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Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

FRSC 327: Fingerprint Evidence

Course Description

Exploration of the techniques and methods of identification, capture and analysis of fingerprint evidence, including consideration of the fundamentals of fingerprint patterns, classification formulas and extensions, scarred patterns, amputations and missing fingers, filing sequence, searching and referencing, Henry Classification, techniques for taking good fingerprints, problems in fingerprinting, latent impressions, powdering and lifting latent impressions, preparation of fingerprint charts for court testimony, and practical exercises for capturing fingerprints on a ten print card and live scan fingerprint machines.

Prerequisite: CJAD 101 and a declared Criminal Justice or Forensic Science major

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Leo, W. (2004). Fingerprint Identification. LawTech Custom Publishing.
    • [ISBN-978-1-889315-13-3]
  • Ludas, M. (2005). Fingerprint & Impression Analysis Workbook.
    • [ISBN-978-1-889315-95-9]

Required Lab Kit

FRSC 327 Lab Kit (only available from MBS Direct): Columbia Coll. FRSC327: Fingerprints-PKG.

MBS# 1520317

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

This course examines the fundamentals of fingerprint identification. Each week, through discussions, assignments, quizzes and dropbox assignments, we will examine the historical background of the science of fingerprints and legal aspects, as well as principles of report writing and courtroom testimony. We will learn to recognize and analyze various fingerprint patterns and be able to demonstrate through practical exercises and video demonstrations how to take, recognize, and process latent fingerprint impressions using various mediums.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Objectives

  • To provide students with exposure to a special topic area in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to apply theoretical learning to practical problems.
  • To encourage the students' development of analytical skills.
  • To assist students in applying relevant scientific and investigative principles to real and hypothetical problems in the Justice system.
  • To enhance critical thinking and practical skills on relevant issues.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the basic fingerprint pattern types and their interpretation.
  • Identify and explain the significance of questionable fingerprint patterns.
  • Describe significance of rolled and slap fingerprints.
  • Describe fingerprint classification formula and extensions.
  • Explain the processes used in searching, referencing and file sequencing for fingerprints.
  • Describe proper techniques for taking good fingerprints and problems associated with poor technique.
  • Apply recognized techniques in analysis of latent impressions, chemical powdering and lifting.
  • Analyze actual case studies and reports involving fingerprints.
  • Describe and apply relevant terminology and principles concerning fingerprints to report writing and courtroom testimony.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 922-1025 90-100%
B 820-921 80-89%
C 718-819 70-79%
D 615-717 60-69%
F 0-614 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 225 22%
Quizzes 150 15%
Dropbox Assignments 400 39%
Final Exam 250 24%
Total 1025 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Safety Contract -- Wednesday
Introduction -- Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 1: Compromised Cases 25
Dropbox 1: Exemplar Recordings 50 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2: For or Against the Defense 25 Wednesday/Saturday
Dropbox 2: Recording Prints 50 Sunday
Quiz 1 (Chapters 1-6) 30
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3: Identify Yourself 25 Wednesday/Saturday
Dropbox 3: Pattern Types and Ridge Features 50 Sunday
Quiz 2 (Chapters 7-8) 30
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4: Exemplar Identification 25 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 5: Welcome to the Digital Age 25
Dropbox 4: Marking and Comparing Fingerprints 50 Sunday
Quiz 3 (Chapters 9-10) 30
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6: Public Perception 25 Wednesday/Saturday
Dropbox 5: Unknown to the Known 50 Sunday
Quiz 4 (Chapters 11-12) 30
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7: Chemical Processing 25 Wednesday/Saturday
Dropbox 6: Drinking Glass Prints 50 Sunday
Quiz 5 (Chapters 13-14) 30
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8: Fingerprints in the Courtroom 25 Wednesday/Saturday
Dropbox 7: Are You Sure? 50 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9: Printing the Deceased 25 Wednesday/Saturday
Dropbox 8: Fingerprint Experts 50 Saturday
Final Examination 250
Total Points 1025

Assignment Overview

Safety Contract

This course requires several hands-on labs done at home with materials purchased from MBS. All of these practical exercises can be conducted safely if the proper measures have been taken. In order to be sure that everyone is aware of the safety precautions and procedures, you must complete the “Safety Contract” in the Quizzes area by 11:59 pm CT on Wednesday. While this quiz does not earn you points in the course, you must complete the quiz with a score of 100% before you will be allowed to complete any other quizzes or exams.


