I. Course Prefix/Number: LAE 239
Course Name: Forensics II
Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 3 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course provides instruction in protocols and techniques for forensic crime scene analysis, as well as hands-on experience using alternate light source and solid-state lasers. Topics include techniques in the examination of blood spatter, ballistics, and impression evidence, along with procedures in forensic mapping and the use of GPS for outdoor crime scenes.
IV. Learning Objectives
- Identify responsibilities of a forensic technician.
- Explain and demonstrate the methods of forensic mapping.
- Illustrate methods of searching for clandestine graves by ground and airborne methods.
- Explain and demonstrate physical evidence collection and preservation of DNA evidence.
- Demonstrate the science of fingerprint mechanics, discuss locating latent prints by spectrographic viewers, and analyzing the different chemical development techniques for developing latent fingerprints.
- Demonstrate the safe operation in advanced applications of a 4 watt TracER forensic laser.
- Exhibit the applications and operation of various alternate light sources.
- Contrast techniques for impression evidence, blood stain pattern evidence, ballistic and tool marks.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
- Overview of forensic science
- Becoming a forensic technician
- Safety and OSHA Regulations for crime scene personnel
- Evidence, origins, types and admissibility
- Introduction to the magnetic compass and global positioning system
- Outdoor forensic mapping for crime scene diagramming
- Physical evidence collection and preservation
- Fingerprint mechanics, chemical processing and intermediate comparison techniques.
- Crime scene processing with different types of alternate light sources
- Intermediate/advanced argon laser procedures for latent print development
- Bloodstain patterns
- Tread evidence (footwear and tire evidence)
- Firearms and tool mark evidence
- Ethics in crime scene processing
- Crime scene case report writing
VII. Methods of Instruction
Course includes lecture, demonstrations and lab work. Outdoor field exercises/labs will be performed. The course may include guest speakers and or optional tours of law enforcement agencies/labs. Materials include various media, criminal investigation tools and kits, electro-optical aids, infrared and ultraviolet viewers and various types of forensic light sources.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
Students will be expected to prepare for class by reading assignments, drawing crime scene information with the use of total station, operating thermal imaging equipment, developing latent fingerprints by chemical processes, comparing impression evidence, and providing direct examination of actual evidence. Students will participate in a critique of these assignments to develop analytical and deductive skills. Course is taught face-to-face.
IX. Instructional Materials
Required text book: Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation, Barry A. J. Fisher, 8th edition.
Software from Eagle Crime Scene Inc.
Technical Training Manuals
Media from the FBI, POST, LESAT, NIJ and NEMRT.
Articles from professional publications
Crime scene investigation equipment
Coherent Inc. TracER Forensic laser
DeWalt Transit level
Garmin/Lawrence hand held global positioning systems
David White DTS05 Total Station
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
Progress is measured by short quizzes, class participation, and mid term and final exams, supplemented by a short term paper.
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.