Delivering learning online can be challenging for courses such as Forensic Investigation for which there is a large proportion of practical work, but this virtual crime scene has allowed students to develop key employability skills, with police forces and forensic practitioners across the UK and internationally increasingly using a range of digital technologies such as 360o imaging and drones to capture the crime scene particularly when the scene is unsafe, limitations on time or as a mechanism to reduce the risk of contamination.
Using the virtual crime scene offered many additional benefits as students were able to access the scene at a time that was convenient, which was especially useful for those that have child care or key worker responsibilities.
Students were able to pause the scene as it was not time restricted, and zoom in and out gather more information. Students were also able to explore the benefits and challenges of digital imaging faced by Crime Scene Investigators and Forensic Practitioners, recognising when digital imaging can be utilised in a forensic investigation over traditional crime scene attendance by specialists.
Second-year student Courtney, said: "The online sessions for Forensic Biology, especially the crime scene exercise, were very informative and interactive, with being placed into groups with different scenarios to complete a task.
"The online sessions still gave us the opportunity to ask the questions we would have asked in class and receive an answer. Overall, I feel the sessions were just like being in class but online and therefore, interesting, informative and interactive."