Two things are critical for law schools in the United States: meeting ABA accreditation standards and improving Bar outcomes for their students. An all-in-one digital assessment platform can help realize both of these goals.
What Is ABA Accreditation?
A meticulous three-year process, ABA accreditation ensures uniformity of legal education and practice across the U.S. A law school seeking accreditation must meet a number of standards set forth by the ABA before it is granted provisional accreditation status. Approved programs will remain at provisional status for at least three years before becoming fully accredited. Law students must have graduated from an accredited school to sit for the Bar exam in most states.
Meeting ABA Accreditation Standards
Here’s how ExamSoft assessment solutions can help law schools meet critical ABA accreditation standards:
Learning Outcomes – ABA Standard 302: Law schools must establish learning outcomes. Instructors who know their objectives can build a curriculum around those goals, helping law students pass the Bar. Mapping the curriculum to ensure alignment with desired outcomes can help educators demonstrate compliance.
Feedback and Student Self-Evaluation – ABA Standard 304 & 309: Receiving specific, actionable feedback in a timely manner empowers law students and gives them a greater chance at success. Learning outcomes, proficiency, and self-evaluation all improve with qualitative and quantitative feedback.
Formative & Summative Assessments – ABA Standard 314: Many law programs only test their students at the end of the term, but delivering additional assessments throughout the semester can help faculty provide meaningful feedback before the final exam. Formative and summative assessments, along with timely feedback, help prepare law students for a successful Bar exam and a rewarding career. ExamSoft enables instructors to add comments to essay responses and rationale feedback on multiple-choice questions, giving students the academic support they need.
Bar Passage Rates – ABA Standard 316: ExamSoft gives instructors the ability to tag questions to accreditation-specific categories, helping law schools find gaps and give targeted remediation. Law programs can compare student performance with required learning outcomes to ensure students are prepared for success on the Bar exam.
Rubrics-Based Experiential Evaluations – ABA Standard 304: When scoring experiential evaluations and simulations, it’s important to remain objective. Rubrics-based scoring of essays and assignments removes much of the subjectivity.
E-Proctoring for Distance Education – ABA Standard 306: The ABA requires secure assessments for distance learning courses — a must during times of a pandemic . ExamMonitor, ExamSoft’s remote proctoring tool, fulfills these requirements by simply enabling the camera and audio capabilities on the student’s device and providing you with an analysis afterward.
Evaluate Program Effectiveness & Learning Outcomes – ABA Standard 303 & 315: The ABA reviews statistical data to make sure law schools are meeting curricular goals, and ExamSoft provides quantitative information derived from student assessment outcomes to streamline this part of the process. This data, generated with accreditation-specific categories, shows whether students are achieving the proper learning outcomes and are well-prepared for the Bar exam.
For nearly a quarter century, ExamSoft has been helping law schools improve Bar passage rates and streamline the accreditation process. More than 160 law schools choose ExamSoft for their assessment needs.
ExamSoft’s extensive solution includes a host of benefits for both exam administrators and students to improve legal education and assessment, including:
- Customized exam templates
- Student tracking
- Easy access to exam results
- Effortless printing
- Grading anonymity
- Accessible exam history
- Iterative answer snapshots
- Minimal internet connectivity requirements
- Autosave functions
- Minimal infrastructure
- Bar exam prep
- Automatic software updates
- Open book / blocked internet exams
- 24×7 support
The ExamSoft platform has the flexibility to deliver in-person, paper-based exams as well as remote exams. ExamSoft is more than an assessment platform; it is a comprehensive solution with analytics for tracking longitudinal success and remediation, rubrics-based assessments for subjective grading, data for accreditation, and much more.