Developing a procedure for learning and assessing peer review in a forensic science programme

Hamnett, Hilary and McKie, Amanda (2018) Developing a procedure for learning and assessing peer review in a forensic science programme. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education . pp. 1-12. ISSN 0260-2938

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2018.1536924

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Developing a procedure for learning and assessing peer review in a forensic science programme

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

Peer review of forensic casework is essential for ensuring quality and reducing error rates. However, it is not a common component of forensic science degree courses, and there are no published studies, guidelines or methods for teaching and learning forensic peer review. This study describes a method of learning, teaching and assessing forensic peer review through the use of group work to prepare checklists for reviewing casefiles and expert witness reports, followed by individual peer feedback. Example checklists and assessment criteria are provided. The peer feedback comments on expert reports were categorised revealing that suggestions are the most frequent type of feedback provided, followed by questions. Through a questionnaire, participants strongly agreed that the learning and teaching process described here was relevant to their future professional practice, and that through the use of checklists they understood the criteria for effective forensic peer review. It emerged from a semi-structured interview that limited time led some students to surface review expert reports, that peers were seen as legitimate sources of knowledge, and additional feedback from lecturers was required. This study may be relevant to other areas where professional peer review is used, such as open source software development, nursing and community pharmacy.

Keywords:peer review, forensic science, postgraduate students, checklist
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F410 Forensic Science
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Science > School of Chemistry
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ID Code:33725
Deposited On:11 Jan 2019 13:59

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