments both written and verbal in end of term course comments and so-called 'student evaluations', I gather that that is what many students want, who come to university solely with career expectations in mind. In this sense, the teachers' college people have done their work well in the schools of Hong Kong. The official terminology is certainly all there, but the concepts have re-emerged under a distinctly cram school student held wand of 'fairness':

  • Course Objective: A course should have a clearly stated objective and description that it attempts to attain - this should correspond to concepts that the student is already familiar with, and should give the student the feeling that he or she is mastering a (new) discipline that corresponds favourably with what the student already knows of the world;

  • Well Organised: A course should follow a simple outline that lays out the course in manageable bytes. (A student should be able to skip a lecture, or lectures, leave any residual note-taking, or collecting, to a classmate or girl friend, and still be able to step in where he or she left off - or maybe skip the whole course and still be able to pick up the threads at examination time);

  • Pass Out Lecture Notes: Lectures should be able to be broken down into bullet-point notes - preferably in PowerPoint - and distributed to the students, or at least available to them on library reserve, better, 'on the web'. (Lecturers should not vary from these notes - without providing additional notes. The student should never be left wholly in the position of 'taking notes' for him or herself!)

  • Don't be 'Unfair': This proposition can be most troublesome for any instructor not more than barely acquainted with Hong Kong schools, and not fully dedicated to the proposition of applying the educational testing organizations' notions of uniform conditions for standardised testing throughout teaching generally. Such 'unfairness' manifests itself in a number of ways that university instructors must be diligent in avoiding:

    (i) Grading Unfairness: There must be nothing that one student knows, or does, or has access to, or has credit for, or has extra time for, [or is born with ?] that distinguishes him or her from anybody else - or that could possibly lead to loss of quota on a grading curve. Any one of these things would be 'unfair'. ('Fairness', in this persuasion, has only to do with preventing non-uniform conditions. It has nothing to do with the active decision to do what you might consider 'equitable' or 'reasonable');

    (ii) Do Not Ask Questions: A question separates one student from another. That is not 'fair'. A student comes to hear - not to be questioned. One student should never be put in a situation different from another student. No student should gain credit for - or, worse yet, lose face for - a question answered properly - or improperly.' (This is sometimes put in the context of forcing the student to show that his English is less than perfect. Actually, students' English is not all that bad when really put to use. Experience shows that it is not a question of choice of language at all - asking in Cantonese would be just as bad. It is questioning - we might as well say 'reasoning' - that has no place in the classroom. 'Tutorials' are not places for questions put to students either. 'Tutorials' are for students to ask the teaching assistant [the TA] questions, in Cantonese. The instructor should never know anything about it.)

    (iii) Exam Questions should provide the opportunity for the student to demonstrate that he or she has the answers' - MCs' [multiple choice questions] are acceptable for this purpose. 'It is not 'fair' to make us think on an exam' - one student remarked in outrage to my colleague across the hall. I am afraid that that persuasion is pretty widespread, however. Nowhere is the preoccupation with what is 'fair' and 'unfair' clearer than when it comes to examinations. That is where students should be provided with exactly equal, regular, and uniform conditions of standardised testing. 'Thinking' on an exam would seem to suggest that there is more than one answer that is possible. And that is 'unfair.' Law, above all, should have fixed answers - everybody knows that! 'Here are the answers,' I tell my students, when I give them my notes - i.e., my textbook which outlines all the basic elements and principles of law they need to know. 'Now you give me the solutions.'

    (iv) In addition to all this, the student who follows this pattern wants anonymity: I was amazed, at first, how many times I had to ask some students to provide a card with simple contact data and an ID photo, so that I could record their grades and assignments and recognise them when we met. Some would then provide the card, but not the photo. Typically, this type of student prefers to communicate only by email, signed 'Helen', or 'Jack' - no Chinese given name or surname - often asking for an outline of a missed lecture, by return email.

No one has traced development of my efforts to conform to the foreseen standards more closely than the graduating students themselves in their parting shot my first year in Hong Kong:

. . . Dr. Lee was very anxious about the students' concerns, he, therefore, conscientiously prepared notes and case materials, printed in an old-fashioned type of font. So we began to feel that there must be some hope for us in the course. . . .

In his first several lectures, Dr. Lee just used a white board in the classroom, he seemed to know nothing about the advanced technical equipment in the lecture hall. Then about a month later, he suddenly startled us with PowerPoint color slides in the lecture. All the students in the lecture theatre were completely amazed. A series of beautiful pictures burst open in front of us and we all thought, 'Is God helping us?' *. There was hope for us yet*.

