Course Description: A discussion of discovery, recognition, observation, identification, collection and comparison of physical evidence, including a review of various current techniques in the testing of physical evidence. 3:0:3
Educational Philosophy: The philosophy for this course is one of interactiveness based on lectures, instruction, group discussions, and a field trip. The instructor believes that students learn by active participation and working together as a team. Teamwork along with mutual respect is conducive to learning and promotes a harmonious atmosphere where everyone counts. The instructor will encourage students to express their opinions without fear or ridicule which initiates dialogues. A good sense of humor is also encouraged.
Learning Outcomes:On completion of this course, students should be able to:
1. Define the definition of forensic science.
2. Explain the history and development of forensic
3. State the functions/services of a criminal laboratory.
4. Interpret the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions on major
cases pertaining to the admissibility of scientific
evidence in the court room.
5. Explain the role criminalists perform at the crime
6. Explain why criminalists are considered "expert
witnesses" in a court of law.
7. Identify common types of physical forensic evidence.
8. Explain the significance of physical evidence in a
9. Identify the methods and techniques used to document,
photograph, videotape, sketch, and search a crime
10. Explain the procedures used in the collection,
recording, and preservation of physical evidence.
11. Explain how to maintain the chain of evidence along
with preserving its integrity.
12. State the difference between a standard and an unknown
13. Explain the processes of identification and comparison.
14. Evaluate the criminal laboratory analysis of the
following common forensic evidence: hairs, fibers,
paint, blood, semen, saliva, fingerprints, firearms,
toolmarks, glass, bitemarks, documents, and drugs.
15. Explain the basic functions of chromatography,
spectrophotometry, and mass spectrometry.
16. Define DNA.
17. Explain the significance of DNA as forensic evidence.
Course Assessment: 1. Written Examinations: Two (2) examinations will be given
during the semester, with multiple choice and short
essay questions. The examinations will constitute as
fifty percent (50%) of your final grade. Students will
be allowed the entire class period to take the
2. Periodical Articles: Three (3) written articles from
newspapers, magazine journals, court television, or the
Internet will be required. The articles will be typed,
one page in length, and may be double-spaced. The
articles will count as ten (10%) percent of your final
grade. The following guidelines will be used:
(a) The articles will pertain to criminalistics.
(b) List important facts, explain the main ideas, and
discuss the concepts of arguments the author used
to support the ideas.
(c) Identify the source(s) of your article on a
SEPARATE SHEET OF PAPER.
(d) Your topic must be selected by the third class
meeting to ensure your have sufficient time to
complete the articles.
3. Term Paper: One (1) written paper consisting of ten(10)
typed pages, double-spaced will be required.
The paper will count as thirty (30) percent of your
final grade. The following will be used:
(a) YOUR PAPER MUST BE WRITTEN IN APA FORMAT.
(b) Subject must pertain to criminalistics.
(c) Define your premise for your paper.
(d) List important facts, explain the main ideas, and
discuss the concepts or arguments the author used
to support the ideas.
(e) You may use any reference you desire with one of
them being the course text.
(f) Identify the sources of your paper on a SEPARATE
SHEET OF PAPER.
(g) Present the paper in class, eight (8) to ten (10)
(h) Your topic must be selected by the fourth class
meeting, therefore allowing you adequate time to
complete the paper.
Grading: 1. Examinations - 50%
2. Written Articles - 10%
3. Term Paper - 30%
4. Attendance/Participation - 10%
5. Total Percent - 100%
6. Final Grade Criterion:
100 - 90 =A
80 - 89 =B
70 - 79 =C
60 - 69 =D
Below - 59 =F
Late Submission of Course Materials: Make-Up Exam Policy: Please try to not miss exams and due dates of written assignments. MAKE-UP EXAMS MUST BE TAKEN NO LATER THAN ONE WEEK AFTER THE ORIGINAL EXAM DATE. Make-up exams must be coordinated with the instructor so arrangements can be made for you. If no effort is made by you to make-up the exam your score will result in a ZERO. All written papers are due on their due dates. If you will not be attending class on that date, you must leave the paper on its due date with personnel from Park University. ALL LATE PAPERS will receive a ten (10%) percent reduction for each day it is late.
