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CRMJ 1360 (CRMJ previously 1310) Syllabus

Course Syllabus

CRMJ 1360 (CRMJ previously 1310) - Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation (formerly Forensics)

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course introduces forensic science and its applications in criminalistics. It is an overview of how their structure reflects the underlying philosophy about forensic science as a science and profession. Various methodologies used in a modern full-service forensic science laboratory are studied and how these methods comprise the activities and specific areas of criminalistics.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, the student should:

  • Understand the nature and role of forensic science
  • See the value of forensic science to our society
  • The forensic science laboratory operations
  • The nature of the scientific method and how it might operate in everyday situations
  • The main specialty areas of forensic science
  • The concepts of recognition, classification, individualization and reconstruction
  • Comparisons as a basis of forensic science analysis-inclusions and exclusions
  • How physical evidence is created during an incident
  • The Locard Exchange Principle and its centrality to forensic science
  • The steps required for the effective discovery and use of physical evidence
  • Rules of admissibility of scientific and technical evidence
  • The steps in crime scene processing, collecting evidence and processing evidence
  • Understanding the interpretation of patterns and reconstruction
  • The use of pattern evidence and technological examinations
  • Fingerprints and other personal identification patterns, toolmarks and firearms
  • The examination and comparison of toolmarks and firearms
  • Initial collection, examination of blood and physiological evidence
  • Understanding DNA analysis and typing
  • Understanding the elements of arson and explosives investigations
  • The elements of drugs and drug analysis and forensic toxicology
  • The elements of collecting, examining, identification and classification of material evidence 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

None, however good reading and writing skills and comprehension are necessary.

Course Topics:

The lessons will be completed in the order in which they are presented in the book unless otherwise directed by the instructor. The students will also use the syllabus as a guide for the order in which the lessons are to be studied and completed. Those topics are in the order which they are to be studied and completed:

Chapter One – Introduction to Forensic Science

Chapter Two – Physical Evidence and the Legal System

Chapter Three - Crime Scene Processing and Analysis

Chapter Four - Examination and Interpretation of Patterns of Reconstruction

Chapter Five - Examination of Physical Pattern Evidence

Chapter Six - Fingerprints and Other Personal Identification Patterns

Chapter Seven – Questioned Document Examination

Chapter Eight - Toolmarks and Firearms

Chapter Nine - Blood and Physiological Fluid Evidence: Evaluation & Examination

Chapter Ten - DNA Analysis and Typing

Chapter Eleven - Arson and Explosives

Chapter Twelve – Drugs and Drug Analysis and Forensic Toxicology

Chapter Thirteen – Materials Evidence 

Specific Course Requirements:

Basic knowledge in the use of computers, Word programs and internet research.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

None.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

Respondus Lockdown browser is required for testing and assessments.

Grading Procedures:

Grading Scale and Point Range is listed below.

451 - 500 Points A
401 - 450 Points B
351 - 400 Points C
301 - 350 Points D
Under 300 Points F

Grading Scale:
Assignments and Projects:

Student’s assignment or projects will be graded weekly for the assigned weekly work.

Graded Assessments will be based on timely completion and correctness of the work as well as grammar and composition.

Each week a Discussion Topic will be posted and points awarded for participation. The Discussion Topic portion is mandatory. This is part of your overall grade. 

Assignment Description and Point Assessment is as follows:

Week One: Read Chapter One and complete the two exercises, 1.Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points. Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10  
Week Two: Read Chapter Two and complete the two exercises.1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points.

Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10

Review Questions = 10

Week Three: Read Chapter Three and complete the two exercises, 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points. Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10
Week Four: Read Chapter Four and complete the two exercises.1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points. Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10
Week Five: Read Chapter Five and complete the two exercises. 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points. Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10 
Week Six: Mid-Term Exam based on the first five chapters.Total Points = 100 
Week Seven: Read Chapter Six and complete the two exercises. 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points.Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10 
Week Eight: Read Chapter Seven and complete the two exercises. 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points. Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10 
Week Nine: Read Chapter Eight and complete the two exercises. 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points.Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10 
Week Ten: Read Chapter Nine and complete the two exercises. 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points. Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10 
Week Eleven: Read Chapter Ten and complete the two exercises. 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points. Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10 
Week Twelve: Read Chapter Eleven and complete the two exercises. 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points.Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10 
Week Thirteen: Read Chapter Twelve and complete the two exercises. 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points. Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10 
Week Fourteen: Read Chapter Thirteen and complete the two exercises. 1. Review Questions and 2. Fill-in-the-Blanks for a total of 5 points each. Answering and participating in the Discussion Forum will earn you up to another 10 points. Total Points = 20 Discussion = 10 Review Questions = 10 
Week Fifteen: Final Exam that includes all thirteen chapters of the book.Final Exam = 140 points
Total Points Total Course Points500 

 

Class Participation:

Class participation requirements for this course are completion of all materials by the student by the Date Due listed.

Late Policy:

The assignments must be completed by the assigned deadline or penalty points will be assessed.

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:

RULES OF THE TENNESSEE BOARD OF REGENTS STATE UNIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM OF TENNESSEE SYSTEMWIDE STUDENT RULES CHAPTER 0240-02-03 STUDENT CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS

Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications

Email:

  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members

Discussions:

  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.

Library

The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.


Last Revised on April 28, 2017