Introduction to Forensic Science

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8/10 stars
based on  7 reviews
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Cost FREE
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FREE

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  • On demand

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Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4721 reviews

Course Description

Understand how basic scientific principles underpin forensic science and can contribute to solving criminal cases.
Reviews 8/10 stars
7 Reviews for Introduction to Forensic Science

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Kristina Šekrst profile image
Kristina Šekrst profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 102 reviews
  • 102 completed
4 years ago
This is one of the best courses in Coursera. It has a great scientific overview with carefully chosen real-life examples from previous historical cases, and even ones that happened a couple of years ago, which makes the forensic science even more alive. The instructors goes over the most important parts of forensic analysis: determining the time of death, analyzing hair, fibres, DNA and fingerprints, studying about ballistics and bullet trajectories, analyzing toxins and poisons, giving scientific considerations about crime scenes etc. The quizzes were easy, but the course features also peer-reviewed exercises with fictional cases you had to describe and solve, and that was the most entertaining part. The teaching style was great, there's almost a perfect ratio of theory and practice, and I've really enjoyed prof. Bates' sense of humor and his methodological approach. I've learned a lot, and I'm recommending this course to everyone!
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Hannah Geene profile image
Hannah Geene profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
5 years ago
This course was actually fairly fun and interesting (though I did have some personal problems watching some of the lectures due to my own tolerance, but that's okay; I actually noticed I'm not as affected if I only listen, and it's the audio that's usually important) One major problem with it, though (and I noticed another reviewer on here mentioned this) was with, of course, the peer reviewers. For the two peer review assignments the "rubric" is just a set of guidelines (and this is stated clearly in BOTH pinned threads on peer reviewing; it's actually the first thing stated in both) so all the complainers do have some reason to flood the discussion forums after seeing how some people grade. Though the Course team can't really do anything about it, so it's pretty much a moot point. This isn't to scare people off, in fact the assignments are still fun even though some peers mark too strictly (it's a downfall of p2p, really) and ... This course was actually fairly fun and interesting (though I did have some personal problems watching some of the lectures due to my own tolerance, but that's okay; I actually noticed I'm not as affected if I only listen, and it's the audio that's usually important) One major problem with it, though (and I noticed another reviewer on here mentioned this) was with, of course, the peer reviewers. For the two peer review assignments the "rubric" is just a set of guidelines (and this is stated clearly in BOTH pinned threads on peer reviewing; it's actually the first thing stated in both) so all the complainers do have some reason to flood the discussion forums after seeing how some people grade. Though the Course team can't really do anything about it, so it's pretty much a moot point. This isn't to scare people off, in fact the assignments are still fun even though some peers mark too strictly (it's a downfall of p2p, really) and those two assignments are only 20% of the grade (though I could see how a person on the signature track would be annoyed by been graded down if they happened to have a great explanation but were off from the guidelines) I'll probably even take it again, mostly because life got a bit busy so I missed the submission date for the last quiz and peer assignment. I will say that the quizzes were challenging to me, but all the answers are in the videos and it tells you by the quiz which sets of videos will be included (under the Weekly Assignments page, anyway) So, in summary the course is great some of the peers not so much, but that's what happens in courses. I'd still suggest it to anyone interested in Forensics and how all of the science behind it works.
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Dennis Horne profile image
Dennis Horne profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 24 reviews
  • 23 completed
4 years, 10 months ago
It gives an insight into the science and technology behind CSI/Forensic investigation. It is accessible to anyone who has done (or is doing) science subjects at secondary or high school level. Clear, concise subject delivery, citing practical case studies during the lectures to illustrate the principles. It also provides substantial background resources. This would be a very useful course to have taken if you are ever called for jury service, may even be of use those considering a career in law enforcement or criminal law.
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WB profile image
WB profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 14 reviews
  • 14 completed
5 years, 2 months ago
