and Do Your Own Work!
That's what I tell my College of Law Students as we shift to more independent writing in my Legal Research & Writing I course. Through Week 8, we slowly build the scaffold for this independent work with case briefs, exercises, and sample writings.
Last year at this time, I was not so enthusiastic about the work ethic of my male students. Almost half the class was not prepared to handle this challenging course in a second language. Several students tried to close the gap with attempts at cheating.
But this year, the students are far more mature (many have jobs and families) and most of them have pretty good English-language skills. The students with very good language skills lead discussions and set the pace. I am very proud of Hamad, Abdullaziz (both of you), Mohammed (several of you), Awad, Amer, Fahad, Hadi, Hussein, Saoud, Walid, Khalid, and Jaber (and his "Egyptain lawyer" tutor).
At the same time, each semester I get better at teaching the course, especially to our at-risk students. This year, I provided all the CREAC Test materials in advance so they could practice over spring break. It reduced anxiety levels, while still meeting my pedagogical goals. I want them to feel more in control as they learn this new skill. I also want a better first draft to grade. I hope the momentum continues into the last six weeks of the semester.
These young men are making this semester one of my most enjoyable at Qatar University College of Law.