The mock trial journey: an assessment.
Mock trials (Educational aspects)
Critical thinking (Psychological aspects)
Critical thinking (Educational aspects)
Learning (Psychological aspects)
Baker, Thomas E.
Cimini, Joseph F.
Cleveland, Charles T.
|Publication:||Name: The Forensic Examiner Publisher: American College of Forensic Examiners Audience: Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Law; Science and technology Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 American College of Forensic Examiners ISSN: 1084-5569|
|Issue:||Date: Winter, 2011 Source Volume: 20 Source Issue: 3|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States|
This research illustrates the benefits of Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) and the Systematic Design for Instruction (SDI). The UDI philosophy and SDI methods of instruction serve as the foundation for an investigative process course and assessment of the mock trial simulation. The instructional modalities include five basic critical thinking progressions: (1) case studies; (2) the preliminary investigation; (3) follow-up investigation; (4) suppression hearing; and (5) mock trial simulation. A content questionnaire evaluated student opinions concerning their experiences with the suppression hearing, and mock trial simulation. The preliminary survey findings were positive for: (I) varied learning experiences, (2) active learning activities, and the (3) mock trial simulation. Evaluation results indicate learning preferences for student participants in two sections of a university investigative process course.
KEY WORDS: Active learning, critical thinking, mock trial, learning simulation, learning modalities, UDI philosophy, and SDI methods of instruction
Educators must address numerous new challenges in the Twenty-First Century including student diversity, disabilities, and preferences in learning styles. Higher education is on the horizon of a new frontier that requires strategic curriculum planning. The means for achieving success in the midst of social change remains research and experimentation. Adaptive teaching methods require innovation and technology. Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) and Systematic Design of Instruction (SDI) provide the foundation for meeting new challenges. Innovative learning simulations, such as the mock trial, support diverse learning styles and the various learning modalities.
Mock trial instructional strategies offer learning simulation opportunities for academic programs. In addition, mock trial simulations suggest dynamic implications for criminal investigation, forensic science, and forensic psychology academic programs. Critical thinking, active learning, and learning simulation strategies transfer to diverse academic disciplines.
The purpose of this paper is to assess a college mock trial simulation and explore the UDI and SDI approaches to instruction. Mock trial learning strategies encourage the application of multiple senses and diverse learning modalities. Critical thinking and problem solving strategies enable learners to perform four basic progressions: (1) problem solving; (2) active learning; (3) suppression hearing rehearsal and practice; and finally, (4) the moot court simulation. Refer to figure I for the mock trial organizational cycle.
Properly prepared witnesses serve as a foundation for the criminal justice system. The mock trial is an adversarial process that requires critical thinking and exceptional performance under demanding and stressful circumstances. Basic police and expert witness skills flourish during the mock court learning simulation. Courtroom career aspirations often unfold after experiencing the results of successful mock trial preparation.
Proper witness progressions and learning simulations improve lay witness, investigator, and scientific witness potential. Initial witness participation and preparation in less threatening social settings offer preferable learning experiences. Mock trial learning simulations ensure opportunities for group interaction that foster problem-solving skills. The authors provide practical and meaningful suggestions for critical thinking applications that accompany mock trial learning simulations.
In summary, mock trial active learning strategies encourage: (1) critical thinking, (2) decision-making, and (3) problem-solving skill applications across the academic or training curriculums. Basic active learning concepts emphasize cooperative instructional environments that encourage learner interaction and mutual learning experiences. The instructor serves as a lecturer, guide, and coach for the development of positive courtroom and expert witness behaviors.
Mock trial learning simulations require plot driven strategies. The case scenario has two principal characters. Only one character is subject to prosecution. In addition, one character actor serves as a distracter for elimination during the investigative process. The students arrest one subject after reviewing witness interviews, physical evidence, and probable cause requirements. Student investigators and forensic specialists follow the predetermined pathway to the primo focie case and conviction based on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Success is not based on conviction. A win/lose attitude is not encouraged; everyone in the class is a winner. Class members are responsible for their roles, and mistakes are considered essential components in the learning process. The judge's after-action critique emphasizes a positive learning climate. Learner participants receive helpful commentary regarding proper witness procedures and professional presentation. The coaching process is essential to a positive trial outcome. Evidence competency and chain of custody become central themes. Moreover, laying the foundation for witnesses, especially expert witnesses, remains essential for a successful trial experience.
MOCK TRIAL LEARNING SIMULATION
This learning simulation serves as an active learning endeavor. The key to organizing a moot court simulation is flexibility, imagination, and the development of realistic role-play scripts. Students learn by playing assigned roles, internalizing the norms and by role requirements. Diverse learning domains are engaged in role playing: (1) affective (interests), (2) cognitive (knowledge), (3) social (self-fulfillment), and (4) tactile (motor learning), Bloom, 1956.
