Proposing Problem-Based Learning for teaching future forensic speech scientists

Brown, Georgina (2022) Proposing Problem-Based Learning for teaching future forensic speech scientists. Science and Justice, 62 (6). pp. 669-675. ISSN 1355-0306

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In the last 10–15 years, Masters programmes and undergraduate modules have emerged in the UK that teach forensic speech science. Forensic speech science is the forensic subdiscipline concerned with analysing speech recordings, such as telephone calls of unknown speakers, when they arise as evidence. In order to answer questions surrounding the identity of the speakers in these recordings, forensic speech analysts draw on their expertise in phonetics and acoustics. Even though existing UK forensic speech science programmes do not claim to train students to a level where they are in a position to carry out real-life forensic casework, a proportion of the graduates from these programmes do go on to fill discipline-specific roles in security organisations or for private providers of forensic speech analysis. It is therefore surely in the community’s interests to review educational approaches to capitalise on the current training opportunities. This paper specifically proposes to explore the potential of a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach to forensic speech science teaching. PBL is a student-centred learning approach that heavily relies on the students’ independence in the solving of ill-structured problems. PBL has shown to be beneficial to programmes that directly lead on to discipline-specific professional roles, and has even become the standardised teaching approach in some of those areas (medicine being the flagship example). Given its reported success in other disciplines, the question arises as to whether PBL could bring similar benefits to prospective forensic speech practitioners and to forensic speech science as a whole.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Science and Justice
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? problem-based learningforensic speech sciencehigher educationproblem designpathology and forensic medicine ??
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Deposited On:
04 May 2022 14:25
Last Modified:
24 May 2024 02:19