Reading Assignments

You will need to complete your weekly reading assignments before engaging in discussions, dropbox assignments, or quizzes. The textbook takes the place of classroom lecture. In order to receive a satisfactory grade, I must see evidence that you have read and understood the material. A brief summary of a topic tells me very little and is a strong indicator that the material was skimmed and not read in detail. The more detail – the higher the grade.


Graded Assignments

Discussion and dropbox assignments submitted prior to the scheduled due date may be graded, after which they cannot be updated or revised for additional credit. This also applies to discussion and dropbox assignments received by the scheduled due date.

All assignments must be original work for this course. Do not submit assignments used in another course.  Do not cut and paste paragraphs of information into your paper. All source material should be paraphrased in your own words. Short quotations are allowed if cited correctly. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. You are required to take the plagiarism quiz, which you can access through the link on the Content area of your course.


Discussions

Each week you will be assigned a topic to discuss in the Discussions area. You are expected to thoroughly research the assigned topic before posting your comments; you must include your references with your posting (including your textbook as a reference). You are encouraged to use other research references but you are always to use your textbook as one of your sources. Research references may come from the Internet, library, or other textbooks but your reference must be specific as to where you obtained the information. Any web resources that are utilized must be reliable and have some method of vetting the information posted on the site. Wikipedia and other unreliable sites will not be accepted as a valid resource. You have until 11:59 pm on Wednesday Central Time (CT) to post.

You are also expected to respond to three other students’ initial (not in response to you or someone else) postings, but only after you have posted your discussion. You must read postings and comments made by your classmates and instructor to get full credit for that discussion. You have until 11:59 pm on Saturday (CT) to respond to at least three other students’ initial postings for each discussion.  Your response must be well-thought out and articulate. A one- or two-sentence response will likely not be sufficient to receive full credit for that particular response.


Dropbox Assignments

There may be multiple practical assignments to complete within each week. The equipment required for the practical exercises will be contained in the lab kit. Your workbook may refer to items not in the kit; please disregard these. If, while completing your assignments, you are unsure of what is being asked of you or what fingerprint items you are to use, please be sure to contact me. For instance, throughout the workbook they refer to “study cards.” There will be no study cards; however, the information needed for your assignments will be provided to you through the textbook and Content area of the course. 

You are to fully identify each assignment as yours using the required identification in the top right corner of your document.

  • place your name

  • date

  • left thumb print

It must obviously be your own original work. Some of the assignments include taking fingerprints, comparing fingerprints, and marking fingerprints appropriately. Many of these assignments will be from your Fingerprint and Impression Identification Workbook.

These workbook assignments are to be digitally captured (either by scanning, photograph, or video), inserted into a word document and then uploaded to the appropriate dropbox. The images must be clear and portray your completed work as if I were seeing it in person. If multiple images are required to adequately display your work, then be sure to upload each image and clearly identify what is portrayed in each photograph. Additional explanation of the assignment/digital image is to be included in the word document with the corresponding digital images. Remember, the instructor only sees what you submit, so make sure it is an adequate depiction of your finished product. Your files should be no larger than 50 MB. Any web resources that are utilized must be reliable and have some valid method of vetting the information posted on the site. Wikipedia and other unreliable sites will not be accepted as a valid resource.   

Also, for weeks in which you have a written assignment, the assignment is to be written in APA format. You are expected to thoroughly research the assigned topic and; you must include your references in your works cited page (including your textbook as a reference). You are encouraged to use other research references but you are always to use your textbook as one of your sources. Research references may come from the Internet, library, or other textbooks but your reference must be specific as to where you obtained the information. Any web resources that are utilized must be reliable and have some method of vetting the information posted on the site. Wikipedia and other unreliable sites will not be accepted as a valid resource. Written assignments will automatically be submitted to Turnitin.com to check that your assignment is your original work (for more information, see Course Policies - Plagiarism at the end of this syllabus.)


Quizzes

Quizzes will cover the reading assignments covered since the last quiz. There will be a combination of 15 multiple choice questions on each quiz. Do not exit the quiz until you have completed it. You are encouraged to save after each question. Quizzes close at 11:59 pm CT each Sunday and cannot be made up.


Exams

There will be a final examination covering all chapters. The format will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, fill in the blank, and matching. The exam will only be available during Week 8 and will close at 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of Week 8.


