Tuesday, October 6, 2009

LabSim Training Course in Crime Scene Investigation

Do you teach criminal justice in a high school or college? If so, how do you give students the hands-on training they need on crime scene investigations? Having a class full of students at an actual crime scene isn’t very practical.

To prepare for a career in criminal justice—as police officer, medical examiner, or crime scene investigator, for example—students need to learn correct procedures for:

• Lifting fingerprints
• Performing DNA tests
• Handling crime scene evidence
• Interviewing suspects
• Working in emergency dispatch centers
• Investigating death
• Photographing and documenting crime scenes

Teaching a full classroom of criminal justice students is difficult to do effectively unless a way can be found to individualize each student’s opportunity for hands-on experience with each procedure.

King Career Center in Anchorage, Alaska—a vocational high school for grades 11–12—solved this issue by incorporating the LabSim Crime Scene Investigation course from TestOut into its Public Safety & Security classes in 2007. The CSI training suite is full of graphics, simulations, and video trainings that give students hands-on, realistic experience for future work in criminal justice careers. With LabSim in the classroom, every student completes each hands-on simulation exercise—realistically practicing each task they’ll need to learn and master for success in the criminal justice field.

Instructor Teena Calkin explains, “After we walk through all of the terminology and bookwork-type material, we pop in the LabSim crime scene scenarios and they actually get to work through them as if they were playing a virtual game. It makes learning fun.” Watch a clip from the LabSim CSI course to see how students learn through simulated experience.

In subsequent entries on our blog, we’ll talk more about the LabSim Crime Scene Investigation course and the benefits of using it or other simulated labs instead of physical labs in your criminal justice classroom. Specifically, we’ll discuss how it can help individualize the instruction for your students and lower the costs of teaching your course. We’ll also discuss situations where the LabSim CSI course is an ideal supplement to a physical lab in your classroom.

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