THE INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS AND MOCK TRIAL
The investigative process course applies a role-play approach that creates opportunities for active learning. The goal is to integrate and create a scenario that involves as many learning modalities as possible. Criminal investigation and forensic courses are ideally suited to learning simulations.
After completing ten case studies, related laboratories, and readings, engaged students are ready for professional roles. The homicide simulation problem consists of a complex set of role-playing assignments and programmed scripts. Students select their role assignments based on individual interests. All traditional criminal justice roles are available including police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers, investigators, witnesses, Chief of Police, and Chief of Staff. The instructor remains flexible when designating student role assignments. Refer to Tables: 1 and 2 for the role assignments and student responsibilities.
The students are responsible for writing all the related reports, with an emphasis on format and style. The advantage of using a homicide-simulated case is the abundance of physical evidence and reports generated for the trial simulation problem. After completing the preliminary and follow-up simulations, students are ready for the suppression hearing and rehearsals in preparation for the eventual mock trial simulation.
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGE
A faculty colleague, who is a former federal magistrate judge, serves as the Magisterial District Judge. His responsibilities include: (1) probable cause examination and (2) Fourth Amendment constitutional requirements. Student investigators receive specific coaching on the arrest and search warrants. The goal is to provide a meaningful simulation that requires critical thinking on the application of factual reliability, particularity, and probable cause. The emphasis is on problem solving and the establishment of guilt-laden facts.
The students approach the acting Magisterial District Judge for approval of their arrest and search warrant applications. This academic exercise reflects the constitutional principle ... "That the inferences drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of the officer engaged in the enterprise of ferreting out crime is constitutionally superior." (Johnson v. United States, 1948).
THE ROLE OF THE JUDGE
An alumnus in criminal justice who is a federal deputy clerk of court serves as the trial judge for the mock trial. He is an expert in courtroom procedures and the rules of evidence. One significant advantage is his familiarity over many years with the mock trial simulation. The goal is not to turn the simulation into full-scale trial, but to allow opportunities for witnesses to develop basic courtroom skills. His role is that of coach, facilitator, and arbitrator of the prosecutor and defense attorney roles. The emphasis is on problem solving, and the establishment of police and expert witness skills.
The goal is to encourage and learn effective witness skills that emphasize proper demeanor, honesty, integrity, and credibility. Offering testimony before a judge and jury is a natural cause for producing anxiety in any witness appearing before a real courtroom. The mock trial simulation offers a less stressful environment. The classroom setting facilitates the necessary skills to ensure success during the mock trial experience, (i.e. problem solving, response to stress, and subject matter knowledge).
Students who portray expert witnesses play a crucial role in the mock trial by how well they prepare and expand on knowledge in their perspective role as an expert witness (i.e. medical examiner, fingerprint expert, etc.). Thoughtful selection of the pathologist and DNA expert is essential; prior courses in forensic science facilitate excellent role transition. In addition, the expert witnesses require considerable student effort and instructor rehearsal.
The prosecution and defense teams have considerable responsibility in the outcome of the experience. They must oversee all aspects of the case from arrest to trial, evidence preservation, witness preparation, and organization of the entire pre-trial and trial process. In addition, the role of the prosecutor sets the tone of how the entire scenario will evolve. Basic skills unfold during opening statements, the examination of witnesses, and final summations.
The defense team plays a crucial role in the adversarial simulation process. The judge mediates the conflict, and assures a positive learning experience for the prosecution and defense. Numerous "teachable moments" unfold during and after the trial judge's debriefing. The debriefing emphasis is on learning from mistakes, which ultimately prepares students for professional performance in a real courtroom setting.
Students require supportive guidance to arrive at the mock trial destination. The mock trial simulation requires following excellent curriculum foundations. Instructors need to list related philosophy, goals and learning objectives. The following paragraphs help answer three basic curriculum questions:
1. Where are you going?
2. How will you get there?
3. How will you know when you have arrived? Assessment and evaluation concerning essential outcomes is a basic requirement for determining arrival.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR INSTRUCTION (UDI)
Why is the UDI system important to teaching criminal investigation? UDI facilitates the learning process and specifies learning outcomes. Therefore, the UDI philosophy and goals are important and related to specific foundation learning outcomes. Moreover, the UDI approach meets the needs of students with diverse learning styles and disabilities. The UDI approach requires the systematic design of instruction, diverse active learning strategies, critical thinking, and problem solving. Students are offered opportunities to address these requirements throughout the semester and in preparation for the mock trial. The principles of UDI are applicable to higher education. A more systematic method of meeting the needs of diverse learners is required. UDI offers such a model (Scott, McGuire, & Shaw, 2001). The quality of instruction and faculty effectiveness are critical requirements in the accessibility of learning environments (Scott & Gregg, 2000). The following paragraphs are examples of the UDI system approach. The framework of the nine principles of UDI has been adapted from the Center for Universal Design (Shaw & Dukes, 2001) and illustrated by Scott, McGuire, and Shaw (2001). This guide assists faculty in contemplating and developing instruction for a broad range of students. The authors have modified and adapted the UDI system to teaching the CJ 237 Investigative process course.
