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: $0-225. 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 $225 per registration (with the exception of public lab employees, law enforcement, public attorneys, and federal employees – please see "Registration Information" below). 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: Virtual Crime Scene
Unit 10: Final Assessment of the Crime Scene
Unit 11: Reports and Forms
Unit 12: Expert Witness Testimony
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.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe Flash Player
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.
Kelly Ayers is a curriculum developer with the Forensic Science Initiative. Prior to joining FSI, 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 a native of Romney, WV. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 304-293-0323
Samantha Neal is the Instructional Coordinator for the Forensic Science Initiative, a program that develops research, scientific resources, and professional training for forensic scientists and related professionals. Her primary responsibilities are the development and coordination of online continuing education courses in forensic science and continuing education programs. She has undergraduate degrees in both Forensic and Investigative Sciences and Chemistry.
Contact: email@example.com, 304-293-5836
Please read below to determine your eligibility. If you have any eligibility questions please contact Forensic Science Initiative at FSI@mail.wvu.eduBEFORE you register. Registration is accepted year-round for this course.
For general FAQs for the FSI online courses please click here.
“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.”
“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!”
"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.