Active Learning Meets Law
Shadman Bashir, a native of the Pakistani tribal region, speaks six languages and multiple dialects. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Edwardes College and a degree in English and Islamic Law from the University of Peshawar in Peshawar, Pakistan. He later moved to the U.S. and earned a master’s degree in comparative law from California Western School of Law in San Diego.
Professor Shadman Bashir teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Evidence, War and Terrorism, Global Law, and Business Law. Bashir does an exemplary job of integrating both active learning techniques and academic innovation into all his classes, using gamification sandbox, superheroes, video game tools, animations, various film scenes, and interactive story mode. Bashir reminiscences on learning Law in Pakistan, stating, “It was completely black and white.” Rather than following the traditional teaching methods he had become familiarized with during his time as a student, Bashir worked diligently to create a classroom experience that cultivated a rich desire to learn and a deep understanding of the content.
Bashir spends hours planning and designing his presentations, not skipping over one single detail or element (see presentation slides below). In addition to creating elaborate graphics directly related to his lessons, Bashir uses characters, stories, and media sources to bridge a connection between common knowledge and the complex principles being taught. Bashir has also implemented a flipped classroom model – asking students to review lecture related materials prior to, and after, attending class. Bashir then spends the majority of actual seat-time completing assignments, interacting in the discussion, and answering any questions that may occur. This method allows students to develop a greater understanding of the intricate legal language and lessons.
In Bashir’s classes, education doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Often, students are able to apply the learning they are doing within the classroom through highly interactive pedagogical site-visits. For example, Bashir’s Criminal Law class recently visited the St. George Police Headquarters (see attached photos below). During their visit, students were able to experience firsthand the practical application of the many legal rules they study in class. Additionally, Bashir’s class has been the spotlight for many well-known guest speakers, including Congressman Chris Stewart. Congressman Stewart expressed interest in presenting to Bashir’s War and Terrorism class during a meeting. In response, Bashir set-up class at the CEC studio for live broadcasting, allowing community members and other DSU university students the opportunity to view the presentation via Facebook and through the CEC Channel. The unique nature of such experiences is an opportunity for students to create meaningful memories, while also engaging in impactful learning.
Bashir is also heavily engaged with the community and has participated in several conferences and academic events beyond the DSU parameters, including Boise State University Frank Church Conference and Brigham Young University Kennedy Center for International Studies Lecture series. For more information, please visit the following links below:
(Photographed above: International Crisis Simulation at the Kennedy Center BYU. Students were asked to role-play as representatives of different international entities. Bashir created the scenario, steering them along through a mini-crisis situation. The goal was to reach a favorable strategic outcome because, as Bashir states, “clear victory and defeat is always based on perspective.” Another great example of Active Learning techniques.)