Forensic Odontology e-learning Project

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A forensic odontology e-learning project using web-based delivery has been positively evaluated by participating students in Melbourne and Birmingham.

Professor John Clement (University of Melbourne) visited the Dental School at the University of Birmingham for one week during June 2009. He presented a lecture on the recent Victorian Bushfires in Australia to the school, emphasising the contribution that forensic odontology had made to the identification of the 173 people killed. He also had several meetings with Dr Giles Perryer to discuss strategies for developing e-learning modules for the teaching of Forensic odontology across the U21 consortium. This took into account that whilst forensic odontology is a very important aspect of dentistry in the 21st Century, not all schools have staff for whom this is their principal area of expertise. It was decided that a series of short teaching modules be developed drawing upon a lecture programme developed by John over the last 20 years. Approximately 20 themes are to be illustrated ranging from “how to conduct oneself at a scene of crime” through to “interactions with the legal profession” and “identification of the deceased using dental records”. Each module is intended to be interactive following in the footsteps of the successful pilot run at the University of Birmingham. Currently, John is extracting the illustrations required for the modules and will annotate them using software called “Screenflow”. The annotated images will be sent to Dr Perryer for their transformation into inactive learning modules that will be largely “standalone” and will not require a high level of forensic experience on the part of teachers for their administration, as they are intended for self-directed learning.


Damien Walmsley