Evaluating the Instructional Environment for Learning to Solve Legal Cases Prosa

A.J. Muntjewerff (The Netherlands)


Computer Assisted Instruction, Skill Acquisition, Legal Case Solving, System Evaluation


Law students experience major difficulties learning to solve legal cases. We developed an instructional environment for learning to solve legal cases. This computer program PROSA (PROblem Situations in Administrative law) supports law students in acquiring the skill of solving legal cases as effective and efficient as possible. PROSA is designed on the basis of theoretical and empirical studies that indicated that these problems are most likely due to lack of structure in the legal sources, i.e. content, than to lack of method. An ontology that specified the types of knowledge in legal reasoning was a major source of inspiration for PROSA's design. In this paper we focus on the comprehensive evaluation we performed to determine the effectiveness of PROSA. This study shows that PROSA has a strong improving effect that it is specific for the effect aimed at. However, the effect is independent of the students’ initial level of performance.

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