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Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

CJAD 205: Crime Scene Photography

Course Description

Techniques and methods of modern crime scene photography, focusing on practical applications of how crime scene and forensic imaging are conducted utilizing a digital single lens reflex camera (D-SLR). Topics include fundamentals of photography in providing a systematic approach in the documentation of crime scenes and evidentiary items required for testimonial and reconstruction purposes. The class will include functions and operations of a D-SLR as applied by law enforcement. Graded practical exercises will be conducted so students can demonstrate their skill development. Note: Students taking this course are required to use a single lens reflex camera (D-SLR). No film, point & shoot digital cameras, hybrid digital cameras, or pro-consumer digital cameras are allowed to be used in this course. Embedded Exif information will be reviewed by instructor of all images submitted during this course. Images are turned in "as is" having no enhancements done by imaging software.

Prerequisite: CJAD 201

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • London, B., & Stone, J. (2015). A Short Course in Photography - Digital (3rd ed.). Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
    • [ISBN-978-0-205-99825-8]

Required Lab Kit

205 Lab Kit (only available from MBS Direct): Columbia Coll. CJAD205: Crime Scene Photography-PKG. MBS# 1521563

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

While this course is titled “Crime Scene Photography,” the main focus is on helping you become competent photographers because even the best investigative mind in the world can’t gather admissible photographic evidence unless they have mastered their camera. This course will first and foremost give you a fundamental understanding of your camera’s settings and how to use those settings to take clear and accurate photographs in almost any setting. Through supplemental readings, your discussions, and practical exercises, you will also be exposed to the specific techniques for photographing crime scenes and evidence. In the end, you will not only be confident in your ability to take accurate photographs, but you will also know how to apply those techniques at an actual crime scene.



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 appreciate the importance of proper preservation of crime scenes by digital (DSLR) photographic means.
  • To become exposed to common terminology, equipment, methods and procedures connected with digital applications in crime scene photography and forensic imaging.
  • To understand practical applications of digital imaging in law enforcement and legal protocols of digital authentications.
  • To have a working knowledge of functions/operation capabilities of a DSLR for crime scene and forensic applications.
  • To have a working knowledge of required resolutions for “examination quality” digital images as required by crime scene labs.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Explain and demonstrate how crime scene photography is conducted using a DSLR.
  • Demonstrate the proper use of a DSLR in making digital images.
  • Demonstrate a hands-on working knowledge of the functions and operations of a DSLR.
  • Demonstrate through skill development via graded hands-on practical exercises using a DSLR camera to capture images of evidence found at the majority of crime scenes: fingerprints, shoe/tire impressions, plastic impression prints, and tool marks.
  • Demonstrate the systematic approach in image of a crime scene from general to specific: overall, medium, and close-up images.
  • Explain/demonstrate terminology used in digital imaging for reports and testimonial purposes.
  • Demonstrate proper resolutions required to produce “examination quality” digital images.
  • Identify legal issues in digital imaging applications.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 150 15%
Dropbox Assignments 610 61%
Quizzes 140 14%
Final Exam 100 10%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Safety Contract -- Wednesday
Discussion 1: Introduce Yourself -- Friday/Sunday
Discussion 2: Capturing the Scene 10
Dropbox 1: Getting to Know Your Camera 50 Sunday
Quiz 1 20
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3: File Formats 10 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 4: Digital Image Integrity 10
Dropbox 2: Depth of Field Practical 100 Sunday
Quiz 2 20
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5: Crime Scene Photography as a Career 10 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 6: Current Trends in Crime Scene Imaging 10
Dropbox 3: Exposure Exercise 30 Sunday
Quiz 3 20
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7: Ethics Scenario 10 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 8: Admissibility of Images in Court 10
Dropbox 4: Overall, Midrange, and Close-up Shots 30 Sunday
Quiz 4 20
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9: Problems Photographing Vehicles 10 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 10: The Ethics of Image Editing 10
Dropbox 5: Exterior of Vehicle Using the 6 Image Process 100 Sunday
Quiz 5 20
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11: Painting with Light 10 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 12: Alternative Light Sources 10
Dropbox 6: Electronic Fill Flash, Handheld, Oblique Lighting, and Painting with Light 100 Sunday
Quiz 6 20
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13: Proper Procedures 10 Friday/Sunday
Discussion 14: Drone Cameras in Crime Scene Investigation 10
Dropbox 7: Fingerprint, Shoe Print, Tool Mark and Knife Logo 100 Sunday
Quiz 7 20
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15: Storage of Digital Photos 10 Friday/Saturday
Discussion 16: Forensic Videography 10
Dropbox 8: Alphabet Soup Project 100 Saturday
Final Exam 100
Total Points 1000

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 of Week 1. 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.


