Special Issue "Pedagogical Innovation and Research in Forensic Sciences: Approaches, Outcomes and Challenges"

A special issue of Forensic Sciences (ISSN 2673-6756).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ricardo Dinis-Oliveira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Public Health and Forensic Sciences, and Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
Interests: forensic sciences; toxicology; best forensic practices; psychoactive substances; intoxications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Áurea Madureira-Carvalho
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. TOXRUN – Toxicology Research Unit, University Institute of Health Sciences, CESPU, CRL, 4585-116 Gandra, Portugal
2. LAQV-REQUIMTE, Laboratório de Farmacognosia, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade do Porto, R. Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, nº 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
Interests: forensic geology; forensic palynology; lophoscopy; handwriting and ethics in forensic sciences
Dr. Diana Dias da Silva
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. TOXRUN – Toxicology Research Unit, University Institute of Health Sciences, CESPU, CRL, 4585-116 Gandra, Portugal
2. UCIBIO-REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
Interests: forensic toxicology; drug abuse; analytical methods; forensic genetics; teaching in forensic sciences
Dr. Inês Morais Caldas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Dental Medicine, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Manuel Pereira da Silva, 4200-393 Porto, Portugal
2. TOXRUN – Toxicology Research Unit, University Institute of Health Sciences, CESPU, CRL, 4585-116 Gandra, Portugal
3. Centre for Functional Ecology (CFE), Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: forensic odontology; forensic anthropology; ethics; integrity in research; academic integrity
Dr. Rui Miguel Simões de Azevedo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
TOXRUN – Toxicology Research Unit, University Institute of Health Sciences, CESPU, CRL, 4585-116 Gandra, Portugal
Interests: computer and computational forensics; physics in forensics; data analysis and data visualization; statistics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, it is impossible to keep on teaching with classic/traditional methodologies, where students are mere receptacles of information. It is now essential to learn and relearn how to teach effectively, but also to understand how students think and, consequently, how they learn. Students’ thinking paths do, in fact, impact learning.

Pedagogical innovation and research fall within the area of behavioural sciences, focusing on the students and their learning results. The professor/educator objectives must be aligned with student objectives, and modern methods should be prioritised as they help students to think in innovative and creative ways, increasing their willingness to learn, and providing them with more useful tools for their future. Teaching involving frequent student questioning and positive reinforcement, as well as establishing connections with their motivation drivers, is one of the strategies that help students to create their own learning path, adding to their previous knowledge, in an active, particular and unique process.

Providing students with a good teaching environment, where professors/educators pay attention to their emotional and physical needs, building constructive relationships and managing students’ behaviour and expectations, is also basilar to their well-being, which is very important for the creative teaching success.

We believe this Special Issue is extremely valuable for the future of forensic sciences and aims to establish a network for professionals from different forensic areas who would like to share their pedagogical best practices, where forensic students are the masters of their learning. All professionals are invited to present their theoretical and/or applied research since qualitative and quantitative research considered together is needed and essential towards the best training of forensic experts, either in an academic context or in a professional setting.

Prof. Dr. Ricardo Dinis-Oliveira
Dr. Áurea Madureira-Carvalho
Dr. Diana Dias da Silva
Dr. Inês Morais Caldas
Dr. Rui Miguel Simões de Azevedo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forensic Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • active learning Biggs' constructive alignment Bloom´s taxonomy—learning in action evidence-based teaching flipped classroom
  • gamification Kolb's learning cycle Maslow's hierarchy of needs problem-based learning team-based learning

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Tentative Title: Talking about Domestic Violence to Students: innovative pedagogical strategies

Author: Maria de Lurdes Ferreira Lobo Pereira(University of Porto)

Abstract: Because most domestic violence injuries occur in the head and neck regions, it is of the utmost importance dental professionals are prepared to identify, interview, and assist potential victims. This preparation should begin in the 1st cycle of studies, as this role must be as important as the dental treatments the students will later perform. Yet, engaging students in this area is often difficult and innovative strategies are needed. In this paper, the author will focus on engaging students to have an active role on detecting and denouncing domestic violence cases, presenting several interactive teaching strategies which may significantly improve dental students' knowledge of, and attitudes toward, the topic.

2. Tentative title: Teaching Forensic Anthropology in the XXIst Century: New strategies

Author: Hugo F. V. Cardoso(Simon Fraser University)

Abstract: Forensic Anthropology has come a long way since using bones for human identification alone. Nowadays, it is recognized that Forensic Anthropology can play an important role in assisting the investigation in what postmortem interval and trauma analyses are concerned. Gamification and Problem-based learning are some of the strategies that can be used teaching these subjects, making them more appealing. In this paper, the author describes how these strategies are used to engage students in real-life situations, promoting active learning.

3. Tentative title: Towards understanding the critical role palynology can play in criminal and civil investigations

Author: Lynne A. Milne(Curtin University)

Abstract: In all teaching situations, whether undergraduate, graduate, community or government, hands-on experience and critical thinking are paramount to understanding the use of what is being taught. Palynology, the study of modern and fossil pollen, spores and other microscopic plant bodies including diatoms is an excellent forensic tool - but is used rarely. Soil science is commonly used, but palynology is way more powerful in that it can show what else is in soil – and water- besides minerals. It can point to sites within a meter, or as far away as another country. Communicating palynology’s efficacy so it will be used routinely is our primary aim. Teaching students, including law enforcement officers and the legal professions, to recognise when palynology will be useful is essential to it being used often instead of as a last resort. Relating past case studies in class is a start. However, of prime importance is hands-on microscopy and analysis of palynology samples in the laboratory, together with additional supplied information (eg. alibis, fibres, DNA), in increasingly difficult mock crime scenarios that require critical thinking. Further, field excursions to collect soil and plant samples and document all sites (primary and secondary) involved in a mock crime, followed by laboratory extraction of pollen samples, microscopic analysis and report compilation is invaluable. Past cases often highlight gaps in our knowledge, suggest mock crime scenarios, and lead to excellent postgraduate research projects that contribute to showcasing the discipline. This paper will discuss why hands-on experience is critical to understanding the role palynology can play in criminal and civil cases, the types of research past cases can generate, and share some interesting and fun exercises for students.

 

 

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