Fingerprinting Supplies

It is highly recommended that you use latex gloves for all assignments, except when purposely applying ink to obtain your own fingerprints. Not only is it a safety factor, in the criminal field, there is nothing more embarrassing than collecting prints or DNA of an “unknown” individual only to learn it was the investigator, technician, or someone else in the crime scene/laboratory that contributed the evidence. Though it can be dealt with in court, it is an unnecessary obstacle. In an effort to keep the costs as low as possible, the lab kit has basic items you will need to complete your assignments.  For items too costly or too dangerous, video demonstrations will be provided in the Content area. 

Another piece of advice, if you do get fingerprint ink on your skin, use a product with ammonia, such as window cleaner, to remove it. Also, you will be provided a set of safety goggles and a mask in your kit.  Be sure to use them any time you are doing your assignments, especially when you “dust” for prints in your latent print assignments.


Problems with uploading assignments

If you have difficulty posting assignments, please contact me prior to the deadline. We will work together to find a solution. Always keep me advised of any issues with the online course so the issues can be identified and resolved as soon as possible.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Ethics and Professional Responsibility/Individualization/Evidence
Safety Contract

In the Quizzes area, complete the safety contract to acknowledge the safety rules and expectations for the lab kit and conducting labs at home. This activity must be completed before other quizzes and exams are made available to you.

Readings

Fingerprint Identification Textbook: Chapters 1-3

Introduction

Tell us about yourself, such as what you plan to do with your degree/certification, your current occupation, family, where you live, your experience with online classes, or anything else you would like us to know about you.

If you feel so inclined and have not already done so, you can upload a photograph of yourself, which at least allows us to put a face with a name. This is completely optional.

Discussion 1: Compromised Cases

Locate a news story in which a criminal case was compromised due to unethical, immoral, or illegal behavior by a law enforcement officer or lab personnel. First, write a summary and provide a link to the full story. Then discuss how the behavior of the individual or group in question affected the court case and/or reputation of the agency. Also, what affect did this case have on future cases or agency policies?

Submit postings no later than Wednesday by 11:59 pm CT. You must read other classmates’ postings and responses to receive full credit. You have until Saturday by 11:59 pm CT to respond to at least three of your classmates’ initial postings.

Dropbox 1: Exemplar Recordings

For this assignment you will follow the instructions in the Fingerprint and Impression Analysis Workbook (pgs. 2-3). Your fingerprint kit should have everything you will need. If you have any problems identifying the use of any of the items in the kit, please contact the instructor as soon as possible. For this assignment you will be using your fingerprint ink, the balloons contained in your kit, and you may also want to use your magnifying device. Plan to employ trial-and-error techniques on uninflated balloons to make a larger fingerprint exemplar (photograph all your trials). Remember to mark your work with the required identification; capture it digitally and upload those digital images to a word document. Remember also to include a complete explanation of the image(s) and then upload the assignment to the dropbox. If you have any problems or questions, please be sure to contact the instructor. Always remember to wear safety equipment during any of your hands-on assignments.

Submit completed assignment to the correct Dropbox folder no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Week 2: Historical and Scientific Foundation of Fingerprint Identification/ Court Acceptance and Challenges of Fingerprint Evidence
Readings

Fingerprint Identification Textbook: Chapters 4-6

Discussion 2: For or Against the Defense

Choose one of the United States court decisions listed in Chapter 5 regarding court acceptance of fingerprint evidence.  Search the internet to locate and read the full case you have chosen. Then provide a summary of the case and how fingerprint evidence came in to play in the case. Additionally, analyze the defense’s argument against the reliability of the fingerprints and whether you believe the defense did or did not make a good argument in the case. Remember to provide a link to the full case with your discussion.

Submit postings no later than Wednesday by 11:59 pm CT. You must read other classmates’ postings and responses to receive full credit. You have until Saturday by 11:59 pm CT to respond to at least three of your classmates’ initial postings.

Dropbox 2: Recording Prints

For this assignment you will follow the instructions in the Fingerprint and Impression Analysis Workbook, (pgs. 4-5). You will again be using your ink pad and balloons. Make sure the photographs are clear based on the recommendations in the tutorials. Remember to mark your work with the required identification; capture it digitally and upload those digital images to a word document.  Remember also to include a complete explanation of the image(s) and then upload the assignment to the dropbox (and don’t forget your thumbprint). If you have any problems or questions, please be sure to contact me. In your document be sure to provide a narrative to describe your observations in each exercise. Always remember to wear safety equipment during any of your hands-on assignments.

