Evidence Analysis: Beyond the Crime Scene


Evidence Analysis: Beyond the Crime Scene discusses basic principles and procedures used in the forensic laboratory. It is designed to help the investigator or laboratory examiner understand instrumentation, standards and methods currently used, and the fundamental concepts of the laboratory environment, including the examination of evidence. The content not only addresses practices and methods, it also identifies the proper handling of evidence and precautions that should be utilized in the laboratory environment. After this introductory level course the student should understand the fundamentals of a forensic laboratory.

Cost: $125.00. This course takes 15 hours to complete, on average.


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

  • Describe the role of the examiner in the forensic laboratory.
  • Discuss methods and procedures used in analyzing evidence, among various forensic disciplines
  • Recognize the instrumentation and processing techniques used in the examination of evidence
  • Define the importance of safety in the laboratory.
  • Identify resources that help the examiner better understand forensic principles.

Course Structure and Schedule

This is a non-credit course offering 4.06 ILUs. (What is ILU?) Average completion time for the course is 15 hours.The course cost is $125.00 per registration. A certificate of completion will be issued to students successfully meeting course requirements.

Table of Contents

Unit 1: Introduction
Unit 2: Laboratory Considerations
Unit 3: Fingerprint Processing and Evaluation
Unit 4: Trace Evidence
Unit 5: Firearms and Ammunition
Unit 6: Impression Evidence
Unit 7: Arson and Explosives
Unit 8: Biological Material
Unit 9: Drugs and Toxicology
Unit 10: Computer Forensics
Unit 11: Questioned Documents Examination


There are no prerequisites for this course.  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

Why was a correct answer on a quiz, marked incorrect?

Answer: Quizzes are graded automatically by the computer.  However each quiz will be reviewed by the instructor in order to double check the system.  The instructor is able to update your grade if necessary.

Do I have to respond to the discussion questions?

Answer: Yes, all discussion questions for this course are required and are graded.

Who do I contact if I’m having problems with the course?

  • Answer: If you are having trouble with registration or accessing the online course, please call OIT at 304-293-4444.  Make sure you state that you are a non-credit eCampus student.
  • If the problem is related to the course material, please email the instructor who will respond to your email as soon as possible.

Can I look at the material while taking the quiz?

Answer: Yes, the quiz open in a new window so you can review the course information.


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 https://ecampus.wvu.edu/

Instructor Information

Brianne Miller is an Instructional Coordinator for the Forensic and Investigative Science Outreach program. Brianne earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Forensic Science from Waynesburg University in 2011. In 2013, she also earned her Masters of Science degree from the Forensic and Investigate Science Program here at West Virginia University. Prior to joining the Outreach program, Brianne worked as an adjunct Chemistry Professor at Waynesburg University where she taught Organic Chemistry lab and lecture. Brianne is an online instructor for Biological Evidence, Bloodstain Pattern, Chemical Spot Testing, DNA Analysis of Forensic Based Evidence, Evidence Analysis, Forensic Toxicology and Hair Evaluation.

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:  kelly.ayers@mail.wvu.edu  304-293-0323

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 WVUEnrich@mail.wvu.edu 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 fsi@mail.wvu.edu for special pricing

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

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