Roles in Forensic Science: The Sociological Perspective
This course serves as an introduction to the relationships between attorneys, scientific experts, and law enforcement from the time of the initial investigation to the courtroom. The student will be exposed to the various types of forensic experts and the differences between civil and criminal trial preparations. This course will offer insight to how the multiple players in science and law work together for a common goal.
Cost: $0-225. This course takes 16 hours to complete, on average.
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Describe different investigative regions and investigator roles.
Define the basics of ethnomethodology and how it relates to forensic investigations.
Describe the relationship between science, law, and law enforcement.
Describe the differences between forensic experts.
Define the Rules of Evidence.
Describe the differences between criminal and civil cases.
Course Structure and Schedule
This is a non-credit course offering 3.58 ILUs. (What is ILU?) Average completion time for the course is 16 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: Investigative Regions
Unit 2: Investigator Roles and Informational Control
Unit 3: Team Formation and Organization
Unit 4: Ethnomethodology and Forensic Investigations
Unit 5: Professional Vision
Unit 6: Jurisdictions of Knowledge
Unit 7: Divisions of Labor
Unit 8: Relations between the Institutions of Science and Law
Unit 9: Forensic Experts and the Rules of Evidence
Unit 10: Mistakes at Work and the Pecking Order of Forensic Investigations
Unit 11: Historic Roles and Moral Dilemmas
Unit 12: Preparing Cases: Criminal vs. Civil
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.
Mozilla Firefox (recommended) or Internet Explorer
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Macromedia Flash Player
(Free software plug-ins are 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-293-5836
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: Robin.Bowen@mail.wvu.edu, 304-293-6214
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.