"DNA evidence could revolutionize the US justice system if the DNA technology protocols are properly understood, both in the laboratory and in the courts," said Dr. Joseph Henderson, director of the Interactive Media Laboratory and a professor of community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School.
Leading a team of designers and software developers at IML, Henderson has developed an innovative instructional model for computer-based professional education that is applied toward producing 'virtual clinics' on a range of topics. The interactive distance learning courses, delivered on CD or via the Internet, incorporate lectures, 3-D images, animation, patient and expert interviews and periodic examinations to provide comprehensive instruction regardless of the trainee's location or time constraints.
IML's newest project on DNA evidence involves educating and training two sets of professionals in the US justice system. The first course is geared toward health care and victims' services providers, training them how to respond to the concerns of the victim and methods to accurately collect the DNA evidence. The second program covers the next step, making sure that DNA information is interpreted correctly by prosecutors, judges and other legal professionals. "Since this is a relatively new area of forensics, there seems to be a knowledge gap in how to properly utilize DNA data during trials," said Henderson, who noted that instruction on respo
Contact: Andy Nordhoff
Dartmouth Medical School