We have heard that this year Dr. Lee brought out a new textbook for the course. However, it was not available from the publisher yet by the time this Addressbook goes to press. *. 'Was there breach of contract [by the publisher]?' . . . But before we take further action, we have to remember Dr. Lee's frequent warning: 'Moh da guan sz!' ['Never go to court!'], HKUST Accounting Students, Addressbook, 1997

5. 'Interactive' Learning: The Pop Up Menu vs. Socratic Method

'Interactive' is now a captive word of the e-learning set - where it means choosing menu buttons and pop up answers. This is said to be a good thing and allows the student to demonstrate his or her learning achievement. In the tradition of liberal arts college teachers, 'interactive' may, however, suggest a somewhat different connotation of an actual intellectual interchange with a student, i.e., the much vaunted 'Socratic method'. Obviously, the expatriate university instructor will tend to bring some of his own preconceived ideas of education along with him. Not least among them is what education itself intends:

  • 'Education' is not what standardised testing services do - though it may, sometimes, be what they test.

  • 'Education' is an effort to reach every student - sometimes no matter what it takes.

  • 'Grading on a curve' is some people's idea of replicating a natural distribution of grades. I do not do that. I do not interfere with natural distribution where it occurs on its own, because students' individual achievements differ. But I do not believe that what is theoretically 'a natural distribution' over all generations of students, is necessarily 'a constant distribution' in any one class, or in any one year.

However, the notion that any student has a defensible interest in a 'quota' on a curve that he or she is entitled to, preventing me from using every suitable means to reach every other student, is preposterous.

Similarly, I have to say, that I find the teaching technology specialists notions of 'fairness' I hear about, more than a little confining. Recently a student came to me troubled because he did not believe that he should have nearly failed an exam - and/or be required to take it over. (Because I do not like to accept such results, I had asked him to take the exam over. I am also prepared to defend the right to use the examination itself for teaching purposes, just like everything else - whether that clashes with the educational testing organisations notions of finality in testing or not.)

However, reluctantly, I re-read what I had originally thought was a 'D+' exam. Upon re-reading, I was persuaded that it was justifiably a kind of 'C-' effort. The student was appalled, and visibly shaken. 'How could you be so 'unfair',' he sobbed. 'How could you*give me a 'D+' when I deserved a 'C-'?' The answer to that was simple enough for me - in a foreign idiom:

'Fairness' is not relying on a perfect system, my friend.'

'Fairness' is deciding to correct a mistake when you see it.'

'Do Not Ask Questions '?

Moreover, the humbling anti-Socratic obligation: 'Do Not Ask Questions!' has to be one of the most troubling for a law teacher: Discussion is central to the teaching of law, even if we have to create it in our own minds. In bold terms, therefore, no one has the right to tell me that I cannot talk with my own students! There may generally be no right or wrong in the answers to the questions I put. They are questions that allow the discussion to proceed - along one route or another. If the discussion proceeds according to the student's words - if the ideas are the student's ideas - if the resulting questions or conclusions are the student's questions or conclusions - then the initial question served its purpose. 'Where does the idea take you?' is the real question here. And in law and policy courses, in the humanities, the social sciences, in law and business studies - and, I am persuaded, in 'the scientific' fields as well - that is the most essential step.

Again, the students themselves are the most artful in capturing the scenario but missing the purpose of a law tutorial:

During the tutorial, Dr. Lee encouraged us very much to talk and discuss in class. He arranged students into several groups in order to make case presentations. But every time students started to present, Dr. Lee seemed to react more positively, and so those students who came out and presented ended-up standing aside and listening to what he was talking about. Their presentation in the end became Dr. Lee's presentation. . . . , HKUST Accounting Students, Addressbook, 1997.

The students had all obviously had some previous school experience with the mid-western American style of nice little classroom 'presentations' - with credit for 'participation'. The instructor's tutorial techniques appeared to have been a kind of bumbling - if your notion of proper handling of classroom work is arranging for little student 'recitations' [in Chinese bei shu ].

What their class historian did not understand, however: - 'a tutorial' (in the sense that the expatriate university instructor attempted to implement it) is the exchange of ideas, that begins when the student says something. It is the record of exchange in reaction: tutor to student; and student to tutor. The tutor draws out the reaction to oblige the student to draw his own conclusion - to finish the thought.

On a number of occasions, I have discovered some students sitting through a second or third class on the same day - when every section covers the same material. 'Why are you sitting through this again?' I asked. 'Because you are saying different things in different sections,' they told me. If that student is taking down words literally, then he is missing the point, I think. Rather, questions take their own line of development. Enough. If I cannot talk to students, I cannot teach.

'Exam Questions should provide the opportunity to give back the correct answer.'

The foregoing has just demonstrated that there are very few such correct answers in my exams. There are of course basic elements of law: 'A contract arises from an offer, an acceptance, and possibly consideration - and all the other elements necessary to show 'intention to form a legal relationship'. From there on it is all discussion. 'Do we have those facts?' 'What problem do the facts we do have present?' 'What are the legal issues involved in that problem?' 'How does case law suggest a resolution of such a problem?'

'I know what you want.' One second year wag came to my office to tell me the first year. 'You want the ratio decidendi [the reasoning underlying judicial decision-making] !' He was right.

