Enhancing the student learning experience through memes

Helen Tidy*, Rachel S. Bolton-King, Ruth Croxton, Carrie Mullen, Leisa Nichols-Drew, Felicity Carlysle-Davies, Kimberlee S. Moran, Joanne Irving-Walton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Meme-making is an effective method for engaging students and enhancing the learning environment. Memes are a social media cultural phenomenon that the majority of those in Higher Education are exposed to on an almost daily occurrence. This research examined the use of meme-making within the forensic sciences to allow students to reflect on their knowledge. Students studying modules in forensic science across six universities in the UK and USA participated in the study. At the end of a teaching session, students produced a meme (using Meme Generator) to reflect on what they had learned; memes were then shared with the class anonymously via Padlet. This allowed all class members to see and engage with the memes created. At the end of the activity students were anonymously surveyed on their experience using Microsoft Forms and analysis of the results were undertaken using SPSS software.

Meme-making was found to be an inclusive learning activity with no limitations, including age (part-time, distance learning and visually impaired students were not part of the study parameters). Results showed that not only did students find the practice fun, but it also helped with the retention of the class content suggesting that the meme-making process is an effective way to enhance the learning environment while engaging students.

Student feedback suggests that to maximise participation the educator should stress reflection and learning as the key purpose of generating a meme, rather than being witty or entertaining. The forensic science educator should be mindful of selecting appropriate subject matter for this often-humorous activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-288
Number of pages9
JournalScience & Justice
Volume64
Issue number3
Early online date30 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2024

Keywords

  • meme
  • edutainment
  • student engagement
  • reflection
  • higher education
  • social media
  • inclusive learning

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