Online Dispute Resolution Simulation

Shaping the Curriculum for Digital Lawyering

  • Faye F Wang

Abstract

Online dispute resolution (ODR) simulation workshops are designed to provide students with a virtual learning environment that empowers our students to gain legal and digital skills for their readiness in future employment. Students are invited to act as complainants, opponents and arbitrators/mediators to resolve a real-life case in a team-based, student-centred and research-informed teaching and learning environment. The ODR simulation workshops have been conducted by the author among both undergraduate and postgraduate law students since 2007 at Brunel University and other places. This ongoing project was initially funded by the Nominet Trust in 2010. Throughout these years, ODR simulation workshops have been well-received by students from different cultures, particularly where English is not their first language. Students were asked to conduct online arbitration or mediation hearings and submit arbitral awards and mediation settlements, as well as delivering technical observation notes and group presentations after the process. This article promotes the use of ODR simulation to effectively enhance students’ learning experience, legal skills (i.e. critical thinking, legal reasoning, problem-solving skills) and digital skills. It puts ODR simulation into the context of the shift in teaching approaches in the digital age and explains how modern legal education can be shaped to prepare for digital lawyering.

Keywords: online dispute resolution; online arbitration; digital literacy; digital empowerment; artificial intelligence; digital lawyering; flexible learning; team-based learning; student-centred learning, research-informed teaching.

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Published
2021-03-01
Section
Articles