Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Creative Studies, M.S.


Center for Studies in Creativity


J. Michael Fox

Department Home page

First Reader

J. Michael Fox

Second Reader

J. Michael Fox


This project uses an action research centered study protocol to examine the effects of a problem-based learning exercise related to bloodstain pattern interpretation in a crime scene processing and general criminalistics class taught as part of an upper division forensic chemistry major in a four year college. The goal is to apply design principles and creative problem solving methods directly adapted to a project involving interpreting a set of crime scene photographs depicting blood spatter and with the aid of guided exercises in ideation and design, lead students into the development of alternate theories of how the bloodstains were created in the context of reconstructing a criminal event and how students can translate these ideas into the creation of processes and apparatus that replicate the flight dynamics of blood and injury patterns that lead to these shapes for the ultimate purpose of crime scene reconstruction, theory validation, and courtroom demonstration. The quality of the final projects will be based on a rubric that examines the novelty and scientific validity of the project based on creative product assessment protocols drawn from various sources. The assignments and final project success in inspiring student growth in the topic area of bloodstain pattern examination will be based on their scores in project creativity vs. their success in a pre- and post-examination related to bloodstain pattern principles. The role of corroboration, prototyping, insight development tools, and work space design, acceleration of the creative process and development of appropriate evaluation assessments of creative products will be part of the action research study. It is hoped that through this research, general methods of instruction may be developed that relate creative problem solving tools to generation of creative ideas in specific domain areas.