Syllabus Beena Patel BIOL 104 Hybrid

Syllabus Beena Patel BIOL 104 Hybrid

Community College of Philadelphia

Biology Department

Forensic Biology Hybrid

Spring 2020

Syllabus and Course Policy


Instructor: Beena G. Patel, M.S., Ph.D.


Course Reference Number (CRN):

Course: BIOL 104 Hybrid


Credits: 4






Schedule Type




Lecture/ Lab


Office Hours:








Email: *Email is the best way to reach me!


Prerequisites: ENGL 101 and FNMT/MATH 118 (or higher) placement


Course Description:

This is an introductory course in the field of forensic science with a focus on forensic biology. Little or no prior knowledge of science is required. Lectures and assigned readings will supply enough background information to enable the student to understand topics and techniques used in forensic science. This course will cover several disciplines within forensic biology and expose the student to the breadth of the field of forensic science.  In doing so, students will gain a basic understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the forensic sciences as they are presently practiced in the field. This hybrid course will consist of directed reading, videos, quizzes and assignments online. The face to face portion of the course will have Lectures, Lab sessions, unit exams, poster presentation and departmental exam.


Student Learning Outcomes for the Course (CLOs):

  1. Describe the basic principles and recognize the major fields of forensic science.


  1. Describe and demonstrate the techniques used to locate, collect, identify, and inventory relevant evidence found at a crime scene.


  1. Describe and demonstrate the value and necessity of ethics, integrity, and professionalism in forensic science.


  1. Describe and demonstrate the techniques used for the gross examination of human remains.


  1. Describe and demonstrate the techniques used to characterize trace evidence, including tissues and body fluids. 


  1. Describe and demonstrate the molecular techniques used in forensic science, including the analysis of DNA.


Required Course Materials:

  • Saferstein, R. Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science.  12th Pearson, 2018.
  • Shuda McGuire, Kristy and John-Paul Vermitsky. BIOL 104 Forensic Biology Lab Manual. Morton, 2014. (ISBN 10: 1-61731-359-9)
  • Safety glasses, gloves (preferably non-latex)

Pre-requisite skills:

  • Familiarity with computers
  • Browsing the web
  • Locating and opening files on your computer and using drop-down lists

Hardware requirements:

  • A live internet connection (at least 56k modem connection)
  • A monitor capable of at least 800x600 resolution
  • A 4.0 Web browser or better
  • In order to view certain multimedia elements and documents on the Web, you need specific plug-ins. The most popular plug-ins are QuickTime, Real, Flash, Shockwave, and Acrobat Reader, and they are all freely downloadable.


Canvas course page:

You will use CANVAS (Learning Management System) to access announcements, lectures, assignments, quizzes and course materials.    If you have never logged on to Canvas, I suggest you to set up canvas account (refer the directions on home page). If you are new to online courses, visit to access the canvas student guide book for questions and technical help.

Canvas Support information you can get help with Canvas by calling the IT department's Help Desk at 215-496-6000. or request help by using the "Help" link in Canvas. The "Help" link is on the bottom right corner of the Canvas Screen.

The course page Bio 104 hybrid should be visible on your list of courses. 


Communication policy:

All communication will be sent via CANVAS email system.  Do not use alternative emails for corresponding during the course. All email will be handled through the CCP accounts.  Please be sure to send emails from yours, as non-CCP email will not be answered.


Availability of instructor:

I will be online at least once daily (no specific time) to check email. I will respond to all emails and questions within 24-48 hours. I will notify you ahead of time if I am required to be offline for an extended duration. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Attendance Policy:

Students are expected to attend all class and lab sessions unless prevented from doing so by illness or other emergency.  Students must sign in to receive credit for attending class and lab.  If you miss class, you are responsible for obtaining any handouts and assignments from Canvas.  If you miss lab, please contact me as soon as possible to discuss make-up options.  I am required to report attendance at the 20% and 50% points in the semester.  As per College policy if you miss more than two weeks’ worth of work (which is only four (4) class and two (2) lab/class sessions!), I reserve the right to drop you from the course. 


Withdrawal Policy:

A student may withdraw from the course with a grade of “W” until April 09, 2020. Please contact me before you decide to withdraw from the course but note that it is your responsibility to turn in the appropriate forms in order to receive a “W” instead of an “FS.”  An “FS” grade is same as “F” zero quality points are issued. “FS” grade also will affect your financial aid.



Students are held accountable to the Student Code of Conduct as listed in the College’s Student Handbook.  Students are expected to come to class on time and prepared to learn.  If you are late to class, please quietly take a seat.  If you are more than 10 minutes late to lab, I reserve the right to deny admittance for your safety and the safety of others in the lab.  In order not to disrupt other students’ learning, please set all cell phones to a silent mode.  You may bring food and drinks to class, but please clean up after yourself.  NO FOOD OR DRINKS ARE ALLOWED IN THE LAB.




Unit Exams (multiple choice, matching/labeling, short answer)


Lab Exercises     


Online Assignments/ Home work/ Quizzes/ Attendance/ Ethics Case Study/ Weekly Chapter Outlines


Poster Presentation


Final Exam



Make-up exams will only be given with written documentation.  Everyone must take the departmental final for course assessment purposes. I will drop one low score from Unit Exam. You are not allowed to take any exam paper home or take a picture. Readings are essential to success in this hybrid course. Read these each week as the semester unfolds. You can earn 5 points weekly for each chapter outline for any 10 chapters of your choice. All chapter outline due online. Online assignments, homework, quizzes, ethic case study, Poster presentation guidelines will be provided on Canvas. Late work will be accepted until the assignment is returned to the class, but points may be deducted (in general, 10% of total).  Any extra credit opportunities will be offered to all students. 