Instruction should be useful to and accessible by people with diverse abilities. It provides the same means of use for all students, identical whenever possible, equivalent when not. UDI system example: Using web-based courseware products with links to online resources so all students can access materials, regardless of varying academic preparation, distance from campus, etc. Investigative Process course example: The instructor developed various teaching modalities, i.e., Angel or Blackboard websites. In addition, publisher websites that include online practice tests are available for students. Classroom activities include instructor lectures, and case studies that encourage group decision-making and problem solving.
Instruction seeks to accommodate a wide range of individual abilities. It provides choice in methods of use. UDI system example: The instructor provides varied instructional methods (lecture with a visual outline, group activities, use of case studies, or web-based discussions) to support different ways of learning. Investigative Process course example: The instructor allows additional time for exam completion by scheduling office hours between classes. Students receive advanced notice concerning report or warrant submission requirements. In addition, the instructor provides samples of reports that assist students in the documentation and report writing process.
SIMPLE & INTUITIVE INSTRUCTION
Organized and predictable instructional design facilitates the learning process. Diverse student populations benefit from planned curriculum. It eliminates unnecessary complexity. UDI system example: The instructor provides a grading scheme for papers or projects that clearly states performance expectations for learners. Investigative Process course example: The instructor provides models for written assignments and lists specific requirements for witness presentations. In addition, investigative process course goals and content related learning objectives stated in the course outline provide additional guidance.
Instructional design offers the necessary information and communicates effectively, regardless of ambient conditions or the student's sensory abilities. UDI system example: Selecting textbooks, reading material, and other instructional supports in digital format so students with diverse needs can access materials through print or by using technological supports (e.g., screen reader, text enlarger). Investigative Process course example: The instructor selects textbook and commercial support materials that relate to the Angel or Blackboard websites. The supplementary materials include digital format and hard copy student workbooks.
TOLERANCE FOR ERROR
Instruction anticipates variation in individual student learning pace and requisite skills. UDI system example: The instructor allows long-term course projects with the flexible option of turning in individual project components separately for analysis, and provides constructive feedback for integration into the final product. Investigative Process course example: The instructor provides lead-up and practice case study exercises, which assist students in developing skills for the mock trial; i.e. dismisses classes early and coaches individual students on role requirements.
LOW PHYSICAL EFFORT
Instructional design minimizes nonessential physical effort to allow maximum attention to learning. Note: This principle does not apply when physical effort is integral to essential requirements of a course. UDI system example: Allowing students to use a computer for writing and editing papers or essay exams provides additional support. Investigative Process course example: The instructor posts PowerPoint lecture notes online prior to class. This practice offers opportunities to concentrate on classroom activities. The class notes support the learning process and help move students forward in their preparation for the mock trial.
SIZE AND SPACE
Instructional design with consideration for appropriate size and space for approach, reach, manipulations, and use regardless of a student's body size, posture, mobility, and communication needs. UDI system example" Using a circular seating arrangement in small class settings to allow students to see and face speakers during discussion is important for students with attention problems. Investigative Process course example: The instructor divides students into groups of 4-5. Students provide interactive solutions to case study activities and related case assignments in preparation for the mock trial.
A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS
The instructional environment promotes interaction and communication among students and between students and faculty. UDI system example: The instructor fosters communication among students in and out of class by structuring study and discussion groups, e-mail lists, or chat rooms. Investigative Process course example: The instructor provides the opportunity to participate in e-mail and Internet website communications with other students. E-mail correspondence is essential to pretrial communication and trial rehearsal. Students exchange email addresses and often meet independently and as a group in preparation for the trial.
Instructional design should be welcoming, encouraging high expectations for all students. UDI system example: The instructor writes a statement in the syllabus affirming the need for students to respect diversity, underscoring the expectation of tolerance, and encouraging students to discuss any special learning needs with the instructor. Investigative Process course example: The instructor provides a learning contract that specifies course requirements, encourages respect for others, and offers referral information for students with disabilities.
The UDI system provides a systematic process to meet the needs of diverse learners. An increase in students with learning disabilities requires accommodations and modifications in pedagogical methods, imagination, and curriculum expertise. Moreover, this inclusive approach improves the quality of instruction, communication, and learning climate for all students.
UDI applies to lectures, classroom discussions, group work, and related supplementary support materials in the learning climate. Internet-based instruction, case studies, fieldwork, and other academic activities and materials complement the UDI approach. Inclusive methods provide students with meaningful access to the curriculum by assuring access to the learning environment. The combination makes course content and activities accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, disabilities, ethnic backgrounds, language skills, and learning styles (Scott, McGuire & Foley, 2001).
