Enhancing forensic science communication through the jigsaw method
Daniel Preece 1 *
More Detail
1 Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, United Kingdom
* Corresponding Author


Traditional didactic approaches often fall short in preparing students for real-world minutiae, such as scientific communication. After the pandemic, it is evident students are struggling with communication skills. However, the vital skill of communication is still pertinent in academia and the workplace. This study uses the jigsaw teaching method, inspired by the jigsaw puzzle concept, to enhance communication by organizing students into groups responsible for mastering specific aspects of a case study. Despite the jigsaw methods effectiveness in various educational settings, the integration of the method into the subject of forensic science, particularly in dissecting case studies, remains underexplored. In the study, a total of 86 forensic science students across three years of study were asked for feedback (using the Likert Scale) after studying a case using the jigsaw methodology. The students indicated a positive response overall, with an average rating of 4.01 out of 5 for the six questions asked based on improvement of their skills. Notably, students demonstrated better understanding of communication in forensic science, and acknowledged the method's contribution to improving peer communication in forensic science (average rating 4.09). Student comments highlight a generally positive experience, though concerns about group dynamics and engagement surfaced. Ultimately, the Jigsaw teaching method holds promise for elevating the quality of forensic science communication in the face of evolving challenges around student engagement. Incorporating the methodology into an assessment-based practice could be the way forward to help students overcome anxiety-inducing assessments, such as traditional oral presentations, as smaller groups are used within this methodology.



  • Adams, N. E. (2015). Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive learning objectives. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 103(3), 152–153. https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.103.3.010
  • Aronson, E., & Patnoe, S. (1997). The jigsaw classroom. Sage.
  • Aronson, E., & Patnoe, S. (2011). Cooperation in the classroom: The Jigsaw Method (3rd ed.). Pinter and Martin.
  • Byrne, D. (2018). Learning by Doing: CSI Comes Alive Enhancing Information Retention of Forensic Science Students: Incorporating A Simulated Crime Scene Practicum into The College Classroom. Journal of Social Science Research, 13(1), 2846–2856.
  • Carlysle-Davies, F. (2022). Do we need a forensic science teaching network? Science & Justice, 62(6), 827–829. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2022.07.003
  • Chopra, D., Kwatra, G., Bhandari, B., Sidhu, J. K., Rai, J., & Tripathi, C. D. (2023). Jigsaw Classroom: Perceptions of Students and Teachers. Medical Science Educator, 33(4), 853–859. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-023-01805-z
  • Cochon Drouet, O., Lentillon-Kaestner, V., & Margas, N. (2023). Effects of the Jigsaw method on student educational outcomes: systematic review and meta-analyses. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 1216437. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1216437
  • Dascalu, M.-D., Ruseti, S., Dascalu, M., McNamara, D. S., Carabas, M., Rebedea, T., & Trausan-Matu, S. (2021). Before and during COVID-19: A Cohesion Network Analysis of students’ online participation in moodle courses. Computers in Human Behavior, 121, 106780. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.106780
  • Davidson, N., Major, C. H., & Michaelsen, L. K. (2014). Small-Group Learning in Higher Education— Cooperative, Collaborative, Problem-Based, and Team-Based Learning: An Introduction by the Guest Editors. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(3), 1–6.
  • Goolsarran, N., Hamo, C. E., & Lu, W.-H. (2020). Using the jigsaw technique to teach patient safety. Medical Education Online, 25(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/10872981.2019.1710325
  • Guerra-Reyes, F., Naranjo-Toro, M., Basantes-Andrade, A., Guerra-Davila, E., & Benavides-Piedra, A. (2023). COVID-19, Didactic Practices, and Representations Assumed by Preservice Teachers at Universidad Técnica del Norte-Ecuador. Sustainability, 15(6), 4770. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15064770
  • Hackman, L. (2021). Communication, forensic science, and the law. WIREs Forensic Science, 3(2). https://doi.org/10.1002/wfs2.1396
  • Hartz, C., Dragolov, G., Arant, R., Delhey, J., Unzicker, K., & Boehnke, K. (2023). Youth and social cohesion in times of the COVID pandemic: Most negatively affected? Most resilient? Frontiers in Psychology, 14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1036516
  • Lacks, R. D. (2007). The “Real” CSI: Designing and Teaching a Violent Crime Scene Class in an Undergraduate Setting. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 18(2), 311–321. https://doi.org/10.1080/10511250701383459
  • Lalit, M., & Piplani, S. (2021). Assessing the outcome of implementation of jigsaw technique as a learning tool and its effect on performance of 1st year medical students in anatomy. National Journal of Clinical Anatomy, 10(2), 97. https://doi.org/10.4103/NJCA.NJCA_57_20
  • Nusrath, A., Dhananjaya, S. Y., Dyavegowda, N., Arasegowda, R., Ningappa, A., & Begum, R. (2019). Jigsaw Classroom: Is it an Effective Method of Teaching and Learning? Student’s Opinions and Experience. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 13(2), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2019/39613.12540
  • Parmar, D. R., & Parmar, D. J. (2020). Study of students perceptions for Jigsaw-collaborative learning in Forensic Medicine. IP International Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicological Sciences, 4(4), 105–110. https://doi.org/10.18231/j.ijfmts.2019.024
  • Parmar, P., & Rathod, G. B. (2015). Study of innovative teaching methods to enhance teaching and learning in Forensic Medicine. International Archives of Integrated Medicine, 2(8), 78–80.
  • Pierce, M., Hope, H., Ford, T., Hatch, S., Hotopf, M., John, A., Kontopantelis, E., Webb, R., Wessely, S., McManus, S., & Abel, K. M. (2020). Mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal probability sample survey of the UK population. The Lancet Psychiatry, 7(10), 883–892. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30308-4
  • Rodriguez Sandoval, M. T., Bernal Oviedo, G. M., & Rodriguez-Torres, M. I. (2022). From preconceptions to concept: The basis of a didactic model designed to promote the development of critical thinking. International Journal of Educational Research Open, 3, 100207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedro.2022.100207
  • Stone, R., Cooper, S., & Cant, R. (2013). The Value of Peer Learning in Undergraduate Nursing Education: A Systematic Review. ISRN Nursing, 2013, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/930901
  • Sullivan, G. M., & Artino, A. R. (2013). Analyzing and Interpreting Data From Likert-Type Scales. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 5(4), 541–542. https://doi.org/10.4300/JGME-5-4-18
  • Teixeira, A., Azevedo, A., Pérez-Mongiovi, D., Caldas, I. M., & Costa-Rodrigues, J. (2023). Involving Forensic Students in Integrative Learning—A Project Proposal. Forensic Sciences, 3(1), 69–79. https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci3010007
  • Williams, B., & Reddy, P. (2016). Does peer-assisted learning improve academic performance? A scoping review. Nurse Education Today, 42, 23–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2016.03.024
  • Yoshida, M. (2018). Communication Jigsaw: A Teaching Method that Promotes Scholarly Communication. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (IJET), 13(10), 208. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijet.v13i10.8850


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.