Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Introduction to Forensic Science MOOC

strathclyde_shieldAfter the Historical Fiction MOOC, I snooped around for some other courses, and stumbled into FutureLearn, who offered an Introduction to Forensic Science , from the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow.

I was quite thrilled to find this as you might remember Victim #14 happens in Glasgow, and has a police plot. I thought that it would be interesting to have an insider on how Forensic Science works in the UK.

The course ran over six weeks, covering:

  • Principles and practice of Crime Scene Investigation
  • Fingerprints
  • Blood Pattern Analysis and DNA
  • Footwear and toolmark impression evidence
  • Drugs of abuse
  • Forensic Science as the “Silent Witness”

The MOOC covered some theory along with a “case study” to illustrate the lessons, where a culprit needed to be identified. It had videos and discussions, and some fun activities to do.

The course is not bad in itself, and I can deal with the Scottish accent pretty well. However, by the fourth week I decided that reading the video transcripts was much more productive than listening to the videos, except in the case study where the images were better to play along.

Procedure-wise it was interesting, as it covers a few aspect that investigation in the UK differs from what we’re used to see in US series and films, and I want to adapt a few things in Victim #14. Science-wise was not too bad, either.

All in all it was a good entertaining for six weeks, a couple of hours a week. The course promised an on-screen participation statement which you can see to the right (click for bigger) and which was rather disappointing. It cannot be used to prove anything, as it has no name on it anywhere. When you print it, it looks even worse, as those are just formatted letters. It does not bother me that much as I am doing it for fun but… really? That is ugly. And useless. And just tries to force into buying a printed certificate…

And don’t be impressed by those 100%s, the tests were easy and could be taken with the notes anyway.


2 responses to “Introduction to Forensic Science MOOC

  1. Alexis February 18, 2014 at 04:11

    Awe, that is a shame about the certificate. Figures they want to make money sending a printed one. Glad the course was somewhat fun anyway ❤