Developing a virtual laboratory module for forensic science degree programmes

Amankwaa, Aaron, Gjergo, Viktoria and Hamagareb, Sonya (2023) Developing a virtual laboratory module for forensic science degree programmes. Science & Justice. ISSN 1355-0306 (In Press)

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Laboratory work is essential in forensic science degree courses. They provide students an opportunity to put theory into practice, as well as developing relevant professional laboratory skills through a case-based learning framework. Traditional laboratory instruction involves the use of a written laboratory script or manual that details the laboratory procedures and techniques for an experiment. Occasionally, instructors may provide a brief in-person demonstration of a critical aspect of the experimental procedure during the session. Since the coronavirus pandemic, the use of virtual laboratory (vLab) resources, such as video demonstrations, in teaching science practical skills has increased. These resources may be used alone or in combination with in-person laboratory sessions in a flipped learning model. Previous research has shown that vLab resources could enhance students’ knowledge, confidence, and experience inside the laboratory. This study aimed to explore the perceptions and attitudes of forensic science students towards the use of a vLab module. Three videos were created in which procedures for carrying out presumptive tests, screening exhibits and recording examinations were demonstrated. Seven undergraduate students enrolled at different stages of a forensic science degree programme were introduced to the vLab module and interviewed using a semi-structured interview approach. Through a thematic synthesis of the interview transcripts, we found that the implementation of an inclusive vLab module could enhance students’ knowledge, confidence, and independence in carrying out forensic science laboratory procedures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Virtual laboratory module; forensic science; video demonstration
Subjects: F900 Others in Physical Sciences
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2023 09:15
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2023 09:21

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