This is one of the nicest MOOC I have taken because Prof Bates has done a great job with the presentation and kept the information concise and interesting. The 2 case studies engaged the students in problem solving and reinforced what they learnt throughout the course. The 2 quizzes also help to review the lecture notes. The topic is the one which got me interested to sign up for the MOOC but I was disappointed that I was unable to download the lectures onto my ipad to listen to it offline. However, the different examples presented like a story got me hooked to continue the course. These days I pay more attention to the forensic details of what I read on murder cases and deaths. Well done, NTU ! I couldn't agree more with those praises lavished on the discussion forum on what a great course it is.
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Ricardo Teixeira profile image
Ricardo Teixeira profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 86 reviews
  • 77 completed
5 years, 3 months ago
This is an absolutely amazing course. Granted, you can't go wrong with a topic like forensic science. Given the popularity of CSI-type shows, I think almost everyone would be interested in a course like this. But it is a major challenge - you need to cover so much ground that it's hard to keep focused, to design lectures with acceptable depth of contents without making it run for months. The professor must be congratulated for achieving such delicate balance of being short and to the point but nevertheless covering all the fundamentals. As for evaluation, there are some easy quizzes, but the real highlight are the peer assessments. There's two of them, and you have to analyse a crime scene using the tools you learn. Talk about a CSI-type of game! I'm usually critical of peer-rated assignments, but these two were actually really fun. And then (what else can we expect?) the discussion forum became full of trolls and crybabies. The st... This is an absolutely amazing course. Granted, you can't go wrong with a topic like forensic science. Given the popularity of CSI-type shows, I think almost everyone would be interested in a course like this. But it is a major challenge - you need to cover so much ground that it's hard to keep focused, to design lectures with acceptable depth of contents without making it run for months. The professor must be congratulated for achieving such delicate balance of being short and to the point but nevertheless covering all the fundamentals. As for evaluation, there are some easy quizzes, but the real highlight are the peer assessments. There's two of them, and you have to analyse a crime scene using the tools you learn. Talk about a CSI-type of game! I'm usually critical of peer-rated assignments, but these two were actually really fun. And then (what else can we expect?) the discussion forum became full of trolls and crybabies. The staff was very kind and prepared a detailed rubric for grading and a solution for the assignment, but that is not sufficient for some people. It's human nature - this sort of assignment brings out people's wildest, craziest conspiracy theories, and you cannot show them they're wrong because they'll see evidence for their paranoia everywhere - in their heads of course the professor is an idiot and the case study is wrong and the "official" solution makes no sense. This is a good example of what MOOC discussion fora are like in every course, so I can't hold it against this one. As always, my main recommendation is that you stay the hell away from discussion fora, or else just read them for a laugh. I laughed out loud with some of the things some people invented. The reason why I don't give the course 5 stars is because of the layout. The staff probably tried to innovate by moving things around. It's still the Coursera main page, but the side bar is awkward, the assignments have a tailored frontpage, and it all gets very confusing. For example, because of the layout change you cannot see which assignments you've completed and which ones you still have to complete. The desire to be original is praiseworthy, but I would recommend that in future offerings they just revert back to the traditional style (or at least offer that option). Experienced Courserians will know that this is not a minor issue, it is an important time waster. All in all, one of the absolutely fundamental MOOCs you definitely have to check out!
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Student profile image
Student profile image

Student

8/10 starsTaking Now
5 years, 3 months ago
The course is well organized and the contents are very interesting. The Professor presents the concepts in a clear and scientifically rigorous manner and ocasionally, he personally carries out demonstrations of some of the analytical procedures in his laboratory. Many real forensic cases are presented to illustrate the various topics taught in the course, sometimes in a quite humorous way. The only non favourable aspect is the "peer graded assignment", with not very precise wording and even worse evaluation keys. The quizzes are OK, but they are not very challenging. The layout of the course pages is not in the standard Coursera format, but this is a minor issue.
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leonard mangini profile image
leonard mangini profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 39 reviews
  • 37 completed
5 years, 2 months ago
Entertaining and informative survey course on the science underlying forensic analysis. The instructor is a bit eccentric but is an excellent lecturer- and the material has been organized succinctly with superior video and Powerpoint graphics that give a sound grounding in methodology. The forums were essentially unmonitored leading to some of the worst behavior I have seen among adults- hate speech, trolling, flame wars...seriously distracted from what was otherwise a fun course- on star off
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.