A mobile app for public legal education: a case study of co-designing with students

  • Hugh McFaul Law School, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Elizabeth FitzGerald Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • David Byrne Computer Science, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Francine Ryan Law School, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Keywords: mobile app, public legal education, bricolage, co-design, law tech, employability


The sharp decline in levels of state-funded legal support has highlighted the importance of publicly available sources of legal information for facilitating access to justice. Mobile apps present an opportunity to provide legal information that can be targeted at particular audiences. University law schools, sometimes in partnership with civil society organisations, are beginning to engage their students in cross-disciplinary projects to create mobile apps, which can provide free legal information and guidance to the public.

The aim of this case study was to evaluate one such project which involved the co-design of a mobile app for the purpose of disseminating information on employment law. Law, education and computing academics worked with undergraduate law students over a period of 3 months and the prototype app was reviewed by legal advice charities. The findings have implications for how universities can work across disciplines and in partnership with civil society to provide opportunities for their students to use technology to apply their disciplinary knowledge to enhance the public good.


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How to Cite
McFaul H., FitzGerald E., Byrne D., & Ryan F. (2020). A mobile app for public legal education: a case study of co-designing with students. Research in Learning Technology, 28. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v28.2434
Original Research Articles