Discussions

Class discussions are an area where students are expected to interact with one another, sharing ideas and resources in order to enhance learning.  In order to get the most out of these discussions, you must adhere to a few basic expectations. Original posts should be a complete paragraph (at least 4-5 sentences) with proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar, giving support from the readings or your own research, and be an original, completed thought. Your first post for any discussion should be completed by the end of Friday (11:59 pm Central Time) and your responses are due by the end of Sunday (11:59 pm CT). You should respond to at least two classmates’ posts, adding to the discussions by offering more information, an opposing point of view, posing relevant questions, or sharing relevant resources. Any responses that say little more than “Good job” or “I agree” will not receive points.


Dropbox Assignments

Because this is a course on photography, all of your dropbox assignments will involve uploading images. Under normal circumstances, crime scene photographers shoot in RAW format. However, this results in a very large file size that would be difficult to upload and manage in the course. Therefore, you should set your camera to the lowest resolution possible that still allows for clear and detailed photos when viewed on a computer. Since all of your assignments require multiple photos, please create a PowerPoint with each image on a separate slide and any explanations in the notes area. All photos should be your own original work taken during the course of this class, be clear and in focus, and should have proper exposure and white balance. Dropbox Assignments 1-7 are due each week by 11:59 pm CT Sunday and Dropbox 8 is due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8.


Quizzes

During Weeks 1-7, you will have a weekly quiz covering the readings, video presentations, and other required resources for the week. Each quiz will contain 10 multiple choice questions worth 2 points each. You will have 40 minutes to complete each quiz which will be due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of each week.


Final Exam

The Final Exam will actually take place in two parts. The first part will be a 30 question exam in the Quizzes area. The questions will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions worth 2 points each and covering all readings and resources in the course (including Week 8). You will have 90 minutes to complete the Final Exam which is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of Week 8.

The second part of the Final will be a practical exam where you will be given 10 different photographs you have to take during the week, add each photograph to a separate slide of a PowerPoint presentation, then upload the PowerPoint file to the Dropbox. Specific instructions for the exam will be made available at 12:01 AM on Monday of Week 8 and all 10 images will be due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday. You should follow the same naming conventions and image quality criteria as on all other Dropbox assignments.



Course Outline

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

Week 1: Introduction to the Camera
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.

Resources

Readings (Textbook)

Chapter 1

Readings for Discussion 2 (Online, available in the Content Area)

Crime Scene Photography: Capturing the Scene by Dick Warrington (link found in Content Area)

Videos

Introduction to Cameras

Historical Overview of Photography

    Discussion 1: Introduce Yourself

    Take a moment to tell me and your classmates a little about yourself such as what your academic goals are, what type of camera and equipment you are using, and what you are hoping to get out of this class.  You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Discussion 2: Capturing the Scene

    Read the Dick Warrington article provided in the Content Area, then write a short paragraph discussing how the actual process of photographing a crime scene is similar to or different from what you already thought you knew. Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Dropbox 1: Getting to Know Your Camera

    In order to be a good photographer, you have to know how to actually use your camera. First, spend some time with your camera’s manual and become familiar with all of the manual settings and where to find them. Then, you need to demonstrate that you know where to find those settings and how to change them by giving me a tour of your camera. Using another camera (cell phone or point and shoot will work), take a video of yourself changing the image resolution (you should use a low resolution for assignments in this class), putting the camera in manual mode, setting the white balance, aperture, and shutter speed, then manually focusing. Shoot the video so that I can see the back of your camera as you change the settings and explain what you are doing as you go (see the Content Area for an example of what your video should look like). The end result should be 2 minutes or less and I should be able to clearly see your camera’s settings while you demonstrate that you know where to change these settings in your camera.

    When you are finished, upload the video to YouTube (your CougarMail account includes a YouTube account), copy and paste the link to your video into a Word document, then upload that document to the dropbox. This assignment is due by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Quiz 1

    Quiz 1 covers readings and resources from this week.

    (Note: If you don’t see Quiz 1 in the Quizzes area, be sure you have completed the Safety Contract.)