Grade Criteria:













Academic Integrity:

Students’ assignments must reflect their own work unless credit is properly given to others.  Any student caught plagiarizing or cheating will receive a 0 for the assignment or exam and may be subject to disciplinary action as described in the Student Code of Conduct.


Academic Support:

Individual and group tutoring sessions are offered free of charge in the Science Learning Lab now located on the first floor of the Mint Building within the Library, L1-39.  For more information or to make an appointment, enter the Library and then turn right at the Reference Desk.


Students who believe they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss their accommodation form and specific needs as soon as possible, but preferably within the first week of class.  If you need to request reasonable accommodations, but do not have an accommodation form, please contact the Center on Disability at (215) 751-8050 or see them in BG-39.


Starfish Connect is a communication tool for students and faculty. Through Starfish instructors can provide feedback to you about course progress. Throughout the term, you may receive progress emails regarding your academic performance. The emails are designed to be helpful and increase your success in courses. Be sure to open any emails you receive and follow the recommendations. Instructors may also recommend that you contact a specific campus resource, such as the Learning Lab or Counseling Center.  If an instructor makes a referral, you may also be contacted directly by this campus service as a follow-up. To access Starfish Connect, simply log into Canvas and click on the link, Starfish Connect. You can even set up a student profile. If you need assistance with Starfish Connect, you can email questions to


















Schedule at Glance



Face – to - Face


 Outside Class activities


Syllabus, Introductions

Lab Safety, Chapter 1 Introduction

Lab 1 Scientific Measurements  

Read Syllabus

Bring Chapter 1 from Canvas

Quiz Chapter 1


Chapter 2 The Crime Scene

Chapter 3 Physical Evidence

Lab 2 Locard’s Principle (CLO 2)

Turn in Lab 1 work sheet (page 5 to7)

Watch Video

Quiz Chapter 2 and 3

Chapter 2 and 3 outlines


Chapter 5 Death Investigation

Lab 3 Autopsy (cont., CLO 4)

Turn in Lab 2 work sheet (page 11&12)

Quiz chapter 5

Chapter 5 outline

Exam I Review


Exam I (Chapters 1-3 and 5, Labs 1-3; CLO 1, 2 and 4)

Chapter 6 Fingerprints

Turn in Lab 3 work sheet (page 25-28)

Chapter 6 outline

Quiz chapter 6



Chapter 7 Forensic Biometrics

Chapter 8 The Microscope,

Lab 4 Fingerprinting (CLO 5)

Quiz Chapter 7 and 8

Chapter 7 and 8 outlines


Chapter 11 Hairs and Fiber

Lab 5 Hairs and Fibers (CLO 5)( Part A)

Turn in Lab 4 work sheet (Page 35&36)

Class activity Locard’s principle

Exam 2 review


Exam II (Chapters 6,7, and 8, Lab 4 ; CLO 1, 2 and 4)

Chapter 11 Hairs and Fibers

Lab 5 Hairs and Fibers (cont., CLO 5)(Part B,C, and D)

Quiz Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Outline



03/04 to 03/09 Spring Break


Chapter 15 Forensic Serology

Turn in Lab 5 Work sheet

Lab 6 Blood (CLO 5) Part(A ,B and C)

Quiz Chapter 15

Blood type home work

Chapter 15 outline


Chapter 4 Crime-Scene Reconstruction: Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

Student poster Guideline/ Topic selection

Chapter 12 Drugs,

Quiz Chapter 4

Exam III Review

Watch Blood type video

Turn in Video notes


Exam III (Chapters 11, 15, and 4, Labs 5,6; CLO   5)

Lab 7 Drugs and Poisons (CLO 6)

Chapter 12 Quiz

* Ethics Case Study


Chapter 13 Forensic Toxicology

Chapter 16 DNA: The Indispensable Forensic Science Tool

Lab 8 DNA Extraction (CLO 6) Part A,B and C


Quiz Chapter 13

Chapter 13 Outlines


Chapter 16 DNA: The Indispensable Forensic Science Tool

Student Poster Presentations (CLO 1)

Lab 9 Pipetting and PCR (CLO 6) (Part A ,B and C)

Quiz Chapter 16

Chapter 16 Outlines

PCR activity

Exam IV review


Exam IV (Chapters 12, 13 and 16, Labs 7-10; CLO 1, 6)

Student Poster Presentations (CLO 1)

Lab 10 DNA Fingerprinting (CLO 6)

Final Review

Catch up


Departmental Final (CLO 1-6) TBA



Additional information may be found on our course Canvas site:


If any changes need to be made to this syllabus, they will be announced in class.












I verify, by signing this form, that I have received and read the syllabus for BIO 104; that I understand the attendance and withdrawal policies. I also understand the policy regarding tests/quizzes and exams.


I, the undersigned, have received a copy of the Laboratory Rules and Guidelines which I have read, understood, and agree to abide by.





STUDENT ID #________________________________________________


CLASS DAY and TIME: _________________________________________






















Course Summary:

Date Details Due