Submit completed assignment to the correct Dropbox folder no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 1 (Chapters 1-6)

Complete the quiz no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Week 3: Scientific Basis of Friction Skin Identification/Fingerprint Pattern Interpretation
Readings

Fingerprint Identification Textbook: Chapters 7-8

Discussion 3: Identify Yourself

Based on what you have learned so far in this course, use your fingerprint ink and make a full set of your own prints on plain paper (all ten fingers) and in order. If you place ink on each finger first, you can ensure they are in the proper position. Always remember to wear safety equipment during any of your hands-on assignments. Interpret the basic pattern of each of your fingers and thumbs to the best of your ability. (Remember to number your fingerprints accordingly as shown in your workbook on page 4 of your workbook.) In your kit you will find a magnifier that you should use for this assignment well as subsequent assignments. 

For the discussion, research whether you have common fingerprint patterns, rare fingerprint patterns, or both, then explain to the class what patterns you observed. Also discuss what difficulties you had in completing this assignment, if you had any. To protect your privacy, do not post a picture of your fingerprints in the Discussion area.

Submit postings no later than Wednesday by 11:59 pm CT. You must read other classmates’ postings and responses to receive full credit. You have until Saturday by 11:59 pm CT to respond to at least three of your classmates’ initial postings.

Dropbox 3: Pattern Types and Ridge Features

You will find explanations of pattern type recognition of arches, loops and whorls in Chapter 8 of your textbook.  On pages 6-9 of your Fingerprint and Impression Analysis Workbook you will find additional information and instructions regarding how to identify/document these pattern types.

Properly document what pattern(s) you observed with each of your fingers on the 10-print fingerprint paper. Additionally, provide a narrative of your observations of each exercise. Remember to mark your work with the required identification; capture it digitally and upload those digital images to a word document. Remember also to include a complete explanation of the image(s) and then upload the assignment to the dropbox (and don’t forget your thumbprint). Make sure to retain your print card as you will be using it again in Week 4. Always remember to wear safety equipment during any of your hands-on assignments.

Submit completed assignment to the correct Dropbox folder no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 2 (Chapters 7-8)

Complete the quiz no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Week 4: Inked Finger and Palm Prints/Fingerprint Classification Systems
Readings

Fingerprint Identification Textbook: Chapters 9-10

Discussion 4: Exemplar Identification

You will need the 10-print fingerprints document you produced last week for Discussion 3 (or you can take another set of your prints if they were not of high enough quality). Then, using the NCIC classification system of identification from Chapter 10, examine your prints and classify them. Defend the classification for your own prints, any difficulties your may have had, and also discuss how vital it is that prints be of high quality for your review or comparison. How many of you felt the need to produce another set to replace last weeks because of quality? What are some difficulties you can encounter when your exemplar print is poor?

Discussion 5: Welcome to the Digital Age

Watch the video of the “Livescan” fingerprint demonstration. Research the use of this type of automated fingerprint collection system and describe the benefits and any liabilities you see in using this type of system.

Submit postings no later than Wednesday by 11:59 pm CT. You must read other classmates’ postings and responses to receive full credit. You have until Saturday by 11:59 pm CT to respond to at least three of your classmates’ initial postings.

Dropbox 4: Marking and Comparing Fingerprints

There are multiple parts to this week’s Dropbox Assignment. Utilize pages 11 – 17 in the Fingerprint and Impression Analysis Workbook to assist you with this assignment. Make sure to complete all six parts to receive full credit.

  • Determine inclusion or exclusion in each of the ten pair of prints on page 12.  Mark each of the ten pairs by putting either an “I” or an “E” within each box next to the corresponding number of each pair.  Photograph the page.

  • Marking Ridge Features.  Draw straight lines designating the ridge features in the given print on page 13.  Photograph the page.

  • Ridge Counting.  On page 14, measure coordinate point distance by counting ridge lines between features.  A-X = 8 is given as an example. You can use your ridge counter and magnifier for this if you wish.  Complete the rest of the ridge counts as listed.  Photograph the page.

  • Compare the known and unknown loop print, marking corresponding features on page 15.  Photograph the page.

  • Compare the known and unknown whorl print marking corresponding features on page 16.  Photograph the page.

  • Compare the known and unknown arch print marking corresponding features on page 17.  Photograph the page.

