Forensic method validation: piloting a new course to increase student skills for the forensic science workforce
Keywords:method validation, education, forensic science
The process of method validation is critical prior to implementation of a new technology, product, or method into forensic casework. Despite its importance, gaps exist in educating forensic scientists and students on method validation. To combat this issue, a Forensic Method Validation course was piloted as an undergraduate, two-credit course at a small, liberal arts college within a Forensic Biology program. The course had both a lecture and a laboratory component which culminated in the joint submission of a formal validation report. Students increased their technical skills and knowledge of validation that they were then able to take with them into post-graduate employment. Based on a post-course survey, students would recommend this course to others, and they gained more laboratory and technical experience in this course compared to other undergraduate lecture and laboratory-based courses. The work herein serves as a model for offering educational experiences in forensic method validation that can be expanded and delivered in other learning platforms.
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