Saturday, October 24, 2015

New Study Supports the Wikibook Model of Public Legal Education

This is an update to the Library Boy post of October 19, 2015 entitled New Guide for Self-Representing Litigants in British Columbia.

That post referred to a new wikibook on legal research for the general public launched by Courthouse Libraries BC. Wikibooks are e-books created using the same platform as the collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Courthouse Libraries BC has a public legal education website called Clicklaw that produces its collection of wikibooks.

The Clicklaw blog last week posted an article about a recent evaluation of one of its wikibooks, JP Boyd on Family Law:
"During the five-month data collection period, an estimated 63,000 users accessed the wikibook. Our evaluation showed that users consider the wikibook to be a highly informative resource. It is used both by members of the public and legal professionals, and many users had accessed the site on more than one occasion. Most users said that the wikibook is easy to use, they knew more after visiting the wikibook than they had before, and they would recommend the wikibook to others. Almost all users found the wikibook useful, agreed that they were able to find the information they needed quickly and easily, and were able to understand that information."

"When asked what they liked best about the wikibook, the most common responses were that the website is easy to navigate, easy to understand, and very informative. When asked what they liked least about the wikibook, the most common comments were that, despite the significant breadth of the resource, it did not have the information they were looking for or the information they found was not presented in sufficient depth."

"Interestingly, only one-third of users who said that they were currently dealing with a legal problem said that they had a lawyer. Most users with a legal problem said that the information in the wikibook helped them to deal with their problem and that the information would help them in the future.  Further, our findings suggest that the wikibook is being used by a large number self-represented litigants, as well as residents in smaller communities where access to legal information may be limited."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:35 pm


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