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The Investigation into using E-learning Technology as an Improved Delivery Method of Forensic Science Education for the CPD of Lawyers

KING, Ian and GWINNETT, Claire (2011) The Investigation into using E-learning Technology as an Improved Delivery Method of Forensic Science Education for the CPD of Lawyers. In: British & Irish Legal Education & technology Association Annual Conference, 11-12 April 2011, Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

Over the past few years, the importance of the relationship between forensic practitioners and lawyers has been observed. Whereas, in the past, understanding of forensic techniques was not deemed fully necessary for the lawyer, in many recent cases, lawyers have needed to understand the fundamentals of some common forensic practices to be able to utilise the significance of them in court. In fact in some instances, failure to grasp some of the more complex forensic ideas has subsequently lead to misrepresentation of evidence, errors in the understanding of the evidence by jury members, and in the more serious instances, miscarriages of justice. Due to this, it appears obvious that for a more reliable justice system, some knowledge of forensic science for all participants in the system would be beneficial. In addition, understanding of certain fundamental forensic ideas can allow lawyers to more quickly identify areas of particular interest in a case.
With this idea of increasing forensic knowledge in lawyers in mind, there have been a few attempts at providing this information over recent years. For example, forensic practitioners and forensic educators have offered short workshops and presentations in general forensic practices for the exchange of CPD hours. But these sessions have been met with little enthusiasm, limited engagement with the material and generally low turnout. One reason that has been hypothesised for this very limited success is the delivery style of these sessions. When designing any method of information delivery, the educator must be well versed in different delivery methods, new technological approaches and the learners’ style, needs and wants. This is especially true for professional individuals that are full-time employed with very specific requirements and limited time. Due to this, the exploration of using e-learning may provide the solution to this problem.

The paper will discuss a funded project conducted by Staffordshire University’s Forensic and Crime Science department and Law School into the use of e-learning as a delivery method for forensic science CPD for lawyers. This 12-month project is investigating into the use of e-learning technology for the delivery of forensic science information to the law community. Working with local and national law firms and an experienced resident judge, this project has attempted to understand the relationship between lawyers and forensic science and identify the advantages of using e-learning to provide a specially designed online resource for the law community in which learners have the ability to design their own learning experience and interact with forensic science in a meaningful and useful manner. This project looks at how e-learning can encourage engagement with forensic science and how it overcomes problems seen in past attempts at forensic education for lawyers. The limitations of e-learning for the delivery of forensic topics will also be discussed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Faculty: Faculty of Business, Education and Law > Law
Depositing User: Ian KING
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2013 14:57
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2013 14:57
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1346

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