SYSTEMATIC DESIGN OF INSTRUCTION (SDI)
The need to analyze, construct curriculum and improve the quality of instruction involves a planned effort. The taxonomy of educational philosophy, goals, and learning objectives received special emphasis in the early educational research (Bloom, 1956). Since that era, a considerable number of researchers have published texts on the subject; some modern versions include Anderson, 2001, Chatterji, 2003, and Gronlund, 2003. While this list is not inclusive, it does provide some basic resources on the subject.
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The philosophical approach serves as a navigational system for students. The philosophy is dynamic and action-oriented; it involves critical thinking and problem solving. Moreover, it remains a compass for offering academic excellence and quality instruction. Philosophy addresses student learning modalities and course requirements.
Organizing centers enhance learning design through the articulation and sequencing of learning objectives. Organizing centers arrange the appropriate behaviors, concepts, attitudes, values, and skills in the proper progressions on the horizontal axis. The intersection of the horizontal and vertical axes locates the organizing center. Refer to Figure 2 for an organizing center illustration:
For example, the following behaviors are included on the horizontal axis of the mock trial simulation: working with others cooperatively, self-control, due process, and respect for the rights of others. The vertical axis contains the content and identified learning objectives, and includes evidence collection and preservation, chain of custody/ scientific laboratory procedures, interviewing strategies models, and courtroom testimony. Identifying the core curriculum for the investigative process course offers a means to organize the subject matter.
DIRECTION: STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Learning objectives originate from specific goals and objectives, and inform students of the standards and learning progressions. Learning objectives or behavioral objectives provide learner-centered guidance. In addition, they measure specific criteria or learning competencies. Learning objectivities have three parts:
1. An action verb,
2. Content area, and
3. Measurable criteria. Refer to Table 3 for some mock trial simulation learning objectives.
MOCK TRIAL LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The action verb provides direction, specifies student performance and the completion of instructional activities. Learning objectives may include specific learning criteria and describe the conditions under which the learner performs the task. The standards describe the measurable criteria for the assessment of learning objective standards and means of achieving accountability in the learning process.
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Criterion standards measure and evaluate SDI goals, organizing centers, and supporting learning objectives. Evaluation is the most important component of teaching because it involves justice and equity. Learners need to feel that their instructor is fair and impartial. The best way to achieve equity is equal application of standards. Therefore, once a student receives accommodation, offer all students, if possible, the same opportunity.
MOCK TRIAL: METHODS OF ASSESSMENT
Program evaluation focuses on the global nature of instruction. The feedback provides information to continue, eliminate, modify, or adjust the philosophy, goals, and learning objectives. Global evaluation provides opportunities to improve the quality of instruction and modification of future strategies (Davis, 2001). The quality and effectiveness of instruction improves when global instructional strategies require maximum effort. The modification of future learning strategies requires feedback. Experimentation, analysis, and evaluation, on the other hand, foster new and better ways to learn.
Evaluation provides new directions and motivates innovative teaching methods, ultimately enhancing contemporary educational programs. Experimentation, analysis, and evaluation advance new and improved methods of instruction. The survey questionnaires in this paper serve as one method of obtaining mock trial simulation feedback.
One method of assessing the development of critical thinking skills is through student reaction to the mock trial experience. Learning and cognitive theories reinforce the use of multiple senses that enhance the learning retention. Students build the experience necessary for trial procedures after several rehearsals during the suppression hearings.
A Likert scale survey measured student attitudes in the spring of 2008 and 2009 and was collapsed due to the small size of the sample. The respondent could indicate one of the following choices: (1) agree; (2) disagree; or (3) have no opinion. The format measured critical thinking, problem solving, and the mock trial simulation. The students also responded to learning outcome questions about the mock trial experience. The survey results are specific to this class and group of students; consequently, generalizations beyond this population are not appropriate.
The survey strategy is useful in obtaining student reaction to the critical thinking, problem solving, and mock trial learning strategies. The survey asked the students whether their skills had improved because of the suppression hearing and mock court learning simulation. Therefore, students are in a position to provide feedback concerning the academic experience. First Sample Student Population: Spring 2008
A stronger empirical test would require a classical experiment. This initial pilot study evaluated student perceptions, not student learning outcomes. The purpose of the Likert survey was to illustrate how instructors/professors might experiment in their classrooms. Thirty-three students registered for the class, 22 males, and 10 females, primarily juniors and seniors- 24 criminal justice majors, 5 psychology majors, 1 nursing major, 1 English major, 1 communication major and 1 business administration major. Special Note: One student missed the homicide/mock trial simulation and wrote police reports in lieu of the assignments.
SURVEY FINDINGS: CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND NON-MAJORS
The overwhelming majority of the students of this particular class felt positive about the learning experience. MI students, 100%, felt that the mock trial learning simulation was an excellent learning experience, and rated the mock trial/learning simulation high. In addition, 97% of the students prefer learning experiences that support critical thinking. Students indicated a preference for critical thinking activities over memorization by 91%, with 3% disagree, and 6% undecided.
