"We are such stuff as dreams are made on"

Forensic Class

This year something different for the Forensic Psychology Class. Or rather a course designed by students, for students.

By this stage I have a pretty good idea of what should be on the course.  But rather than ask for feedback at the end, I thought I’d try some forward feed.

This year I asked students to design their own course at the start, rather than ask them what they thought at the end.

The logic of asking at the end is that all students are more or less the same, so feedback from this year, will work perfectly next year.  The weakness in this logic is obvious – things change and groups are different.

So this year I decided to turn the process on its head, and ask for the feedback at the start.

I started with a Liberating Sequence called  1-2-4-All

Each student contemplated what one topic they would like on the course on their own for one minute. Then in pairs they discussed their preferred topics for two minutes. And then in fours they debated this for four minutes. And then they reported back to the group.

And here is what they said.

Mental Illness and crime, Legal insanity, mental illnesses in prison.

Jury decision making, jury selection, expert witnesses, 

Personality disorders, psychopathy and learning disability and crime

Prison system, rehabilitation and treatment, alternatives, effectiveness of punishment(sentencing)

Interrogation techniques Confessions – false confessions

Causes of violence, murder, and sexual offences

Criminal Profiling, serial killers

I was expecting a new topic or two. But this is exactly the set of topics I would have chosen myself.

For the first three weeks I covered the fundamentals. But after that to take things one step further, I hold a poll every week so they can choose the topic for the following week.

No surprise that they choose Criminal Profiling first.  The second topic they’ve chosen is Homicide and Serial Killers.

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