    Week 2: Lenses and Depth of Field
    Resources

    Readings (Textbook)

    Chapter 2

    Readings for Discussion 3 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    Simplified Guide to Crime Scene Photography (online PDF available in the Content Area)

    RAW Benefits in Forensic Science by David Menor Witzke

    Forensic Imaging and RAW Files by Steven Scarborough

    Readings for Discussion 4 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    Issues Relating to Digital Image Compression and File Formats by SWGIT

    Digital Image Integrity by Adobe Corporation

    Best Practices for Maintaining the Integrity of Digital Images and Digital Video by SWGIT 

    Videos

    Depth of Field Instructional Video (located in the Content Area)

    Discussion 3: File Formats

    Start by reading the articles provided in the Content Area on using RAW files in crime scene photography and the SWGIT guidelines on File Formats. Identify at least one advantage and one disadvantage of this file format. Next, state your opinion on what should be the file format standard in crime scene photography. Defend your opinion using examples from this article or your own research. Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Discussion 4: Digital Image Integrity

    With digital images being so easy to edit and manipulate, many precautions need to be taken to preserve the integrity of the digital image. Review the articles for this discussion located in the Content area, then report back at least one major problem with maintaining digital image integrity and a solution or procedure for solving this problem. Support your opinion using examples from the articles or your own research. Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Photographer’s Workshop Discussion: Depth of Field

    This is an open, ungraded discussion where you can ask questions about the week’s assignment, share tips and resources, or share photos for feedback.

    Dropbox 2: Depth of Field Practical

    For this assignment, you will need to turn in 4 images in one PowerPoint. The first two images will focus on depth of field. Using two objects at different distances, have one photo with shallow depth of field (only the closer object in focus) and one photo with deep depth of field (both objects in focus).  Then you will need two images that show your mastery of motion. Using moving objects (such as vehicles), one blurred in-motion photo (everything should be in focus except the blurred moving object) and one stop-motion photo (everything in the image should be in focus). Images should have proper exposure and white balance. (See the Content area for examples.) Add each image to a separate slide of a PowerPoint presentation, label each slide and add any descriptions to the notes area, then upload the PowerPoint file to the Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    (Suggested) Dropbox 8: Alphabet Soup Project Work

    Complete letters A-D for the Alphabet Soup Project. Full project due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of Week 8.

    Quiz 2

    Quiz 2 covers readings and resources from this week.

    Week 3: Light and Exposure
    Resources

    Readings (Textbook)

    Chapter 3

    Readings for Discussion 5 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    Forensic Photographer Job Description - Houston Airport System

    Personnel Duties and Responsibilities – Crime Scene Investigator Network

    Forensic Photography Certification Requirements ­ - IAI Website

    FAQ for Forensic Photographers – IAI Website

    Readings for Discussion 6 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    CSI Tucson: The Future is Now for Crime Scene Recreation – Tucson News Now Website

    The Future of Crime Scene Photography by Bree Hutchins 

    Videos

    Exposure Instructional Video (located in the Content Area)

    Discussion 5: Crime Scene Photography as a Career

    Crime scene or forensic photography involves a number of skills and responsibilities. Read the information provided in the Content area and perform your own research on the duties and responsibilities of the forensic photographer. What skills do you think are the most important and why? Which skills do you think will be most likely to help you get hired as a forensic photographer?  Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Discussion 6: Current Trends in Crime Scene Imaging

    There are constantly new imaging techniques on the rise in forensic imaging such as 360 degree cameras, 3D crime scene mapping tools, infrared photography, thermal imaging, and ultraviolet photography. Find an article about a fairly new trend in crime scene imaging and summarize the article for your classmates, being sure to point out what you found to be most interesting. (Do your best not to duplicate topics.) Respond to at least two other classmates’ posts on a topic other than the one you chose. Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Photographer’s Workshop Discussion: Exposure Levels

    This is an open, ungraded discussion where you can ask questions about the week’s assignment, share tips and resources, or share photos for feedback.

    Dropbox 3: Exposure Exercise

    For this assignment, you will need to turn in 3 image files in one PowerPoint: one properly exposed, one underexposed, and one overexposed. These images do not have to be of the exact same scene, but they should still have proper focus and white balance. Each image should be placed in its own slide in a PowerPoint presentation, add a description in the notes area for the settings used on each image, then upload the final PowerPoint to the Dropbox by 11:59 PM CT Sunday.