In addition, 100% of the students prefer critical thinking learning and case studies applications and (94%) prefer learning experiences that require the application of basic concepts. The related issues of meaningful problem solving scored a 97% student response, and applying knowledge to scenarios score of 97%. In addition, 100% of the students agreed that the case studies helped develop critical thinking skills.
The questions on learning styles revealed several interesting results concerning the criminal justice and non-majors. In the selection of a student learning style, preferences in order where tactile (learning by doing) (72%), seeing (visual PowerPoint) (19%), and listening (9%) lecture.
Student responses were positive concerning the critical thinking, active learning, and the mock trial simulation. Some students were not directly involved in the trial process. For example, 66% percent participated in the suppression hearing rehearsal as a witness, and 34% did not participate. Moreover, 53% participated as witnesses at the Federal Courthouse, 47% did not participate.
Second Sample Student Population: Spring 2009
The second wave of students consisted of only forensic science majors. The purpose of the second student sample was to collect data on eight forensic chemistry students, five fe male students and three male students. The new Forensic Chemistry program started two years ago and this sample was the first wave of sophomores taking the investigative process course.
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The overwhelming majority of forensic chemistry students felt positive about the learning experience. The chemistry students (100%) felt that the mock trial learning simulation was an excellent learning experience, and rated the mock trial/ learning simulation high (100%) for critical thinking applications. In addition, 75% of the students prefer learning experiences that support critical thinking, 25% were undecided. Approximately (88%) students felt they preferred critical thinking activities to memorization, with 13% undecided.
Moreover, 100% of the students prefer critical thinking learning case studies applications and 88% prefer learning experiences that require the application of basic concepts, 12% were undecided. The related issues of meaningful problem solving scored a 100% student response, and applying knowledge to scenarios received a score of 100%. In addition, 100% of the students agreed that the case studies helped develop critical thinking skills.
The questions on learning style and teaching modalities revealed unique learning preferences for forensic chemistry majors:
1. listening as a preferred learning style did not dominate with 0% agreeing to only lecture style, and,
2. visual as a learning style (PowerPoint) with a 0% learning preference. In the selection of forensic chemistry students' (as a group) 100% preferred tactile (learning by doing). This is quite interesting, and differs from the preferred learning styles of criminal justice students and other majors. Refer to Figures: 3 and 4 for the visual differences among chemistry majors, criminal justice, and other majors.
CHEMISTRY, CRIMINAL JUSTICE, AND OTHER MAJORS
Student responses were positive concerning the critical thinking, active learning, and mock trial simulation. Students in support roles did not directly participate. Their status may have influenced opinions concerning the assessment survey. For example, 75% percent participated in the suppression hearing rehearsal as a witness, whereas 25% did not participate. Moreover, 63% participated as witnesses at the Courthouse, 37% did not take the witness stand and testify.
The forensic chemistry students' participation during the mock trial was higher at 63%, with 37% serving in a support staff capacity. They testified more frequently because they served as expert witnesses. The remaining students served as staff members of the evidence team. Their role was that of evidence custodians, and they were responsible for the evidence control and chain of custody.
MOCK TRIAL: SUMMARY AND APPLICATION
UDI and SDI applications assist in removing the fear and stigma of failing. Once the learners have a clear understanding of the road map to success, the anxiety may be less severe for some students. The goal is to focus on the learning process and critical thinking, rather than distractions. Related curriculum goals and learning objectives serve multiple learning modalities (Anderson, et. al., 2001). For examples of the curriculum assessment refer to figures 5-A and 5-B listed below.
CURRICULUM ASSESSMENT LEARNING SIMULATIONS
Learning simulations offer an ideal venue for critical thinking and the application of newly acquired active learning witness skills. Learning simulations are realistic applications that parallel courtroom environments and encourage opportunities to apply knowledge. This unique learning experience allows participants to practice complex behaviors in the simulated courtroom scenario.
The critical thinking philosophy offers great promise. The critical thinking approach to teaching may serve as an effective learning strategy. Any logical discussion of critical thinking requires a definition that explores the concept. Elaborate definitions may or may not help the instructor formulate a personal critical thinking model. The definition serves only as a reference point for contemplating various facets of crucial thinking.
One of the earliest tests applied to student behaviors is the Dressel & Mayhew Test of Critical Thinking (1954). Researchers identified five salient skills for critical thinking:
1. The ability to define a problem;
2. The ability to select pertinent information for the solution of a problem;
3. The ability to recognize stated and unstated assumptions;
4. The ability to formulate and select relevant and promising hypotheses; and
5. The ability to draw conclusions validly and to judge the validity of references.
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One researcher outlines a framework for teaching critical thinking that may prove useful. Marzano (1992) outlines five dimensions that support critical thinking;
1. The need to acquire and integrate thinking;
2. Thinking needed to extend and define knowledge;
3. Thinking needed to make meaningful use of knowledge;
4. Thinking needed to develop favorable habits of the mind; and
5. Thinking needed to develop attitudes and perceptions that create a positive classroom climate. The emphasis is not on the content, but rather on executive thinking skills and problem solving.
