updated on 07 May 2020
BPP University Law School is launching a new £1.5 million AI-powered learning platform from September to help train and prepare future lawyers for success in their exams.
The new technology, which has been in development over the past year, aims to help students succeed in the centralised Solicitors Qualifying Exam, Bar Standards Board assessments and during their careers as practising lawyers.
Those studying a barrister training course or law conversion will be the first to have access to the AI-powered learning platform, which will ensure that its users benefit from the optimum balance of expert teaching and feedback, collaborative peer learning, as well as reflective study.
Developed in partnership with leading AI education developers, CENTURY TECH, BPP Adapt will be the first of the new tools to be introduced, with the second of BPP’s EdTech investments being a virtual practice environment.
Priya Lakhani OBE, Founder CEO of CENTURY Tech, said: “AI is transforming education across the world, from schools and universities to training providers. As a former barrister, I know how important it is for legal education to maximize the talents of each student while ensuring lecturers are equipped with the tools and data they need to succeed.
“AI has the potential to give every student education and training personalised to their needs. It also assists trainers and lecturers by providing them with helpful, in-depth data on their students’ performance, in turn improving their teaching.”
BPP Adapt will complement face-to-face teaching, while giving tomorrow’s lawyers access to a rich range of resources, including recorded presentations, online texts, and primary and secondary sources of law, helping to embed and build up students’ knowledge along with regular testing and instant feedback.
Dean of BPP Andrew Chadwick said: “The BPP Adapt platform will generate a personalised learning plan for every student to ensure that each individual is presented with the right resources, in the right way, at the right time. This, along with tutor guidance, will help students to build, apply and consolidate their knowledge and be better prepared for the centralised assessments and for practice.”
BPP Adapt uses the latest finding in educational research, neuroscience and AI and applies it to learning to create a unique, personalised learning path for every student, which can identify the specific materials that they require to progress through course materials at their own pace.
It will also support the law school’s student wellbeing focus by providing tutors with insights on study patterns that might be affecting a student’s mental wellbeing. Students and tutors will be able to work together to review study plans and where necessary, tutors will coach students through a more sustainable approach.
The second tool, the virtual practice environment, replicates a typical law firm or barrister’s chambers intranet, emulates real-world practice and helps to keep students motivated and engaged as they identify with the typical tasks of a future trainee or pupil barrister. As well as enabling students to consolidate and apply their knowledge, they will also be able to familiarise themselves with the interface typically used in practice and experience realistic document handling and case management.
Chadwick added: “We believe that both our new learning platform and our virtual practice environment are unique in legal vocational education. This is not about shiny tech that just offers a dry ‘drill and test’ approach where content is learned, regurgitated in an assessment and then forgotten. Our investments will underpin every stage of a student’s learning and help them achieve long-term, deep learning which will both prepare them better for assessment and for practice through applying new knowledge to realistic, simulated, case-based experiences.
“We know that collaborative peer learning that is guided by an expert tutor is still the core of the highest quality teaching programmes around the world. Our enhancements will provide students with the opportunity to collaboratively construct their new learning and exchange their grasp of it with both peers and tutors to really refine their understanding.
“Technology will not isolate our students – it will bring them closer together, both with each other and with their tutors. That personal relationship of tutor, student and peers, will continue to remain at the heart of our learning strategy.”