I am really excited about moderating and serving as commentator of the second session of the Joint Program sponsored by the Clinical and Professional Responsibility Sections to be held in San Diego on Wednesday, January 7. It is on assessment and is going to be very interactive. At the International Clinical Conference this summer, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Professor Kevin Kerrigan and Dean Philip Plowden of Northumbia who were the organizers of the conference in Cork, Ireland. (I discussed this in an earlier post, “Two American Keynotes.” ) The plan for the AALS session will involve how they assess learning across the law school curriculum in the UK, and they plan to involve the group in an interactive assessment exercise. They will ask the group to use a criteria-referenced protocol used at Northumbria. I have blogged about how important it is to measure students learning by their performance with regard to a specific desired outcome rather than simply ranking them against each other, so I am very interested in seeing how a group of clinicians will use the protocol. And, Lawrence Grosberg of New York Law School will discuss multiple assessment methods in clinical and skills courses as a result of his work using of “standardized clients”. He will involve the group in an interactive assessment exercise. Since I have been working with the UNM Medical School using standardized clients in joint training about domestic violence, I have very interested in seeing how Professor Grosberg’s assessment techniques have developed. I get to play “Oprah” and get the audience involved and hopefully in my best “Oprah like” way ask provocative and interesting questions! And, if you have been following my posts, you know that I am very interested in the impact of outcome based assessment on law students of color. My theory is that clearly articulating learning outcomes and evaluating the extent to which students acheive those objectives will benefit all students. And, I hope that measuring performance on criteria referenced objectives will prove to be a much better way of evaluating students rather than ranking them against each other on their performance of the same skills that they demonstrated on the Law School Admissions Test. And, true to a foundational principle of clinical teaching…this session will not involve “talking heads”…we will all learn by doing!