This approach is conceptually oriented and based on the scientific method, problem solving, and decision-making principles. It represents an intellectually disciplined process of analyzing, synthesizing, and applying knowledge. Critical thinking requires asking the right questions, and evaluating gathered information accurately. Excellent critical thinking and active learning methods assist learners in acquiring witness testimony skills.
THE SUPPRESSION HEARING
The main purpose of the suppression hearing simulation is to challenge evidence concerning the chain of custody. In addition, the suppression hearing serves as a secondary practice session in the witness development phase. The student attorneys, police, and witnesses develop an understanding of the adversarial nature of the criminal justice system. The prosecution team demonstrates everything that the investigative staff successfully accomplished. Moreover, the defense team demonstrates everything that the students failed to do correctly.
The students eliminate improper courtroom behaviors and shape correct behaviors in the rehearsals. The learning environment is open and positive; mistakes remain acceptable as an ingredient of the learning process. The various indicators of critical thinking include:
2. Restraining impulsiveness
5. Meta cognition
8. Creativity (Costa and O'Leary, 1992).
THE TRIAL SIMULATION
Securing a real courtroom offers multiple learning opportunities and student outcomes. Many critical thinking concepts unfold:
1. Focusing on a question;
2. Analyzing argument
3. Judging the credibility of a source;
4. Deducing and judging deduction; and
5. Interaction with others (Ennis, 1985).
6. The mock trial simulation is where all previous efforts and suppression rehearsals come to fruition. The judge analyzes and clarifies everything the students accomplish, both positive and negative.
How does the student's style influence learning and retention? Some students learn best by listening (auditory learners), meaning they rely on hearing and interpersonal communication. These students learn best by lecture or group problem case studies. Other learners depend on visual presentations, such as Angel or Blackboard websites. In addition, a third type of learners depends on physical action and tactile experiences like the mock trial simulation.
The moot court simulation is based on the premise that students learn best when they are directly involved with their own active learning. The simulation is designed to offer an opportunity for realistic role applications that support critical thinking and active learning. The key critical thinking responsibilities for the instructor are leadership, coaching, and guidance during the simulation process. Critical thinking, active learning and role playing are mutually reinforcing conceptual approaches. Students have diverse cognitive learning styles; varied learning strategies help develop more opportunities to reach all of those students. Active instructional methods that address the learners' affective, social, and cognitive domains have the potential to influence learning. This limited classroom study concerning the differences among criminal justice and forensic chemistry majors highlights the need for additional research and further evaluation.
The lecture method is still a vital component to this approach; however, varied teaching methods attempt to acknowledge students' learning styles, human needs and stated learning objectives. Finally, the instructor must take responsibility for classroom leadership, state the objectives and show enthusiasm for accomplishing those objectives.
Comparing criminal justice and forensic chemistry majors as samples produced similar results concerning favorability for critical thinking, case studies, suppression hearing, and the moot court simulations. Differences exist in learning styles for forensic chemistry majors; the 100% response for tactile learning is different from criminal justice and other majors. The 2008 sample of criminal justice majors indicated a preference for (tactile) learning by doing at 72%, seeing visual PowerPoint 19%, and listening lecture 6%. The research evidence suggests that learners retain more information when all of their senses are involved. The combination of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic experiences reinforces the learning process even when there is a preference for one learning modality.
The UDI philosophy and SDI instructional methodology enhance active learning and critical thinking. The combination of strategies provides the curriculum configuration that answers basic learner questions. Where are you going? ... How are you going to get there? ... How will you know when you have arrived? Appealing to diverse learning styles enhances the opportunities for students to find their way.
Why should educators experiment in the classroom and attempt to apply these methods? Without experimentation and evaluation, stagnation results, educators and students miss the opportunity to learn and develop to their fullest potential. Experimentation, analysis, and evaluation, on the other hand, foster new and better ways to learn.
EARN CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS
TAKE THE CE TEST FOR THIS ARTICLE ON PAGE 90
THIS ARTICLE IS APPROVED BY THE FOLLOWING FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT:
(ACFEI) The American College of Forensic Examiners International provides this continuing education credit for Diplomates and certified members.
AFTER STUDYING THIS ARTICLE, PARTICIPANTS SHOULD BE BETTER ABLE TO DO THE FOLLOWING:
1. Describe the elements of the Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) philosophy.
2. Describe the elements of the Systematic Design for Instruction (SDI) philosophy.
3. Define the organizing center method of instruction.
4. List the preferred learning style for chemistry students who responded to the survey questionnaire.
5. List the preferred learning style for criminal justice students who responded to the survey questionnaire.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Chemistry and criminal justice professors and students, training managers, graduate teaching assistants, police training academies, law schools, and graduate programs.
