A dialogue concerning the merits of the 100% final examination in the assessment of law students

Nickolas James, Darryn Jensen

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Law schools in Australia and elsewhere traditionally made extensive use of the ‘100% final examination’ as a summative assessment method. Since the late 1980s, law schools have moved away from this traditional assessment method in favour of the greater use of interim assessment and of alternative forms of assessment. This has been partly the result of a more considered approach to teaching by individual law teachers, and partly the result of school and university assessment policies imposing ceilings upon the weighting that can be given to any single piece of assessment.

Recent claims that increasing class sizes and marking loads have lead to the over-burdening of academics and that many students are now time-poor and over-assessed have prompted this consideration of whether the use of the 100% final examination should reevaluated. In this paper, two fictional law teachers conduct a dialogue about the merits of the 100% final examination for legal education. They explore the arguments in favour of and opposed to the use of final examinations, and draw upon the results of a recent pilot study conducted at the University of Queensland that examined the impact upon law students and academics of the use of 100% final examinations in conjunction with optional assessment items.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages33
JournalCanberra Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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