'Anonymity':

What about Anonymity then? I am sorry, that just does not exist in my classes either. We used to have anonymous grading in my law school. Never anonymity in classes. Anonymous grading was supposed to prevent treating any student less favorably in marking. But anonymity inhibits communication in classes - and I have made the point that my classes are based on communication and exchange of ideas.

Sometimes a student may try to substitute another's written work for his own based on the assumption that I do not know who the student is, and do not insist on discussing the work with the student in advance and upon presentation. That is also a mistake. Since my first year experience with anonymous submissions (based on a career that began before the invention of the internet), I make it a point to discuss all student work with the individual, or individually with the team, that submits it. This has been much more fruitful - especially where linguistic and educational experience has not prepared the student to handle lengthy exposition in a second language.

'Tutorials and Socratic Method':

I look for a means of handling 'tutorials' that allows direct but group supervision (a necessity with courses of up to 350 or more students), and, avoids the temptation for plagiarism. Still in pursuit of Socratic method, I suggested moot court debates in lieu of a final examination. Before that, not one of the students had not previously complained that the language of the law reports was too difficult. But, it was an experiment that worked. There is nothing like watching 150 of your students stand up to the questions of seven external judges! And the engineering students, this time, were not simply 'standing aside and listening'.

While clearly many of these students needed more practice in classroom use of English. Not one of the students who took part here could not make himself, or herself, understood and did not have a fairly good grasp of the concepts of law and legal issues at stake in the debates. What is more, the students did not simply rely on the decisions they had studied during the year, they researched and studied the underlying cases as well.

6. IT as e-Learning vs. IT as Teaching Technology

It is no secret that Hong Kong students are selected for university as the result of a process that begins in secondary school by preparing students for the HKCEE and the HKALE exams. Anyone who has prepared for these or for other more advanced standardised testing examinations recognises that success in such examinations is the result of drilling the 'right answers' - not in the development of 'critical understanding'. Consequently, when our students come to university they tend to come prepared for learning in the same manner - and dread losing all they have achieved by venturing into unknown territory.

Information Technology, the deus ex machina that official Hong Kong now relies on to rescue our educational system from the doldrums, if it only caters to this same mentality, may be useful to provide a medium for 'distance learning'. It can also be adapted to provide means of anonymous classroom feedback, if that is desirable. But, such use does not contribute to live classroom discussion. Therefore the question arises: 'Can you also pursue individual educational goals with a massifying, media-reverie producing mechanism?' 'Do we have to accept inducing only anonymous 'clicking' interaction from the student audience?'

Reticence of our students to engage in a teaching and learning dialogue is implicitly acknowledged in the recent edition of our official school paper, Genesis. In describing a new classroom learning tool developed by a leading member of our Physics Department, the school paper tells us that it:

*allows students to respond electronically, and in private *.allowing students to respond privately and at ease removes the threat associated with speaking publicly in lectures' [emphasis added].

That method may be fine for learning physics. But, it will not do for studying law. As the inventor, himself, acknowledges: 'genuine learning takes place when students are actively engaged in thinking and problem solving.'

There is no such thing as law learned 'privately' and 'at ease'. Legal problems are solved by an adversary process - by persuasion. 'IT' can be a useful support - but it must take us beyond an initial set of 'bullet points'. You do not teach 'law', or any business, humanistic, social, or policy science properly as only a collection of 'black letter' rules and regulations.

In the years in Hong Kong, I have also found that IT offers us a very promising support medium - not to replace traditional university teaching, but to enhance and support what we attempt to do. The successful introduction of team based moot court debates of leading cases in Hong Kong business law was doubtless revolutionary by itself considering the reticence of Hong Kong students to step out of their traditional anonymous background role. However, our ambition with IT: videograms, a CD-ROM for student case outlines, and most recently digital electronic animations of case reports, is not to provide memory aids for future testing. It is rather to serve as a prompter mechanism to train students for the next debate. That will be the ultimate test: Can interactive multimedia be used to get the new class of students on their feet for student led discussion of the concepts and decisions yet to come?

Notes and References

1 According to figures of the Education and Manpower Bureau, daytime FTEs remained relatively constant at over 62,000 through 2000-01, but rose to over 69,000 in 2001-02. See: <http://www.info.gov.hk/emb/eng/archive/stat/geninfo2.html> 11/9/02.

2 (1998) ['Accountability' and 'Quality' in the Research Assessment Policy of the University Grants Committee (Hong Kong)'] The Times Higher Education Supplement, August 14, 1998, Commonwealth Section, p. xiii, published as: 'Scrutineers Perpetuate Reign of Error'; (2000) 'Put Teaching on an Even Footing with Research? Teaching and Learning Policy Review in Hong Kong and the U.S.,' 8.48 Education Policy Analysis Archives, <http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v8n48.html> .

3 The Marylebone Cricket Club, 'The Laws of Cricket, 2000 Code,' Preamble. The author is indebted to Professor John Barrow and to Mr. Richard Pemberton for their patience in attempting to explain 'the spirit of cricket'.

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