DISCLOSURE: The author has nothing to disclose.
MOCK TRIAL CURRICULUM FOUNDATIONS
This paper explores selected advantages of applying diverse teaching strategies to an investigative process course. The general concept of Universal Design of Instruction (UDI) includes a specific set of principles that incorporate accessible features into the design of a mock trial simulation. In addition, the curriculum philosophy of Systematic Design of Instruction (SDI) enhances a diverse instructional delivery system. The interrelated approach assists in including students with diverse learning styles and encourages a critical thinking model.
The twin application of UDI and SDI curriculum represents a powerful learning reinforcement opportunity. The revision of an instructor's learning philosophy, instructional goals, organizing centers, and learning objective criteria support the learning process. SDI and UDI strategies are mutually reinforcing philosophies and concepts. Mutual goals include:
1. equitable use,
2. tolerance for error,
3. flexible methods of instruction,
4. access, and
In addition, the synthesis of SDI and UDI includes implementation of computer technology and other active learning strategies to meet needs of diverse learning styles.
College and university programs encounter new students from diverse backgrounds. English may be their second language. For some learners, an inferior secondary education may place them at a competitive disadvantage. Proactive UDI oriented strategies and SDI may assist motivated individuals in achieving academic success.
The intention of both The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is to create educational opportunities and access to higher education. Four strategic trends drive curriculum and pedagogical reform:
1. curriculum reform associated with higher educational accrediting agencies;
2. effective instruction by faculty is a critical element in the accessibility of learning environments (Scott & Gregg, 2000);
3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and
4. the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides equal access of otherwise qualified students with disabilities.
Exactly how equal access applies to instruction is less clear in higher education (Brinckerhoff, McGuire & Shaw, 2002). The lack of instructional clarity leads to miscommunication and the individual judgment of individual faculty members. The application of UDI and SDI active learning strategies in preparation for a mock trial simulation meet the needs of diverse learning styles. In addition, UDI and SDI assist students with overcoming disabilities in the classroom.
Identified students may reflect a fraction of the total students with disabilities. Many students are reluctant to declare their disability because they fear the associated stigma and discrimination. Others are unaware, especially those with moderate or mild disabilities. Administrators and faculty members may not assess this group appropriately. They simply might regard them as not motivated to learn. They may fall into the category of academic probation or dismissal, in spite of excellent potential.
SPECIAL DEDICATION: A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO RICHARD CONABOY, SENIOR JUDGE, FEDERAL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, WHO PROVIDED HIS COURTROOM FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS. HIS SUPPORT IN OFFERING A REALISTIC SETTING HAS BEEN AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF THE MOCK TRIAL JOURNEY EXPERIENCE.
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TO RECEIVE CE CREDIT FOR THIS ARTICLE
In order to receive 1 CE credit, each participant is required to
1. Read the continuing education article.
2. Complete the exam by circling the chosen answer for each question. Complete the evaluation form.
3. Mail or fax the completed form, along with the $15 payment for each CE exam taken to: ACFEI, 2750 East Sunshine, Springfield, MO 65804. Or Fax to: 417-881-4702. Or go online to www.acfei.com and take the test for FREE.
For each exam passed with a grade of 70% or above, a certificate of completion for 1 continuing education credit will be mailed. Please allow at least 2 weeks to receive your certificate. The participants who do not pass the exam are notified and will have a second opportunity to complete the exam. Any questions, grievances or comments can be directed to the Registrar at (800) 423-9737, fax (417) 881-4702, or e-mail: registrar@acfei. com. Continuing education credits for participation in this activity may not apply toward license renewal in all states. It is the responsibility of each participant to verify the requirements of his/her state licensing board(s). Continuing education activities printed in the journals will not be issued any refund. If you require special accommodations to participate in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Registrar at (800) 423-9737.
CE ACCREDITATIONS FOR THIS ARTICLE
This article is approved by the following for 1.5 continuing education credits:
(ACFEI) The American College of Forensic Examiners International provides this continuing education credit for Diplomates and certified members, whom we recommend obtain 15 credits per year to maintain their status.
KEYWORDS: Active learning, critical thinking, mock trial, learning simulation, learning modalities, UDI philosophy, and SDI methods of instruction
TARGET AUDIENCE: Chemistry and criminal justice professors and students, training managers, graduate teaching assistants, police training academics, law schools, and graduate programs
PROGRAM LEVEL: Basic
DISCLOSURE: The authors have nothing to disclose.