    (Suggested) Dropbox 8: Alphabet Soup Project Work

    Complete letters E-H for the Alphabet Soup Project. Full project due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of Week 8.

    Quiz 3

    Quiz 3 covers readings and resources from this week.

    Week 4: The Digital Darkroom
    Resources

    Readings (Textbook)

    Chapter 4

    Readings for Discussion 8 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    Digital Imaging Technology Issues for the Courts by SWGIT

    Can Your Digital Images Withstand a Challenge? by Eric Johnson

    Videos

    Types of Shots (located in the Content Area)

    Discussion 7: Ethics Scenario

    A 20-year-old man was shot and killed in his living room. When emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they moved a weapon away from his side so they could attend to the body. When you arrive to take photos, the emergency personnel describe exactly where the weapon was located and you put the weapon back in the same location and orientation described before taking photos of the body. Would this photo be admissible in court? Were the actions of the CSP ethical? Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Discussion 8: Admissibility of Images in Court

    Even when photos are taken properly, they may not always be admissible in court. Read the articles for this discussion located in the Content area, then perform a quick internet search on the admissibility of crime scene photos. Point out at least one major issue that often arises with courtroom admissibility and describe how that problem can be prevented. Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Photographer’s Workshop Discussion: Overall, Midrange, and Close-up

    This is an open, ungraded discussion where you can ask questions about the week’s assignment, share tips and resources, or share photos for feedback.

    Dropbox 4: Overall, Midrange, and Close-up Shots

    For this assignment, you will turn in 3 image files. First, find a room that has several objects in it, then choose or place one object as your main focus (the “evidence”). From the same location or point of view, take an overall image of the whole room, a mid-range shot that focuses on the main object in relation to other items in the room, then a close-up image of only the main object. All images should be in focus, properly exposed, and with proper white balance. Add each image to its own slide in a PowerPoint presentation, add a detailed description of the settings you used for each image, then upload the finished PowerPoint to the Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    (Suggested) Dropbox 8: Alphabet Soup Project Work

    Complete letters I-L for the Alphabet Soup Project. Full project due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of Week 8.

    Quiz 4

    Quiz 4 covers readings and resources from this week.

    Week 5: Image Editing
    Resources

    Readings (Textbook)

    Chapter 5

    Readings for Discussion 9 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    How to Shoot Photos Through a Window, by David Peterson

    Readings for Discussion 10 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    Forensics Focuses on Digital Photography by Douglas Page

    Best Practices for Documenting Image Enhancement by SWGIT

    Catching Criminals with Photoshop? By Nathaniel Janis 

    Videos

    Photographing a Vehicle as Evidence (located in the Content Area)

    Discussion 9: Problems Photographing Vehicles

    Getting good photographs of a car brings up all kinds of issues for the photographer like glare and reflections, close-ups of curved surfaces, and fingerprints on different material types. Using the articles provided in the Content area and your own research, what are some good tips and solutions for capturing clear and accurate images of vehicles in all conditions? (Note: Your own research will likely only lead you to general photography tips for vehicles, not anything specific to crime scenes.) Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Discussion 10: The Ethics of Image Editing

    With digital photography, there is inherently a question of image editing and photo manipulation.  Do some quick internet research on image editing in crime scene photography. When is image editing considered “enhancement” and when is it considered “manipulation”? What steps can you take to make sure any enhancements are still admissible and haven’t damaged the integrity of the image? Cite your research in your answer. Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Photographer’s Workshop Discussion: Exterior of the Vehicle

    This is an open, ungraded discussion where you can ask questions about the week’s assignment, share tips and resources, or share photos for feedback.

    Dropbox 5: Exterior of Vehicle Using the 6 Image Process

    Even though this is called the “6 Image Process,” you will actually be turning in 9 images total. You will first need to take the 6 images of the vehicle (front, rear, left, right, and both L-shots), then an image of the VIN through the windshield, the VIN on the driver’s side door panel, and one image of the license plate. All photographs should be in focus, properly exposed, and with proper white balance. Add each image to its own slide in a PowerPoint, add explanations about camera settings for each photo in the notes area, then upload the PowerPoint file to the dropbox by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    (Suggested) Dropbox 8: Alphabet Soup Project Work

    Complete letters M-P for the Alphabet Soup Project. Full project due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of Week 8.