Follow the instructions in the Fingerprint and Impression Analysis Workbook. Remember to mark your work with the required identification; capture it digitally and upload those digital images to a word document. Remember also to include a complete explanation of the image(s) and then upload the assignment to the dropbox (and don’t forget your thumbprint). If you have any problems or questions, please be sure to contact the instructor. There are multiple print comparison exercises in your workbook in addition to what you have been assigned. Feel free to examine any or all of them for practice so you become more comfortable with comparing prints as you will be doing an extensive comparison exercise in Week 5. Always remember to wear safety equipment during any of your hands-on assignments.

Submit completed assignment to the correct Dropbox folder no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 3 (Chapters 9-10)

Complete the quiz no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Week 5: Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems/Evidence Prints
Readings

Fingerprint Identification Textbook: Chapters 11-12

Discussion 6: Public Perception

Define and discuss the three types of evidence prints; define what primary substance a natural print is composed of; and describe an ideal surface that would retain a latent print. What do you think are some common public misconceptions of law enforcement’s ability to locate, preserve, process, identify and compare fingerprints? How do we combat those misconceptions? Or should we and why or why not?

Submit postings no later than Wednesday by 11:59 pm CT. You must read other classmates’ postings and responses to receive full credit. You have until Saturday by 11:59 pm CT to respond to at least three of your classmates’ initial postings.

Dropbox 5: Unknown to the Known

Before beginning this exercise, read pages 39-48 in the Fingerprint and Impression Analysis Workbook. A critical component to fingerprint analysis is being able to compare an unknown finger/palm print to a known finger/palm print. For this exercise you will be completing the “Print Score” comparisons from pages 49-74 in your workbook. These assignments increase in difficulty, so allow yourself plenty of time to complete these assignments this week.

Remember to mark your work with the required identification; capture it digitally and upload it to the appropriate dropbox for this assignment. In this case, you only need to photograph your completed answer sheets.  If you have any problems or questions, please be sure to contact the instructor. Always remember to wear safety equipment during any of your hands-on assignments.

Submit completed assignment to the correct Dropbox folder no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 4 (Chapters 11-12)

Complete the quiz no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Week 6: Powder and Chemical Development of Latent Prints
Readings

Fingerprint Identification Textbook: Chapters 13-14

Discussion 7: Chemical Processing

Though latent fingerprint development using powders is still widely used, chemical processing of prints is becoming more and more sophisticated and specialized, especially when dealing with porous surfaces. 

Watch the demonstration video of magnetic and regular powder fingerprint processing located in the Content area. Based on what you have learned in this course, provide some examples of why powder development of latent prints can be the preferred method. Support your answers.   

Watch the demonstration videos of chemical fingerprint processing using ninhydrin and cyanoacrylate (superglue). There are also instructions provided in FOCUS #4 and FOCUS #5 in your workbook, pages 83-87 and pages 89-95 respectively to provide you with additional information about these products. After identifying a couple of examples of each process, compare these two types of chemical processing of latent prints and when each method can be the preferred method.  Remember to support your answers.

Submit postings no later than Wednesday by 11:59 pm CT. You must read other classmates’ postings and responses to receive full credit. You have until Saturday by 11:59 pm CT to respond to at least three of your classmates’ initial postings.

Dropbox 6: Drinking Glass Prints

Using pages 75-82 in your Fingerprint and Impression Analysis Workbook, complete the following activities and submit to the appropriate dropbox. (The workbook calls for the use of magnetic powder and wand, however, you will be using a regular brush and powder.)

To complete this assignment, you will need to provide a drinking glass. Follow the instructions on pages 75-82 in the workbook to remove prints from your drinking glass. Be sure to document each step of the process. Remember to mark your work with the required identification; capture it digitally and upload those digital images to a word document. Remember also to include a complete explanation of the image(s) and then upload the assignment to the dropbox (and don’t forget your thumbprint). If you have any problems or questions, please be sure to contact the instructor. Always remember to wear safety equipment during any of your hands-on assignments. Be especially cognizant of the glass apparatus you use in Assignment 4 so you protect yourself in the event you inadvertently break the glass.

  • Remember to watch the demonstration video in the content area on utilizing fingerprint powder to develop a latent print before beginning this assignment. 

  • Learning powder applicator movements - (Remember you won’t have print cards so you will use paper or a blank index card.)  If you have difficulty with your staged prints, lotion on your fingertips often helps.

