The virtual court action: procedural facilitation in law

Karen Barton, Patricia McKellar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the difficulties of learning procedural law is that students need to understand and memorize the forms of action which can be carried out by parties to a case. The Virtual Court Action allows students to take an active part in their learning by enabling them to carry out simulated court actions. Within the simulation, students are assigned roles, and progress the action, as in court, lodging documents, corresponding by email and meeting time limits when appropriate. Throughout, students draw from a library of style templates, and assemble documents electronically through a series of dialogues which assist them in the drafting process. The Virtual Court Action enhances traditional legal heuristics by allowing students to become part of what they are learning. It fosters a student‐centred, problem‐solving vocational environment, allows users to progress at their own rate, and supports different learning styles. Above all, it is an example of the use of realia to enable procedural facilitation not only in legal studies, but in CBL as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Learning Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • simulations
  • court
  • court procedures
  • legal education


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