    Quiz 5

    Quiz 5 covers readings and resources from this week.

    Week 6: Lighting
    Resources

    Readings (Textbook)

    Chapter 8

    Readings for Discussion 11 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    Nighttime Accident and Crime Scene Photography “Painting with Light” by Robert E. Kramer

    Painting with Light by George S. Pearl

    Readings for Discussion 12 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    Alternate Light Sources by Michael F. LaForte

    Videos

    How to Paint With Light

    Photographing Impressions with Alternate Light Sources 

    Discussion 11: Painting with Light

    Painting with light is a technique that uses an alternate light source and long shutter speeds to “paint” an area with light, allowing elements to be visible in an image that would otherwise have been too dark to photograph. Should “painting with light” be considered altering an image or is it a “true and accurate representation”? What are some of the practical applications of this technique at a crime scene? Share your opinion with the group using examples or citing articles to back up your opinion. Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Discussion 12: Alternative Light Sources

    There are many types of evidence that exist that cannot be seen by the naked eye or easily captured with a camera.  Do some quick internet research on alternative light sources, then choose one to share with the group.  Describe the light source, what it reveals and any specific techniques for photographing with the light source.  Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Photographer’s Workshop Discussion: Electronic Fill Flash, Handheld, Oblique Lighting, and Painting with Light

    This is an open, ungraded discussion where you can ask questions about the week’s assignment, share tips and resources, or share photos for feedback.

    Dropbox 6: Electronic Fill Flash, Handheld, Oblique Lighting, and Painting with Light

    For this assignment, you will need to turn in 5 images in one PowerPoint file. First, create a shoe impression with the Biofoam included in your kit (make sure this is done with a shoe you will have access to in later weeks). Next, take the following 5 images:

    • Using a Flash – Place the Biofoam impression in a low-light area, then use a flash to take a properly exposed photo.

    • Using a Fill Flash – Place the Biofoam impression under a table or other object that blocks out the room light, then use your flash (if yours can be used off-camera with a cable) or handheld light to take a photo with the room and the Biofoam impression properly exposed.

    • Handheld – Place the Biofoam impression in a low-light area, then use a handheld light source to light and properly expose the Biofoam impression.

    • Oblique Lighting – Place the Biofoam on a table or flat surface in normal lighting conditions then use oblique lighting to take a photo highlighting the texture detail in the impression.

    • Painting with Light – (For this image, you will not need the Biofoam impression.) Using a dark hallway, put your camera on a tripod, make sure it is in bulb setting, and while the shutter is open for an extended time, paint the hallway with light so that the entire length of the hallway is exposed evenly.

    Each of the five image files should be placed in its own slide of a PowerPoint presentation with a detailed description in the notes area of how you achieved each photo. When finished, upload the entire PowerPoint presentation to the dropbox by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    (Suggested) Dropbox 8: Alphabet Soup Project Work

    Complete letters Q-T for the Alphabet Soup Project. Full project due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of Week 8.

    Quiz 6

    Quiz 6 covers readings and resources from this week.

    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: Organizing and Storing
    Resources

    Readings (Textbook)

    Chapter 7

    Readings for Discussion 13 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    General Guidelines for Photographing Footwear and Tire Impressions by SWGIT

    Guidelines for Capturing Latent Impressions Using a Digital Camera by SWGIT

    Procedure for Testing Digital Camera System Resolution for Latent Print Photography by SWGIT

    Readings for Discussion 14 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    Closer Look at Police Drones (Video)

    Videos

    Photographing for Detail (located in the Content Area)

    Discussion 13: Proper Procedures

    As you prepare for this week’s practical assignment, read through the SWGIT guidelines for photographing latent prints, footwear, and tire impressions. What issues do you see that you hadn’t considered before? What other resources can you find that would help you in meeting the requirements and guidelines? Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Discussion 14: Drone Cameras in Crime Scene Investigation

    There is a lot of talk around the country about the use of cameras mounted on drone helicopters.  Read the articles provided in the Content area and perform your own internet research to find a relevant article on the subject. What are some of the problems inherent with these devices?  In your opinion, do the benefits outweigh the risks? Back up your opinion with examples from your research.  Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Friday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    Photographer’s Workshop Discussion: Fingerprint, Shoe Print, Tool Mark, and Knife Logo

    This is an open, ungraded discussion where you can ask questions about the week’s assignment, share tips and resources, or share photos for feedback.

