Since its founding, Bucerius Law School has stood for the successful modernization of academic education in Germany’s university landscape. With the establishment of the new Learning Innovation Lab (LIL), Bucerius Law School is once again living up to its pioneering ambition as a driver for innovation in legal education.
Digitalization of Law
In all areas of life, including education and research, digitalization is becoming increasinglyrelevant. Several years ago, by establishing a video studio, the law school already began taking its first steps in the field of cross-media preparation of legal content as well as successfully implementing a wide range of projects, from classic instructional videos to video corrections and blended learning courses. Right from the onset, direct lecture recordings were mainly pursued on the side. The focus was on the added value of digitally enriched lectures rather than on simply transferring them into a digital space. Through the founding of the LIL, under the academic direction of Professor Dr. Florian Faust, a focal point has now been established which bundles and further expands both the media didactic and media design implementation of innovative teaching methods.
The continuous development of teaching at Bucerius Law School is made possible by the sustained commitment of its founder, the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. In addition to contributing to around one third of the budget, since 2017 the ZEIT-Stiftung has also supported the area of digitization with a special endowment of over 500,000 Euro.
Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Katharina Boele-Woelki, Dean of Bucerius Law School added: "Thanks to the ZEIT-Stiftung and the commitment of our academic staff, 20 years after our founding we continue to advance legal education. Through institutionalizing our efforts, we are creating an even more comprehensive and individualized opportunity for our students. We are particularly pleased that Professor Faust, someone who represents the high standards of education at Bucerius Law School, has joined our team and will be the new Academic Director of the Learning Innovation Lab."
Methods and content individually tailored to the needs of the students
Sven Störmann, 2010 alumnus and director of the LIL, explains: "The Lab functions primarily as a consulting and service area for the academic staff. We analyze developments in legal education from a legal and didactic perspective and evaluate which formats and systems are useful and could be implemented at Bucerius Law School. During implementation, the Lab can, if desired, support the entire development process in close coordination with the lecturers - from the didactic concept to the concrete implementation, subsequent evaluation and adaptation of the learning path. The content design and the decision making authority still remains with the professors."
Centrally managing digital learning materials
New projects are already in preparation: for example this year, for the first time, the blended learning concept will be tested in the Exam Preparation Program II. In addition, the LIL is examining to what extent the areas of Learning Analytics and Virtual Reality, both already widespread in other disciplines, can be practiced in law school. The so called "Learning Space" is a lecture room that is ideally suited for blended learning, distance teaching and video conferences. Sven Störmann added, "In addition to the production of teaching content and its function as a supporting contact point for lecturers, another important long term task of the LIL will be to ensure the distribution of and interaction with learning materials through the means of suitable software. A variety of methods for teaching media should be made available to students anytime, in an easy and accessible manner."
However, it is not only academic staff that will benefit from the founding of the LIL and the associated expansion of video graphic (and photographic) activities. The special competence in the creation of high-quality media will also benefit other departments at Bucerius Law School, such as Corporate Communications and Bucerius Education GmbH. The Learning Innovation Lab is a service center which lecturers, as well as employees of Bucerius Law School, can directly benefit from in the future.
Youtube channel Bucerius Law School Lecture Digital
Author: Lena Johannes
Translation: David Patrician
Photo: Sven Störmann (LIL)