After studying this article, participants should be better able to do the following:
1. Describe the elements of the Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) philosophy.
2. Describe the elements of the Systematic Design for Instruction (SDI) philosophy.
3. Define the organizing center method of instruction.
4. List the preferred learning style for chemistry students who responded to the survey questionnaire.
5. List the preferred learning style for criminal justice students who responded to the survey questionnaire.
This research illustrates the benefits of Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) and the Systematic Design for Instruction (SDI). The UDI philosophy and SDI methods of instruction serve as the foundation for an investigative process course and assessment of the mock trial simulation. The instructional modalities include five basic critical thinking progressions: (1) case studies; (2) the preliminary investigation; (3) follow-up investigation; (4) suppression hearing; and (5) mock trial simulation. A content questionnaire evaluated student opinions concerning their experiences with the suppression hearing, and mock trial simulation. The preliminary survey findings were positive for: (1) varied learning experiences, (2) active learning activities, and the (3) mock trial simulation. Evaluation results indicate learning preferences for student participants in two sections of a university investigative process course.
POST CE TEST QUESTIONS
(Answer the following questions after reading the article)
1. The Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) serves which of the following curriculum purpose(s).
a. Organizing centers
b. Curriculum organization
d. Problem solving
2. The Systematic Design for Instruction (SDI) serves which of the following curriculum purpose(s).
a. Critical thinking
b. Curriculum organization
d. Problem solving
3. The organizing center serves which of the following curriculum purpose(s).
b. Critical thinking
c. The sequencing of learning objectives
d. Overcoming disabilities
4. The preferred learning style for chemistry students participating in the survey questionnaire was:
5. The preferred learning style for criminal justice students participating in the survey questionnaire was:
CERTIFIED FORENSIC CONSULTANT (CFC)
To learn more about ethics and jurisprudence, effectively providing an expert opinion in court, and the unique environment of the American judicial system, become a Certified Forensic Consultant (CFC). For more information on the program and to enroll, go to www.acfei.com or call (800) 423-9737.
By Thomas E. Baker, MS, MEd, MS, CAGS, Joseph F. Cimini, JD, and Charles T. Cleveland, MSW
THOMAS E. BAKER, M.S., MEd, M.S., CAGS is an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Scranton. In addition, Tom served as a Lt. Col. (Ret.) United States Army Reserve Military Police Corps, Special Agent, and Commander with United States Army Criminal Investigation Command. His civilian experience includes having been a former police officer for Henrico County Police, Richmond, Virginia, and organized crime intelligence investigator, Montgomery County, Maryland. His research focus includes criminal investigative analysis, criminal investigation, and police criminalistics. He is the author of six books and over 180 publications.
JOSEPH F. CIMINI, JD is an associate professor of sociology/criminal justice at The University of Scranton. Prior to joining the faculty fulltime, Joe had been an Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. He thereafter served as a Special Assistant to the United States Attorney and for over ten years was the part-time United States Magistrate Judge in Scranton, PA. His teaching and research interests include the courts, substantive and procedural criminal law, police civil liability, and issues related to elder law and policy.
CHARLES T. CLEVELAND, M.S.W. currently serves as a Courtroom Deputy Clerk, to the Hon. Richard P. Conaboy, United States District Judge, for Middle District of Pennsylvania. In his prior experience, Charlie is a former Lackawanna County Juvenile Probation Officer, of the Juvenile Division of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas; and prior to his employment as a probation officer, he supervised the Intensive Treatment Program at St. Michael's School, Tunkannock, Pa.
TABLE 1: MOCK TRIAL ROLES SIGN-UP SHEET Trial Judge Magisterial Judge/Court Officer Chief of Staff Assistant Chief of Staff Chief of Police Captain of Detectives Lt. Evidence Commander Lt. Arrest/Search Team Commander Police Officer: At The Crime Scene Search Warrant Detective Crime Scene Photographer Arrest Warrant Detective Sketcher & Evidence Collection Detective Interviewer Officer Sketcher & Evidence Collection Detective Interviewer Officer Primary Evidence Custodian Detective Interviewer Alternate Evidence Custodian Detective Interviewer Chief Prosecutor Chief Defense Counsel Assistant Prosecutor Assistant Defense Counsel Assistant Prosecutor Assistant Defense Counsel TABLE 2: MOCK TRIAL ROLES SIGN-UP SHEET Pathologist/Doctor Witness #1: Defendant DNA Expert Witness #2: Neighbor Foot Impression Expert Witness #3: Bar Tender Firearms Expert Witness #4: Roommate Fibers Expert Witness #5: Potential Defendant Fingerprint Expert Witness #6: Alibi Witness Parent TABLE 3: MOCK TRIAL LEARNING OBJECTIVES GOAL: TO DISTINGUISH THE COMPONENTS OF THE TRIAL PROCESS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM Identify the adverserial process. Define the role of the prosecutor. Define the role of the defense attorney. List the elements of direct examination. List the elements of cross examination. Appraise effective witness skills. Identify the rules of evidence, i.e., Hearsay Rule. Identify the exceptions to the Hearsay Rule.
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