Crime Scene Investigation


Crime Scene Investigation provides students with a basic, introductory overview of crime scene investigation. Background information and techniques necessary to perform analyses will be included in the course. The course units will allow students to understand the steps taken in a crime scene investigation, from the initial walk through, documentation, and types of evidence encountered. The course content will be applied using two virtual crime scenes with activities.

Cost: $150.00. This course takes 20 hours to complete, on average.


Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Determine what proper personal protective equipment is necessary
  • Describe the necessary provisions at a crime scene
  • Conduct an initial walk-through
  • Properly photograph a crime scene
  • Recognize potential sources of pattern evidence at a crime scene
  • Recognize potential sources of biological, chemical, and trace evidence at a crime scene
  • Compile a thorough overall crime scene report

Course Structure and Schedule

This is a non-credit course offering 3.82 ILUs. (What is ILU?) Average completion time for the course is 20 hours. The course cost is $150.00 per registration. A certificate of completion will be issued to students successfully meeting course requirements.


Table of Contents

Unit 1: Introduction
Unit 2: Crime Scene Safety
Unit 3: Crime Scene Provisions
Unit 4: Initial Assessment of the Crime Scene
Unit 5: Documentation of the Crime Scene
Unit 6: Evidence Search Methods
Unit 7: Physical Evidence: Pattern Evidence
Unit 8: Physical Evidence: Biological, Chemical, and Trace Evidence
Unit 9: Final Assessment of the Crime Scene
Unit 10: Reports and Forms
Unit 11: Expert Witness Testimony
Unit 12: Virtual Crime Scene


There are no prerequisites for this class. A printable version of the course content is available in PDF format in the course library for future reference. Course readings are also available in PDF format.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the virtual crime scenes required to pass this course?

Answer: Yes, you must have access to the virtual crime scenes to pass this course. An 80% is required on the virtual crime scene 1 assessment and the virtual crime scene 2 documentation assignment.

How do I view the virtual crime scenes?

Answer: You must do the following: use Mozilla Firefox as your internet browser, turn off pop-up blockers, and install the necessary course plug-ins which can be found in the “Getting Started” button of the course on the page titled “eCampus Tutorial”. Click on the tab “Required Browser Plugins” and download the four listed programs.

I cannot download programs on my work computer, what should I do?

Answer: Use a computer where you will be allowed to download the required programs. Suggestions include personal or library computers.

I have downloaded all requirements and am still having problems viewing the virtual crime scenes, what should I do?

Answer: Contact the instructor of the course by email or phone.

Computer Requirements

  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Quicktime
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Java

There are free software plug-ins available in the Getting Started area of the course.

Basic computer skills required (i.e. turning on your computer, navigating to websites, etc.). The course is user-friendly but support is available if needed.

All Students: Using Internet Explorer (IE) 10? Read info on eCampus Main Page

Instructor Information

Kelly Ayers is an instructional coordinator with Forensic & Investigative Science Outreach. Prior to coming to WVU, Kelly was employed as a forensic services technician with the Asheville, NC Police Department. While there, she was qualified as an expert in forensic identification in North Carolina Superior Court and was published in the Journal of Forensic Identification. She has an undergraduate degree with a double major in Philosophy and Biology from Frostburg (Maryland) State University and was the first graduate of the West Virginia University Forensic Identification Program. Since joining FSI, Kelly has become an IAI Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst and received her Master of Science in Forensic Science Administration from Oklahoma State University. She is responsible for instructing several continuing education courses, courses in the Forensic & Investigative Science Minor, and crime scene related on site courses. Contact:  304-293-0323

Robin Bowen is the Assistant Director for the Forensic Science Initiative, a program that develops scientific resources, outreach opportunities, and professional training for forensic scientists and related professionals. Her primary responsibilities include coordination of continuing education programs, management of grant funded projects, and correspondence of progress to the National Institute of Justice. Bowen is the author of Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science. She is a former advisory member of the Outreach and Communication Interagency Working Group (IWG) under the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee (NSTC) on Forensic Science. She is also on the Editorial Advisory Board for the revised edition of Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences. Bowen is the primary developer of the Forensic Educational Alliance, an initiative to offer a variety of forensic science continuing education courses online. She has an undergraduate degree in Forensic and Investigative Sciences and a graduate degree in Secondary Science Education. Robin is the online course instructor for Ethics in Forensic Science, Fibers and Textiles for Forensic Science, and Transition to Leadership. Contact:, 304-293-6214

Registration Information 

Click on the "Register Now" button at the top to register online through our secure server. You will be receiving email with your online course access information within five working days. Please check your spam or junk folder in case the confirmation email was misplaced there. Call 1-800-253-2762, or email if you have any questions. Major credit cards are accepted.

Check our FAQ page for refund policy and class access information.

Group Discount

We offer discounts for groups over 10. All individuals in the group need to register for the same course to take advantage of the discount. Discount rates vary by group size as follows:

  • 10-20 people 10% off
  • 21-30 people 15% off
  • 31-40 people 20% off
  • Above 40, contact for special pricing

Interested in a group discount?  Please contact the Continuing & Professional Education office at (304) 293-7570 or email us at for a coupon code.

Check our FAQ and Refund Policy for refund and class access information.


Bob Johnson“I have been in the field of Law Enforcement and Forensics for over 25 years. I have amassed thousands of hours of training during that period. Having participated in three forensic programs offered by WVU, I wish to comment on the experience that I have had. The courses are very well constructed, and the goals are reasonable and attainable if you stay with the process. The instructors are very knowledgeable, and are willing to help on any issue. I have participated in many different courses using different formats in the way the courses were taught. My WVU experience was one of the best I have had in my career. The program should be used by as many people in the field as possible.”

Marianne Rogers“I really enjoyed this class. The material was very interesting, relevant and informative. The virtual crime scene exercise was outstanding. I enjoyed putting together all the information and actually using it at a crime scene. Loved it!”

Michael Kouris

"All the classes that I have enrolled in have been great. The courses have so much information. I am very confident that any situation I come in contact with will aid me.

I want to thank all the teachers and staff of West Virginia University for the service they provide to law enforcment and other public service employees.

Great Courses."