Bringing a Crime Scene to life using Virtual Reality: How I did it, or at least tried to.

Concurrent Session 1

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

An overview of how I used Virtual Reality and ThingLink to deliver an immersive Crime Scene experience to online and face-to-face students. During this presentation I’ll share tips, tricks and lessons learned on how I got started, where I went and more importantly where will this project be heading. 


Cody House serves as the Director of Online Learning and Instructional Technology with the College of Professional Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Since joining the GW community he has spent his time constantly pushing to implement new and emerging technologies within the College of Professional Studies.

Extended Abstract

Using the ThingLink interactive platform the College of Professional Studies at George Washington University is delivering a unique immersive experience for students in the Police & Security Studies program. The platform allows students to virtually visit a customized crime scene that delivers a story line that forces classmates to work together to uncover the evidence and help wrap up the case. Specifically designed for the program, the materials are delivered to the students over the course of multiple semesters.

The crime scene and corresponding story were developed with industry experts from around the Washington, D.C. area. Starting with the discovery of a homicide in local Rock Creek Park the students will walk through the crime scene to reveal a wide-variety of evidence. Using skills acquired throughout their course work they will request evidence be processed to help piece together a cohesive narrative that helps move along the investigation. As the students move from semester to semester they will continue to work through the crime scene and new crime scenes, as investigators discover them. By the end of the courses the students will have applied many skills and theories they’ve acquired throughout the program to help wrap up their investigation and hopefully close the case and make an arrest.

This pilot project is the first step in a much larger, capstone-like project, to develop a real-life scenario to challenge the students at the conclusion of their program. The project would also allow students to rely on industry experts as they learn how shell casings and fingerprints are processed when discovered at a crime scene. As the case unfolds the students can meet legal experts to discuss how evidence can and cannot be used when preparing for and delivering evidence to a jury or judge.

The goals of this session include the following:

  • Share my insights, tips, tricks and lessons learned from working with ThingLink and 360 Video and Images
  • Foster a discussion on best practices and how can these tools continue to work in education
  • Brainstorm with you, the attendee, on how you could bring similar virtual reality projects to your school or program