Syllabus for AOJ-280

FORENSIC SCIENCE


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Forensic Science presents a comprehensive introduction of the application of science concepts to criminal investigation. Key topics covered include the importance of the crime scene, and the collection and analysis of both physical and biological evidence. In addition to the textbook readings and lecture notes, this course employs analysis of actual criminal cases through written assignments and discussions.  

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the various search patterns used in forensic investigation and recognize the importance of Locard’s Exchange Principle to forensic investigation.
  2. Recognize the major fingerprint patterns and explain their collection, identification and relationship to  crime investigation.
  3. Explain the different techniques used for collection of physical and biological evidence.
  4. Discuss the various laboratory analyses used to identify drug, biological, and physical evidence.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the college's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-515849-4

COURSE STRUCTURE

Forensic Science is a three-credit online course, consisting of the four (4) modules. Each module includes an introduction, a list of topics, learning objectives, study materials, and graded assessments. Module titles are listed below.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take two open-book quizzes, a proctored online midterm exam, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

This course requires you to participate in five (5) graded discussion forums. There is also an ungraded but required introduction forum in module 1.

Deadlines for posting discussion threads on the class Discussion Board are given in the course Calendar.

For posting guidelines and additional help with discussion board assignments please see the Online Student Handbook located within the General Information section of the course website.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four (4) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

 

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

See the Online Student Handbook for additional help regarding preparing and submitting assignments located within the General Information section of the course website.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Quizzes

There will be two open-book module quizzes for this course. The quizzes should be taken after you complete the reading assignments and online discussions for each related module. There will be twenty (20) multiple choice questions based on related chapters of a module. You have up to 60 minutes to complete the quiz and may take it only once.

To access quiz links, go to the Tests & Quizzes area of the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for quiz deadlines.

Midterm Examination

You are required to take a closed-book, proctored online midterm examination.

The midterm exam is two hours long and consists of twenty-five (25) multiple-choice questions and two (2) essay questions. The exam covers materials assigned in modules 1 and 2 of the course.

For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Final Project

In lieu of a final exam, you are required to complete a final project. Your final project includes three requirements: complete the paper itself,  post a presentation, and comment on other students' presentations on discussion forums.

The final paper should be 5-10 page long on the topic of your interest related to forensic science. See the Final Project area of the course web site for further details.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Consult your Course Calendar for due dates.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93100

A–

=

9092

B+

=

8889

B

=

8387

B–

=

8082

C+

=

7879

C

=

7377

C–

=

7072

D

=

6069

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

 

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.

 

 

Plagiarism

Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

 

Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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