The Smart Methodology (the Methodology) uses mistake-driven learning and practice-based learning – with students encouraged to construct their own knowledge through experience, and to reflect on those experiences. The opportunities to construct knowledge are created by the Smart tutors’ active teaching. Underpinning this Methodology are four articulated premises:
(i) that learning produces meaningful knowledge,
(ii) that the opportunity to take risks, make wrong choices, and remedy the problem, stimulates long-term knowledge retention and comprehension,
(iii) that in establishing a positive learning outcome, the primary role is played by self-directed learning – with learners assuming personal responsibility for planning and carrying out their learning activities,
(iv) that drawing on their individual professional expertise, tutors encourage the student’s learning and reflection process by:
- identifying mistakes
- building on the learner’s current knowledge
- assessing the learner’s progress.
Fundamental to the Methodology are the concepts of:
(i) Active teaching,
(ii) Practice-based education,
(iii) Self-directed learning,
(iv) Mistake-driven learning, and
(v) Rational approach to exam techniques.
The Methodology contains two components – tailored lectures with notes, and simulations which are designed and carried out similar to the QLTS OSCE / SQE2 conditions.
Within the Methodology, the learners are provided with the opportunity to learn from their own experience and possible mistakes through individually conducted simulations or mock stations aimed at challenging and reinforcing the learners’ knowledge of fundamental legal concepts and principles. The lectures and mock stations above have been designed by OSCEsmart based on common mistakes and confusions within each practice area and each key subject as registered by OSCEsmart.
OSCEsmart mock stations are conducted via active teaching in the form of:
- Client interviews with laypersons of academic or acting background;
- Advocacy/ presentation sessions;
- Handwritten attendance notes;
- Legal writing exercises: typed letters/e-mails of advice;
- Legal drafting exercises: drafted documents;
- Legal research exercises: typed legal research record sheets;
- Legal case and matter analysis exercises: typed case-based reports to a partner containing client-focused advice.
The Methodology covers, but is not limited to:
(i) System of training – specific challenges applied to each individual mock activity and group session, the manner and regularity of conducting the latter;
(ii) Exam techniques – elements of training developed and accumulated by OSCEsmart team in the course of conducting training, and delivered to aspiring solicitors as part of their exam preparation, including oral tips and suggestions for how to prepare for the QLTS OSCE / SQE2;
(iii) Database of common mistakes and confusions identified by OSCEsmart within each practice area and each key subject, and utilised for the purposes of training aspiring solicitors;
(iv) Business model – a system of work, including application of different internal and external software and web solutions used by OSCEsmart team in order to run the course.