CrashEd is a multidisciplinary inclusive, immersive and transferable teaching, learning and assessment model that has been developed by a subject diverse team at De Montfort University (DMU). Six academics have collaborated across five Schools, (Pharmacy, Allied Health Sciences, Applied Social Sciences, Computer Science and Informatics and Engineering and Sustainable Development) and two faculties, (Health & Life Sciences and Technology) and with a police Forensic Collision Investigator, a lecturer and students at Leicester College that delivers an Artistic Make-up and Special Effects (AMSE) Foundation degree validated by DMU.
Originally designed as a realistic scenario based outreach tool under the direction of CrashEd team leader Dr Angela O’Sullivan who has extensive experience of developing successful career aspiration activities, CrashEd has quickly evolved in to a popular Forensic Investigation undergraduate optional module for Mathematics, Physics and Criminology undergraduates. The CrashEd team all deliver their specialty on the module which is led by Dr Marie Bassford. From the outset CrashEd had students as co-creators.
Impact of work
University and college students have worked collaboratively to develop realistic injuries for use on mannequins which form part of each other’s learning and assessments. Two team members and a police Forensic Collision Investigator have shared their specialist expertise with the AMSE students to ensure anatomical accuracy within the prosthetic injury resources they produce. This enhances the realism of the outreach activity and formative and summative assessments in the STEM 2001 module. The module assessment focuses on a scenario-based car crash crime scene which the students have evaluated positively, with one student declaring that the assessment was the best element of the module.
CrashEd’s connectivist approach stretches students out of their comfort zone and encourages them to think across subject boundaries, considering the perspective of students from different disciplines; a transferable learning tool which has successfully enhanced student engagement.
Plans for the future
The team have extensively disseminated this model within and beyond their university. It has been commended by De Montfort University in its TEF Gold submission as an excellent example of the teams’ impact on teaching and learning with a ‘strong emphasis on student co-creation and innovative assessment’.
Future plans involve the team working with colleagues and students from an even wider range of subject disciplines to develop similarly realistic learning tools.