Alternative Assessment Ideas for Forensic Science: Fundamentals and Investigations



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13. DEBATE

Example 1 Capstone Activity 3 “How Reliable is the Evidence?” Students are provided with advice on how to conduct a debate, what information to research along with a debate strategy form found on the Instructor’s Resource CD (IRCD).

Example 2 Activity 9-2 "Should Medical Marijuana be Legalized?" Debate procedure and strategies are provided. An alternative debate on the topic of drugs is whether or not high school athletic teams should be given a routine drug test.

14. MENTORING BY CSI, POLICE

If possible, try to locate someone in forensic science or in the police department who would mentor a student. This might entail the student spending a day or more with the person to learn firsthand about what really happens on the job. Information can be displayed or presented in a variety of formats including posters, brochures, Power Point Presentations, videos, or oral presentations.



Example 1 Activity 16-4 "Vehicle Identification." Ask a student to observe how accident reconstruction is done using skid marks, vehicle identification marks to study the cause and effect of accidents.

Example 2 Activity 6-3 "Studying Latent and Plastic Fingerprints." Ask a student to observe how police or CSI are able to lift a latent print and enter the print into the computer based data base.

Example 3 Capstone Activity 8 "Mock Crime Scene Development and Processing." Students work with a crime scene investigator to help set up mock crime scenes for processing.

15. ENGINEERING AND DESIGN



Example 1 Act 7-? on IRCD "Design and Build a Human DNA: Kinesthetic Learning Activity" (Lisa, what is the file number on the IRCD ?). Instead of providing students with the directions for this activity, challenge the students to construct a Human DNA simulated molecule.

Example 2 Chapter 6 Fingerprinting, End of Chapter Review # 20. Design a technique to produce plastic fingerprint impressions.

Example 3 Chapter 1 Observation, End of Chapter Review Design a crime scene including multiple forms of evidence.

Example 4 Activity 11-2 "Mini-Projects for Forensic Entomology," # 8. Design a rearing chamber for Blowflies that will be kept at a constant temperature to obtain control data for Accumulated Degree Hours calculations.

Example 5 Activity 11-3 "Observation of Living or Preserved Blowfly," Further Study #1. Design a technique to view the spiracle slits of Blowfly larvae under a stereomicroscope.

Summary

Encourage students to propose, design and create their own forms of alternative assessments. Provide students with time needed to develop their ideas before providing them with suggestions.



These are only a few examples found in Forensic Science: Fundamentals and Investigations that describe the many ways that student learning can be assessed using varying formats designed to:

  • Improve student comprehension and retention

  • Provide differential assessments for heterogeneously grouped classes

  • Encourage on-going and frequent assessments so that the teaching can be modified to enhance student performance

  • Show case those “hidden” talents of students

  • Motivate and inspire students to do better

  • Make learning fun and exciting



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