Yvonne Dutton, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Principal Investigator: Yvonne Dutton, Associate Professor, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Project Title: Building a Hybrid International Law Course

Funding Level: $5,000


The project involves designing a 3-credit International Law course for students enrolled at the IU McKinney School of Law. International law defines the legal rights and duties among nation states and international organizations, including the duties owed to individuals and private entities. The course will introduce the major institutions, rules, and procedures involved in the development and implementation of international law. Topics include the structure of the international system (such as the UN and other international institutions and their relation to states), the nature and sources of international law (treaties and customary law), the application of international law in the domestic courts, international dispute resolution mechanisms, rules governing statehood, the jurisdiction of states to make, enforce and apply law affecting international interests, international human rights, law of the sea, and rules governing war and the use of force. Special attention will be paid to current events, as students explore how international law addresses some of the challenges in today’s world—such as ethnic conflicts, international terrorism, violation of human rights, the use of force, and degradation of the environment.

Following increasing experience in best practices for online course design in the law school setting, the International Law course proposed here would be designed to incorporate (1) regular low stakes, formative student assessments in the form of online quizzes and (2) visual media to aid students in understanding the concepts explored in a real-world context. Evidence suggests that these methods will help (1) generate student interest in the material, (2) facilitate a richer learning environment, and (3) in the case of quizzes, assess student learning.