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28 Legal Reference Services Quarterly 201 (2009)


Legal research instructors seek to provide their students with a working knowledge of important research tools, strategies with which to develop a rational research plan, and the skill to conduct research efficiently, among other things. A well-conceived legal research class may utilize short-answer assignments, quizzes, and scavenger hunt exercises as a means to establish a baseline of knowledge with critical sources; a series of research problems, with grading based upon students' ability to describe a coherent and logical progression; and a pathfinder or process-oriented final exam, all depending on the instructor's goals. Ultimately, the variety of available assessment tools suggests room for creativity and the existence of many appropriate alternatives. As long as instructors use a multifaceted approach, selecting assessment tools to suit course objectives, students will be engaged in the process and will become stronger, more confident legal researchers.