Pivoting remote: techniques for teaching forensic science utilizing virtual student-led case studies in a blend flex mode


  • Sulekha Coticone Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Camila Garcia Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Lora Bailey Van Houten California Department of Justice Crime Laboratory, Fresno CA 93740


virtual, forensic science, case studies


As a result of COVID-19, new approaches are being adopted to improve student learning and accommodate active learning at higher education institutions. At our University, two forensic science courses were taught that combine in-person and online instruction. Using the "Blend flex" paradigm, students alternated between "in person" and "remote" study. Students were invited to create case studies using journal articles and news items in order to increase their participation in the course. Students presented their case studies in virtual or “in person” settings at the end of the semester. Student learning was assessed by data from several evaluations including the Student Perception of Instruction (SPoI) surveys, which were completed at the end of the semester. According to the survey results, students agreed that the case study instruction helped them understand the course subject, piqued their interest in the course, and improved their knowledge of the material. Furthermore, students found that the case studies even when presented virtually were helpful in improving their presentation skills. Based on the data, we believe that including student-led case studies even when run virtually, can help students learn crucial skills for their future careers.