  • Recover latent prints with tape.

Submit completed assignment to the correct Dropbox folder no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 5 (Chapters 13-14)

Complete the quiz no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Friction Ridge Identification/Identification Philosophy
Readings

Fingerprint Identification Textbook: Chapters 15-16

Discussion 8: Fingerprints in the Courtroom

Locate a current event in which fingerprint identification was instrumental in the identification of a suspect in a criminal case. While summarizing the case, analyze how the prints were utilized in the case and if the prints matched (the exemplar and the latent print) with one hundred percent certainty? Why or why not? Support your answers with facts. If the article does not provide that information, discuss what you have learned about comparing prints and the degree of certainty.  Provide a link to the article with your post (and remember to identify any source you use).

Submit postings no later than Wednesday by 11:59 pm CT. You must read other classmates’ postings and responses to receive full credit. You have until Saturday by 11:59 pm CT to respond to at least three of your classmates’ initial postings.

Dropbox 7: Are You Sure?

SWGFAST offers detailed standards for fingerprint identification. Prepare a two page, double spaced paper discussing fingerprint identification standards and what makes fingerprint identification an objective science rather than a subjective opinion? Why can, when discussing fingerprint identification, an examiner be 100% sure of an inclusion or exclusion of a print when matched to an exemplar? Discuss the “points of identity” in latent print identification. Support your statements with facts.

The assignment is to be written in APA format. You are expected to thoroughly research the assigned topic and; you must include your references in your works cited page (including your textbook as a reference). You are encouraged to use other research references but you are always to use your textbook as one of your sources.  Research references may come from the Internet, library, or other textbooks but your reference must be specific as to where you obtained the information. Any web resources that are utilized must be reliable and have some method of vetting the information posted on the site. Wikipedia and other unreliable sites will not be accepted as a valid resource. Written assignments will automatically be submitted to turnitin.com to check that your assignment is your original work (for more information, see Course Policies - Plagiarism at the end of this syllabus.)

Submit completed assignment to the correct Dropbox folder no later than Sunday by 11:59 pm CT.

Week 8: Expert Witness/Court Presentation/Deceased and Disaster Identification
Readings

Fingerprint Identification Textbook: Chapters 17-19

Discussion 9: Printing the Deceased

The course developer worked a case in which an individual was discovered several months after she went missing, although she was not reported missing until after she was found so at the time we had no idea to her identity.  The remains were in an advanced state of decomposition. Her hands and fingers were void of moisture but the skin was not extremely hard. It might be described as being “leathery.” Given what you now know about friction skin, how would you have proceeded in fingerprinting the person and attempting to make a match, and thus a positive identification of the deceased?

Submit postings no later than Wednesday by 11:59 pm CT. You must read other classmates’ postings and responses to receive full credit. You have until Saturday by 11:59 pm CT to respond to at least three of your classmates’ initial postings.

Dropbox 8: Fingerprint Experts

Locate an article in which a fingerprint expert testified at trial in a criminal case. Prepare a two page, double spaced paper summarizing the article and provide a link with your post (and remember to identify any source you use). How would you define an expert witness? What is the difference between an expert and a lay witness in regard to how they are allowed to testify? Why is it important to discuss your knowledge, skills, experience, training, or education as the expert when testifying for the court and jury? 

The assignment is to be written in APA format. You are expected to thoroughly research the assigned topic and; you must include your references in your works cited page (including your textbook as a reference). You are encouraged to use other research references but you are always to use your textbook as one of your sources. Research references may come from the Internet, library, or other textbooks but your reference must be specific as to where you obtained the information. Any web resources that are utilized must be reliable and have some method of vetting the information posted on the site. Wikipedia and other unreliable sites will not be accepted as a valid resource. Written assignments will automatically be submitted to turnitin.com to check that your assignment is your original work (for more information, see Course Policies - Plagiarism at the end of this syllabus.

Submit completed assignment to the correct Dropbox folder no later than Saturday by 11:59 pm CT.

Final Examination

Complete the exam no later than Saturday by 11:59 pm CT.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Dropbox assignments may be turned in up to one week after the due date (with the exception of Week 8 which will be due at midnight on Saturday of that same week). Assignments turned in after the due date will have points reduced each day the assignment is late. After one week, the student will receive a zero for the dropbox assignment.

Quizzes and exams cannot be turned in after the due date. If these items are not completed by the due date, the student will receive a zero for the quiz or exam.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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