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About Methodology of a Learning Object

I just finished writing a methodology of a learning object “Protection of Human Rights in the CJEU”. Welcome are all suggestions for improvement!

“The learning object forms part of the Faculty of Law’s course OIAO.07.052 “Protection of Human Rights under EU Law” and is addressed to undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Tartu and other European Universities.

The aim of the learning object is to facilitate advanced work with the core human rights case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. For that aim, the learning object helps prepare for seminars and for revision for the final examination (consisting of multiple choice test, or essay, subject to the student’s choice). The learning object has been built up systematically, the materials are organized from general issues towards specific problems. If used correctly, the learning object teaches step-by-step use of the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The learning object does not present the right answers to the questions, but rather provokes the student to think, because the aim of the learning object is preparation of the student for the seminars and other forms of control. As e-learning does not enable discussion comparable to think-provoking living discussion in a classroom, it does not contain exercises with given answers, but contains references to the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and indicates the points and problems the student should concentrate on while reading a concrete case.

Selection of the case law bases on the books: Norbert Reich, Understanding EU Law (Hart Publishing, 2005); P. Birkinshaw, M. Varney (eds.), The European Union Legal Order after Lisbon (Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York, The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International, 2010) (esp. articles: C. Kombos (2010) „The Esoteric Dimension of Constitutional Pluralism: EU’s Internal Constitutional Sub-units and the Non-symbolic Cumulative Constitution”; G. Anthony (2010) „EU Law’s Fundamental Rights Regime and Post-national Constitutionalism: Kadi’s Global Setting”); P. Alston et al (eds.), The EU and Human Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999) (esp. articles D. Spielmann (1999) „Human Rights Case Law in the Strasbourg and Luxembourg Courts: Conflicts, Inconsistencies, and Complementarities”; B. De Witte (1999), „The Past and Future Role of the European Court of Justice in the Protection of Human Rights”), and articles published in scientific journals: J. Donnelly (2007), „The Relative Universality of Human Rights” 2 Human Rights Quarterly, 281-306; S. Carruthers (2009), „The Treaty of Lisbon and the reformed jurisdictional powers of the European Court of Justice in the field of justice and home affairs” 6 European Human Rights Law Review, 784-804; and S. Douglas-Scott (2006), „A Tale of Two Courts: Luxembourg, Strasbourg and the Growing European Human Rights acquis” 43 Common Market Law Review, 629-665; T. Eilmansberger (2004), „The Relationship Between Rights and Remedies in EC Law: in Search of the Missing Link” 41 Common Market Law Review, 1199-1246; A. Von Bogdandy (2000), “The European Union as a Human Rights Organisation? Human Rights and the Core of the European Union” Common Market Law Review 6, 1307-1338. The idea of the model of the learning object lies in the Teaching Materials composed by Joseph H. H. Weiler available at the New York School of Law website at http://centers.law.nyu.edu/jeanmonnet/eu/Units/documents/UNIT7-EU-2004-05.pdf, some layout ideas are from the Central and Eastern European Internet Directory for Human Rights (CEEHR) belonging to the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and available at http://www.rewi.euv-frankfurt-o.de/de/profil/Projekte/ceehr/index.html

It is assumed that before using the learning object, the student already has acquired some basic knowledge about human rights, and has read the articles on protection of human rights in Europe from the Syllabus of the Course. The learning object still foresees some work with theoretical materials.

It is also assumed that universities offer courses on EU law databases. But since attendance of the course on EU law databases is not an obligatory precondition for attending the course OIAO.07.052 „Protection of Human Rights under EU Law”, and consequently, the level of knowledge of the students attending the named human rights course may differ, one aim of the learning object is to introduce to the student the official EUR-Lex case law database, as well as the case law database at the CJEU‘s website, because the EUR-Lex database does not contain all the cases available at the database at the CJEU’s website. In addition, cases of the CJEU may be directly acceded from the case law task list available as part of the learning object. The student is expected to find the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and work with the selected case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The study outcomes connected with the learning object are: (1) the student independently finds case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union from the EUR-Lex database; and from the relevant search systems of the Court of Justice of the European Union; (2) the student works with the case law – the learning object gives questions for analysing the case law; (3) the student is able to present a presentation about a case solved by the Court of Justice of the European Union that contains pre-determined differentiable parts.

Achievement of the study outcomes will be controlled during the seminars for which the student is expected to study the cases referred in the Syllabus of the Course. The student is asked questions about the cases during the seminars, and is expected to prepare a 10 minutes long presentation about a freely selected judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union that should include the following parts: (a) the facts of the case; (b) why was the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union referred to in the case; (c) has the Court of Justice of the European Union based its judgment on an Article in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The questions are connected with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, because that way, an introduction to the Charter that is one of the main topics of the general course, is already possible, and the learning object places naturally into the general course, being more comprehensively linked to the general course. The student is expected to present the case in the auditorium, and also to upload the presentation to the e-learning environment of the course. That way will be possible to grade the work with the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The activities that will be graded are: (a) the student has actively participated in seminars, having answered at least two personally addressed questions about the case law referred in the Syllabus of the Course; (b) the student has presented a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union; (c) the judgment presented refers to an Article of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and the context of that Article; (d) the student has uploaded the text of his / her presentation to the e-learning environment.

As the aims of the multiple choice test in the end of the course cannot be achieved solely basing on this learning object, the achievements concerning this learning object are graded separately, and the grade forms 20 % of the final grade of the course. The learning object cannot be used during the multiple choice test. But the learning object assists achievement of the study outcomes of the course.

In future, the learning object could be developed toward an even more comprehensive learning object, including direct control forms (exercises with answers, tests with answers, etc.). At present, the learning object is a preparation tool for seminar discussions and the final examination.”

The link: http://www.hot.ee/yanayana/ecthr_5_11/index.html 

I am now writing another methodology for the learning object “Protection of Human Rights in the European Court of Human Rights”: http://www.hot.ee/yanayana/ecthrpdf/index.html



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