Medina County Courthouse

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Hearsay Teaching Technique

I have taught at seminars sponsored by the Ohio Judicial College. Since I lecture for the College, I have been invited to participate in course development conferences. During these conferences there are presentations on how adults like to learn. During these presentations I have learned that adults like to learn by interacting with each other and with the presenter of new information. They also like "hands on" problem solving so that they can see how the information applies to what they do.

I recently put on a seminar for the Celebrezze-Zanghi Community Legal Education Project, Inc., an Ohio non-profit corporation. The seminar was on hearsay and the Ohio Rules of Evidence. The seminar was built around 18 hearsay problems. The problems called for determining whether the evidence being offered was hearsay and whether it was admissible.

The 17 participants were seated at round tables in groups of four to six. They read the problem, discussed the possible answers among themselves, then we discussed the answers as a group.

Both the participants and myself found this to be a great way to teach and to learn. On the evaluations that were turned in, the course was rated at a 4.86 out of a possible 5.00. Of the 17 participants, 15 turned in evaluations. In the comments sections were several comments voicing approval of the problem solving format. Participants liked the interaction among themselves and liked sharing information with other attorneys.

I am thinking about devising more such seminars and would appreciate any thoughts or comments that attorneys might have regarding topics. You can email me your suggestions at Please put the words "Seminar Suggestions" in the subject matter line.

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