    Dropbox 7: Fingerprint, Shoe Print, Tool Mark and Knife Logo

    For this assignment, you will need to turn in 4 images in a PowerPoint file. For each image, you should have a scale in the photo on the same plane as the object, and the image should be in focus, properly exposed, and with proper white balance.

    • Fingerprint – Using the disposable inkpad included in your kit, place a fingerprint on the piece of white tile also included in your kit (if this piece is missing or broken, you may use a glass, aluminum can, or piece of paper). Take an exam quality image of this fingerprint with scale (meaning the image should show ridge detail and allow for print identification).

    • Shoe print – Using the same shoe that was used to make the Biofoam impression last week, take an image of the shoe tread pattern. The image should include a scale on the same plane as the object and show both class and individual characteristics of the shoe print.

    • Tool mark – Using the piece of wood with tool marks included in your kit, take an image that focuses on at least one type of tool mark. The image should include a scale that is on the same plane as the tool marks and show class and individual characteristics of the tool marks.

    • Knife logo (or small print) – Using a knife or other object with small, engraved printing that is hard to read with the naked eye, take a close-up image that shows the small print clearly. The image should include a scale on the same plane as the object and show both class and individual characteristics of the small print.

    Please add each image to its own slide in a PowerPoint presentation, add a detailed description of the settings and techniques you used in the notes area, then upload the finished PowerPoint to the Dropbox by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

    (Suggested) Dropbox 8: Alphabet Soup Project Work

    Complete letters U-Z for the Alphabet Soup Project. Full project due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of Week 8.

    Quiz 7

    Quiz 7 covers readings and resources from this week.

    Week 8: Seeing Like a Camera
    Resources

    Readings (Textbook)

    Chapter 9

    Readings for Discussion 15 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    General Forensics Focuses on Digital Photography by Douglas Page (Look specifically at the “Who’s Minding the Storage?” section)

    Best Practices for Archiving Digital and Multimedia Evidence by SWGIT

    Readings for Discussion 16 (Online, available in the Content Area)

    Video Guidelines for Evidence Scenesby Peter William Thomas

    Recommendations and Guidelines for crime Scene and Critical Incident Videography by SWGIT

    Discussion 15: Storage of Digital Photos

    With digital photography now being the norm in crime scene investigations, there is the question of how to store all of these images so that they are unalterable yet still accessible. Do some quick internet research in order to discover some of the leading issues regarding storage of digital photos. Choose one issue and write a discussion post describing what the issue is and possible solutions. Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.

    Discussion 16: Forensic Videography

    We’ve had a lot of discussion on crime scene photography, but what role should video play when documenting a crime scene? First, read the articles provided in the Content area on videography at a crime scene. What are some of the major advantages and disadvantages of using video? Should video be used in place of photography? Back up your opinion with examples from the readings and/or your own research. Your original post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday. You are also required to respond to at least two other students’ posts by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday.

    Dropbox 8: Alphabet Soup Project

    For this project, you need to take pictures of inanimate objects that resemble all 26 letters of the alphabet. For example, a bicycle wheel might represent the letter "O." The objects cannot be positioned or staged but photos can be cropped and rotated. All photos should be in focus, have the correct white balance and proper exposure. When you have collected all 26 images, create a PowerPoint presentation with one image per slide. The slides should be in the proper order from A to Z. Once completed upload your PowerPoint file to the Dropbox. This assignment is due by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday of Week 8.

    Please see the Content area of the course for more specific information on this assignment including examples.

    Final Exam

    Final Exam covers readings and resources from all 8 weeks of the course.

    Part 1 (in the Quizzes area) is a 30-question exam with a 90-minute time limit while Part 2 (in the Dropbox) is a 10-image practical assessment. Both are due by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.



    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.

    Discussions: No late discussion posts will be accepted.

    Quizzes automatically close at midnight on the date they are due. Quizzes may not be submitted late. This rule can be waived for unexpected and extraordinary circumstances, such as a death in the family.  Losing Internet access on Sunday night is not an acceptable reason for missing a quiz or exam, as you have a week to complete it.

    Dropbox Assignments may not be submitted late. Losing Internet access on Sunday night is not an acceptable reason for missing a submission. If the assignment requires a YouTube link, or is dependent upon a program the student isn’t familiar with, then it’s advisable to complete assignments as soon as possible in order to assure the technology is working properly.

    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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