Extra credit is only allowed with emergency situations and excused absences.
If you feel that you need extra help in understanding this course, please contact me so I can provide assistance.
Classroom Rules of Conduct: Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Please be respectful of your instructor and classmates. Students are expected to maintain the classroom in a neat and orderly fashion.
Course Topic/Dates/Assignments: March 21: Introduction, Review of Syllabus, and Orientation
CHAPTER 1: "Introduction to Forensic Science"
March 23: CHAPTER 2: "The Crime Scene"
CHAPTER 3: "Physical Evidence"
March 28: CHAPTER 8: "Hairs, Fibers, and Paints"
FIRST ARTICLE DUE!
March 30: CHAPTER 9: "Drugs"
April 04: CHAPTER 10: "Forensic Toxicology"
SECOND ARTICLE DUE!
April 06: CHAPTER 11: "Forensic Aspects of Arson and
REVIEW FOR EXAMINATION 3
April 11: EXAMINATION 1 (CHAPTERS: 1,2,3,8,9,10, AND 11)
April 13: CHAPTER 12: "Forensic Serology"
THIRD ARTICLE DUE!
April 18: CHAPTER 13: "DNA, A New Forensic Tool"
CHAPTER 14: "Fingerprints"
April 20: Guest speaker, Criminalist
April 25: CHAPTER 14: "Fingerprints (cont.)
Class Project, Lifting Latent Prints
April 27: CHAPTER 15: "Firearms, Tool Marks, and Other
May 02: CHAPTER 16: "Documents and Voice Examination"
May 04: FIELD TRIP - Crime Laboratory
May 09: TERM PAPER DUE - CLASS PRESENTATIONS
REVIEW FOR EXAMINATION 2
May 11: EXAMINATION 2 (CHAPTERS: 12,13,14,15, AND 16)
NOTE: In some incidents only significant portions of the
chapters will be discussed. Students will be advised
NOTE: STUDENTS WILL BE ADVISED OF ANY CHANGES TO THE
Academic Honesty:Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog Page 101Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community. Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on the test, examinations, papers or other course assignments. Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park. Your integrity should be your greatest attribute.
Plagiarism:Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. <a href="http://www.park.edu/catalog">
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog</a> Page 101Plagiarism-the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one's original work-sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance. Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should ocnsult their instructors.
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences
via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate
Catalog Page 100Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences. The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reason, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in grade of "F". An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences for a course. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administrative (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student. Reports of "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
Attendance/Participation: Due to the correlation of each proceeding class, your consistent attendance and participation is very important. Attendance means being physically present for class. Participation means completing course requirements in a timely manner along with participating in classroom discussions/projects. Students are encouraged to ask questions and share their opinions. Your attendance/participation grade counts for ten percent (10%) of your final grade. You will receive six point twenty-five percent (6.25%) for each class you attend and participate in (16 x 6.25%=100%). The instructor may grant excused absences, if called prior to class. Being more than ten (10) minutes late without prior notification to the instructor or Park University Staff will result in receiving fewer points for that class.
Special Circumstances: Emergencies do exist which will be verified and will allow you NOT TO BE PENALIZED. These emergencies must be reported to the instructor or university personnel PRIOR to class. Events like deaths within the family, hospitalization, events at work beyond your control, and family members (spouse, children) involved with serious incidents/illnesses are considered emergencies. If an emergency occurs within minutes or on the way to class (accidents, being a victim of a crime, etc.) notification may be done the following day to the instructor or to university personnel. If contacting university personnel, please provide them a number where I can contact you and we can discuss the matter.
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:
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