Syllabus for AOJ-381



This upper-level course focuses on the criminal event from both the perspective of the victim and the motives of the offender. It examines victimization patterns, typologies, lifestyles, causal factors, consequences, and the treatment of victims by the criminal justice system. Understanding the behaviors of criminals will help you identify pre-incident warning signs, techniques to defuse immediate danger, and strategies to prevent future harm.


After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Analyze the nature of violence and criminal behavior.
  2. Explain the concept of victimology in terms of the history, theories, typologies, and factors relating to the emergence of the victim movement.
  3. Utilize crime data to identify the extent, trends, and patterns of crime victimization.
  4. Identify the emotional, psychological, financial, physical, productivity, and social consequences related to crime victimization.
  5. Discuss sexual assault and stalking as they relate to the concept of victimization.
  6. Evaluate the issue of family violence, particularly the area of spouse abuse.
  7. In their relation to victimization, analyze two forms of extreme violence: homicide and workplace violence.
  8. Identify and explain ways to recognize threats of violence and to prevent violence.


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 Textbooks

  1. The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence, by Gavin de Becker (New York: Dell, 1997).

ISBN: 9781597771030

  1. Victimology, 5th ed., by William G. Doerner and Steven P. Lab (LexisNexis Anderson Publishing, 2008).

ISBN: 9781593455064

Supplemental Materials

  1. As you study the violent crimes covered in this course, such as rape, homicide, and spouse abuse, you are encouraged to learn the laws in your state relating to those crimes. You may use your local law library to access the criminal code for your state, or you can use the Internet. Try Google or another search engine, using keywords such as "state criminal codes" or "[state name] criminal code." You can go directly to the Web site of your state's legislature and search it for a particular criminal code, or you can use general sites that list links to all states' codes. One such general site is, which provides links to each state's criminal code.

  1. Note, too, that the Victimology text provides a list of Internet sites of interest at the end of each chapter.

  1. As a student at Thomas Edison State College, you have access to the Criminal Justice Periodical Index, an online database of articles provided by ProQuest and made available through the New Jersey Virtual Academic Library Environment (VALE). To access VALE, go to the External Links area of this course site, click Educational Resources, and click Virtual Academic Library Environment (VALE). You will receive information about accessing the databases and be provided with a link to VALE at You may want to print out the instructions so you have the necessary password information.

Remember that if you use any of these materials for your written activities or online discussions, be sure to give proper credit.


Victimology and Criminal Behavior is a three-credit online course, consisting of eleven (11) modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, class notes and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: The Nature of Violence

  1. Module 2: The Study of Victimology
  2. Module 3: Patterns of Crime Victimization
  3. Module 4: The Consequences of Crime Victimization
  4. Module 5: Sexual Assault/Battery
  5. Module 6: Understanding and Responding to Stalking
  6. Module 7: Understanding and Responding to Threats
  7. Module 8: The Nature of Homicide
  8. Module 9: Extreme Violence in the Workplace
  9. Module 10: Intimate Partner Violence
  10. Module 11: Early Recognition and Prevention of Violence

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, tand take two proctored online examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

Victimology and Criminal Behavior requires you to participate in eleven weekly graded online discussion activities, in addition to an ungraded "Introductions" forum in module 1.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted activity and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

If you use text material or outside print or online sources to enhance your discussion, please be sure to provide references.

For posting guidelines and help with discussion forums, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Written Assignments

Victimology and Criminal Behavior requires that you complete and submit eleven (11) written assignments, one per week. These written activities are built around the objectives for each unit. Each assignment consists of between two and six short-answer essay questions, some of which are multi-part.

Answer each assignment question as completely as possible. Do not merely copy your answers from your course materials. Rather, formulate answers in your own words, paraphrasing or quoting the course readings as appropriate. Be sure to cite these references in an appropriate manner by using footnotes or endnotes. If you use outside sources to strengthen your answers, be sure to cite them also.

Before submitting your work, proofread it for correct spelling, grammar, complete sentences and paragraphs, and clarity of expression. Be sure to keep a copy of each assignment for yourself.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the Assignment Modules area of the course Web site, which is where the written assignments can be found. Read through the written assignment questions before you begin each unit.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

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.

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


You are required to take two (2) proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you 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.

Midterm Examination

The midterm exam is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers material assigned in Modules 1-3. It consists of 8 essay questions, each of which has two parts. You must answer both the a and b parts of each question.

Final Examination

The final is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers material in Modules 4 through 6. It consists of 8 essay questions, each of which has two parts. You must answer both the a and b parts of each question.

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

Sample Examination

You will find a sample online examination in the Tests & Quizzes area of this course site. Use this sample exam to familiarize yourself with the online testing setting and format before you take your online exam. Keep in mind the following potential differences between the sample exam and your online exam:

  1. The content of your exam will match the content of your course; the sample exam has some generic questions on art history, world history, and environmental science.
  2. Your exam is likely to include only one type or at most several types of questions (such as multiple choice or essays). The sample exam includes all the types that you might encounter in an online assessment at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. You will be able to enter and take your final exam just once—once you have entered the exam you must complete it. The sample exam may be taken as often as you like.
  4. There will be a penalty for exceeding the time limit in your actual exams (see the "Statement about Cheating" below), whereas there is no corresponding penalty with this sample exam.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
  5. Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (11)—20 percent
  2. Written assignments (11)—30 percent
  3. Midterm exam (proctored online, modules 1–3)—25 percent
  4. Final exam (proctored online, modules 4–6)—25 percent

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:






























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.).


First Steps to Success

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

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Arrange to take your examinations by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  5. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting activities before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting activities, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check the Announcements page and class Discussion Board regularly for new course information.


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 takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. 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, 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.

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