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SOC 3640 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

SOC 3640 - Cybercrime

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course provides a broad introduction into the world of cyber crime. Cyber crime includes various forms of criminal activity and is broadly defined as the destruction, theft, unauthorized or illegal use, modification, copying of information, programs, services, equipment, or communication networks.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • identify various forms of cybercrime as well as risk factors for victimization and perpetration.
  • understand emerging forms of cybercrime.
  • understand the intersections between cybercrime and other criminal behavior.
  • develop, understand, and apply the sociological perspective to various forms of cybercrime.
  • apply various theoretical perspectives to aid in the understanding of cybercrime.
  • understand the challenges and barriers law enforcement experiences during cybercrime investigations. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Introduction to Sociology or Introduction to Criminal Justice

Course Topics:
  • Introduction to Cyber-crime
  • Theoretical Approaches to Cyber-crime
  • The Danger of Publicly Available Information
  • Cyber-harassment, Cyber-stalking, and Cyber-bullying
  • Cyber-pornography
  • Cyber-fraud and Identity Theft
  • Hackers, Crackers, and Phone Phreaks
  • Criminal Justice and Cyberspace 
Specific Course Requirements:

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:

The following articles should be accessible for free. Students, select 'Virtual Library' from the right-hand menu on the course homepage. You will have access to both your instructor's campus library and the library database. Search for the article by title, or consult an Librarian from the library Web site to assist you.

The movie "Hackers" (see Module Two) is currently available for rent on Amazon for $2.99. Additionally, students may be able to find it online for free through YouTube (search "Hackers movie" for clips).

Module One Article: Gordon, S., & Ford, R. (2006). On the definition and classification of cybercrime. Journal in Computer Virology, 2(1), 13-20.

Module Two Articles: Skinner, W. F., & Fream, A. M. (1997). A social learning theory analysis of computer crime among college students. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 34(4), 495- 518. This article is currently available from this source as well (opens in a new window): A Social Learning Theory Analysis of Computer Crime among College Students.

Wada, F., Longe, O., & Danquah, P. (2012). Action Speaks Louder than Words: Understanding Cybercriminal Behavior using Criminological Theories. Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce, 17(1). This article is currently available from this source as well (opens in a new window): Action Speaks Louder than Words: Understanding Cybercriminal Behavior using Criminological Theories.

Module Two Movie: Hackers movie. Available for rent (2.99-3.99) through Amazon found here:

Module Three Articles: Navarro, J.N., & Jasinski, J.L. (2014). Identity Theft on Social Networks. (can be accessed here: Identity Theft on Social Network.pdf)

Thompson, H.H. (2008). How I Stole Someone's Identity. (can be accessed here: How I Stole Someone's Identity (opens in a new window)).

Module Four Article: Bocij, P., & McFarlane, L. (2003). Cyberstalking: The Technology of Hate. The Police Journal, 76, 204-221.

Module Five Article: Clevenger, S. L., Navarro, J. N., & Jasinski, J. L. (2014). A Matter of Low Self- Control? Exploring Differences Between Child Pornography Possessors and Child Pornography Producers/Distributers Using Self-Control Theory. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment.

Module Six Article: Navarro, J.N., & Jasinski, J.L. (2014). Identity Theft on Social Networks. (can be accessed here: Identity Theft on Social Network.pdf)

Module Seven Book Chapter: Holt, Smirnova, Strumsky, & Kilger. (2014). Case Study: Advancing Research on Hackers Through Social Network Data. Can be accessed here: Book Chapter Reading (opens in a new window). 

Module Eight Article: Wall, D. (2007). Policing Cybercrimes: Situating the Public Police in Networks of Security within Cyberspace. Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, 8(2), 183-205. This paper can currently be downloaded through the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) located here: Policing Cybercrimes: Situating the Public Police in Networks of Security Within Cyberspace (opens in a new window). 

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:

This course utilizes randomized quizzes to assess student learning at the end of each topic. During these quizzes, browsers will not be locked down. However, quizzes must be completed by their designated “close” date (Sundays at 11:59 p.m. unless otherwise stated) in order to be considered for points. Quizzes will comprise of fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, short essay, and true/false questions. 

Grading Procedures:
8 Active-Learning Exercises @ 20 pts each160 Subtotal Points
8 Discussions @ 10 pts each80 Subtotal Points
8 Quizzes @ 20 pts each160 Subtotal Points
Total Points400 Points
Grading Scale:
under 237F


Assignments and Projects:

Active-Learning Assignments (160 total points possible): During the semester, students will engage in various active learning exercises that are designed to assist in the application of course material to the everyday world. Details about each particular activity will be discussed in advance of due dates. These activities cannot be turned in late unless a documented emergency occurred.

Discussions (80 total points possible): During each week, students are expected to discuss the course material over the class discussion board. The instructor will prompt discussion by outlining (a) specific question(s) students will have to address in their posts. Aside from posting their own reflections and thoughts on the readings, students are required to engage their peers in active conversation and debate (at least three separate students). In other words, it is expected that there will be disagreement. Students will not be allowed to see any of their peers’ posts until they post themselves. Here are some tips on how to be successful in the discussion component of this course:

  • Actually read the posts of your peers and respond thoughtfully. It is perfectly acceptable to disagree, but be constructive and never personal. Related the aforementioned, ensure you are basing at least part of your argument/claim/response on actual data outside of your own personal knowledge. Personal opinion is fine to note, but should not represent the majority of your posts. This is an upper-level course and I expect you to utilize your knowledge of research each week in the discussions.
  • Enter the discussion well in advance of the deadline and remain active throughout the topic timeframe. Entering the discussion a few hours or a day before the closure date will result in a lower score.
  • Ensure you are actually adding to the discussion and not simply reiterating what previous posts have noted. While I want you to reply, just agreeing with a bunch of people is not engaging in the discussion.
  • Ensure you’re keeping the threads together by clicking the “reply” button. Do not attempt to reply to someone outside of the thread in which the first comment was made or it will become confusing to everyone else following the discussion.
  • Avoid any insulting or inflammatory comments to others.

Quizzes (160 total points possible): During the semester, eight quizzes will be given including material covered up to that date. This is to ensure that students are reading the required the material and assess the overall understanding of topics among the class. 


Class Participation:

Although this course does follow a set schedule, this is a student-driven course. In other words, the onus is on YOU to participate and be engaged virtually with the class. 


Late Policy:

Students are expected to adhere to the posted deadlines on the syllabus and the course calendar. Late work will not be accepted. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students setup reminders for themselves in their calendars and smart devices to avoid missing deadlines. 

Late work will NOT be accepted unless documentation of an emergency (e.g. hospitalization or comparable event) is submitted to the instructor within 48 hours of the missed deadline. 

Course Ground Rules

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


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


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


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 July 12, 2021