Assessing Law clinic – the use of digital patch text assessment as an alternative to traditional portfolios


  • Karen Clubb University of Derby



The paper presents the use of ‘patch text assessment’ as an innovative assessment method being ‘a series of integrated patch text assessments which are ‘stitched’ together with a final ‘patch’ to form a complete coherent piece of work. Each patch adds to the overall assessment.’ The use of patch text assessment is presented within the context of a year long research project which aimed to assess the use of digital media to enhance the use of patch text assessment within a law clinic module in UK Law School. This paper presents a brief outline of the context of clinical legal education in relation to its application within the Derby law clinic module, outlining the current influences within the field of higher education that guide the assessment process and context. The paper then briefly defines ‘traditional’ portfolios and the concept of patch text assessment before considering these each in turn more fully in relation to their advantages and disadvantages in terms of assessment strategy. The paper then progresses to outline the objectives of the research project and the methodology applied to achieve these. This is followed by an analysis of the project findings to conclude as to the effectiveness of digital media to enhance the use of patch text assessment and any benefits derived from this approach in comparison with ‘traditional’ portfolios for assessment.