This free material is an interactive game site which focuses on crime solving in the framework of the First 48 show. The series follows the several of the nation's top police departments as homicide investigations are conducted. It allows the student to virtually search a crime scene, look for witnesses, complete a list of tasks and try to find as much information as possible with the 48 minutes. Undergraduate students will be able to experience crime scene investigation, employ critical thinking skills, and apply knowledge through the solving of a case.
Type of Material:
The First 48 Investigation game can be used for 1) entertainment, 2) awareness of the efforts that must go into completing a criminal investigation, 3) homework to reinforce basic criminal investigative techniques, and more.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will learn to:
1. Engage in crime scene investigation - the site enables students to click and point on particular parts of the screen to describe and/or further investigate pieces of evidence. 2. Understand the process and tasks necessary for crime scene investigation - a task list is provided to students, and they must follow the tasks in order to solve the crime. 3. Apply knowledge and critical thinking skills as a means of solving a real life problem.
Target Student Population:
Students focusing on forensics, criminal justice, criminology, crime scene analysis, and possibly psychology.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
• The content appears accurate because it is a fictitious case study, but it may or may not accurately depict cases which occur. Because this is a media site, it would be influenced by the social context of the site/situation/material.
• This is a valid and process laden experience for students. They will be able to understand the process and tasks involved in crime scene investigation and will apply skills that they will enjoy developing.
• The content does not necessarily cover core curriculum, but it is an additional “fun” way to engage students.
• Each game also includes additional information that the learner can access during the game that includes: 1) precinct, 2) city map, 3) case board, 4) tasks, and 5) messages. A countdown clock that starts at 48 hours is clear to the learner throughout the game.
• The content reliability depends on the students speed and accuracy in investigations. The student has to work quickly to discover the content and this might be difficult for some.
• The activity does teach higher order thinking skills, but only if the student is quick enough to find the information in time.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
• This simulated activity is a good demonstration and exploration of crime scene analysis.
• This material will appeal to multiple learning styles
• A strength of the material is the high level of interactivity and engagement that will occur out of student’s interest
• The games allow the learner to control the steps they take during the investigation but offer basic guides such as evidence cannot be viewed in the evidence room until evidence is collected at the scene.
• The game allows the learner to develop proper investigative skills through the initiation of an investigation based on common sense but also on evidence observed and collected.
• This material will slightly facilitate learning but because there are no definitions, dialogue, or tutorial available, this is more of a supplemental and fun activity than it is a learning material.
• It is an effective teaching tool because it will hold student interest, but it will not take students past what they would learn on a television show.
• No concepts or models are presented or elaborated on.
• While the games are "fun" and practical it is possible the learner may become impatient with the pace of the investigations as controlled by the games.
• No introductions, overviews, or summaries are available.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• Information is presented in a manner that will be familiar to people who watch crime scene shows
• Material is easy to navigate after the user familiarizes themselves with the website and purpose of the activity.
• Site is self contained and fully interactive.
• Guides offered and suggestions provided throughout the games are practically oriented and easy to read and understand.
• The graphs are good and are easy to view while providing clear visual information for the learner which participating in the game.
• The audio that is included in the games are realistic and can be turned off if the learner so desires as all information is provided in text.
• This activity takes awhile to download and even longer to get used to. Students who are not familiar with the show may have a difficult time grasping the materials purpose.
• Few instructions are provided.
• This would be very difficult for someone to complete if they have a slow internet connection.
• No definitions are provided
• Errors are not discussed or elaborated on.
Other Issues and Comments:
This assignment is incredibly engaging, very interesting, and will be a lot of fun for students. However, the educational value may be slight. So the Instructor might want to consider this an additional or supplemental application tool, but not a core assignment in the course.
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