‘The Cube’: An Immersive Experience for Blood Pattern Analysis Education
De Montfort University is extremely proud of its TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) Gold rating, as this evidences the calibre of teaching and quality of learning. Pedagogically, within higher education, there is an expectation of autonomous independent initiative alongside collaborative group working. Here, we highlight a novel integrated approach involving a specialist immersive facility which promotes a unique learning experience. ‘The Cube’ enables students to physically enter a real world scenario via footage projected from the ceiling onto 4 screening panels, thus creating a 360° panoramic film with surround sound. One example of innovative contextualisation utilises a video recording from the bathroom of the campus crime scene house for undergraduates from the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS) accredited BSc (Hons) Forensic Science degree course. This film depicts the aftermath of a potential violent assault and students (in small groups) are required to interpret the blood patterns presented, for a specific module entitle ‘Bodies, Tissues and Fluids’. Prior to entering ‘The Cube’, students are expected to have independently visited the ‘crime’ location to document and photograph blood stains in-situ, undertaking the role of a Crime Scene Investigator. Then, from the perspective of the Forensic Biologist, students proceed to examine clothing from the persons involved, which have been submitted to the forensic laboratory, whilst considering the propositions of the defence and prosecution. In addition to the physical facilities and virtual resources, practitioner based academics with extensive casework careers further enhance and transform the student experience. Furthermore, this successful tripartite model encourages peer integration, participation, discussion, feedback, reflection and co-creation. Therefore, this pedagogic paradigm shift in forensic science educational delivery and engagement has culminated in a dual student-led research and research informed teaching approach. Ultimately, these findings will be of paramount importance for practitioners delivering BPA training and colleagues in forensic science academia.
Australia and New Zealand Forensic Science Society 2018 Symposium in Perth, Australia
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