Forensic DNA Analysis Online

Click here to enter the course and learn more about online courses at Hartnell:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How is this course different from a regular course?
  2. How do I register?
  3. What do I need to do after I register?
  4. How do I contact the instructor?
  5. Do I need to buy a book?
  6. What kind of equipment do I need?
  7. What if I don't have a computer?
  8. What if I don't know how to use E-mail or the Internet?
  9. How is the course organized?
  10. How will I be graded?
  11. What is my first assignment?
  12. How much time will I spend on this course?

How is this course different from a regular course?

The content of Forensic DNA Analysis Online is identical to the content of the face-to-face version of Forensic DNA Analysis.  One difference is that you will be doing all of your work on a computer rather in a classroom.  Another difference is that you get to decide when you will "go to school".  This is an ideal course for a busy person who is self-motivated.  Otherwise the course is the same and you will get the same chance to interact with your classmates and teacher. You will also get the same credit. 

How do I register?

You register just like you would for a regular course. Click on Online Registration to register online.

What do I need to do after I register?

Make sure you understand how to use Hartnell Email. Visit the follwoing link: to learn about student email. All course communication will be via your Hartnell student email account. Once school starts make sure to check your email everyday.  The first weeks assignment is posted at the bottom of this page.  You can get ahead by one week if you start your first assignment as soon as you register!  

How do I contact the instructor?

Instructor: Alicia Steinhardt


I will respond within 24 hours.

Due to Spam it is important for you to Tag the subject line in your e-mail as follows:

The letters FDA and one word that describe the Email content in the subject line: For example FDA: Help with Week 3 Assignment

Do I need to buy a book?

Yes, right away.

Text Book:  We will be using DNA: Forensic and Legal Applications by L. Kobilinsky, T.F. Liotti, and J. Oeser-Sweat.  for this course. (sold at the Hartnell Bookstore  (Links to an external site.)   and at  (Links to an external site.) The first 40 pages are located here:  (Links to an external site.) )


What kind of equipment do I need?

Equipment Requirements:
Windows 95, 98, NT, XE or 2000
64 Mb RAM (minimum)
1 GB hard drive
Netscape 4.7 or above
or Internet Explorer 4.0 or above
Sound card and speakers

IMAC, Powermac or G3 or better
OS 8.0 or better
64 Mb RAM (minimum)
1 GB hard drive
Netscape 4.7 or better
or Internet Explorer 4.0 or better

What if I don't have a computer?

Computers are available at the Hartnell Library. Computers are also available at the Hartnell open computer lab. Public libraries have computers as well. Click here to learn more.

Hartnell Library hours:

What if I don't know how to use E-mail or the Internet?

You will need to learn how to do this before you sign up for the course. Visit the following site to learn about the internet: web tutorial.  

All Hartnell have student email accounts. You should check your student email account regularly for important information about this course. For more information about student email accounts visit:

How is the course organized?

Course organization:

  1. The course is divided into one-week sections.
  2. Each week you have an assigned topic, assigned reading, an assigned virtual field trip, PowerPoint presentation, guided practice questions, a short homework assignment, a discussion topic.
  3. You will also have two timed quizzes a week - a take home quiz and a proctored quiz (see below for more information about quizzes). The course is divided into thirds. The first quizzes are due by the first trimester of the class. This way you can go to Hartnell tutorial center once a "trimester", sit for about 3 hours and take all the quizzes. Or you can also go every week for 30 minutes. The tutorial staff will sign a paper that says you sat and took the quiz without any assistance. You can take the quizzes anyway you wish as long as you are supervised and complete each section by the due date. If you have questions about the procedure for taking the quizzes please email me and I will help you. 
  4. How you do on quizzes, your participation in discussion, and your assignments determine your grade.

Important Deadlines:

Activity Weekly Deadline Points
Take Home Test Due by Saturday 9 PM PST 10 pts
Discussion Post 1 Due by Friday 9PM PST 10 pts
Discussion Post 2 Due by Sunday  9PM PST 10 pts
Assignment Due by Sunday  9PM PST 20 pts
Proctored Quizzes Trimester Deadlines Points
1-6 Saturday of Week 6 120 pts
7-12 Saturday of Week 12 120 pts
13-16 Saturday of Week 16 80 pts

How much time will I spend on this course?

You will need to put 6 to 9 hours of time into this class a week.  You should expect to be on your computer at least 5 days a week. 

How will I be graded?



A.  30% of your grade is based on proctored weekly quizzes. You must earn 50% of the quiz points to pass the class, no exceptions.  In other words, if you are not passing the quizzes you will fail the course. 

B.  You can prepare for these quizzes by completing the reading, assignments, virtual field trips, and guided practice. Keeping a Day Planner and blocking out time each week for these activities is critical to your success. Time management skills can be found at this website:  More study skill tips can be found here:

C. The Guided Practice Questions in each unit will help prepare you for the quizzes in each unit. The "Take Home Quizzes" are short quizzes that count toward your grade, but are open book and may be taken at home. The questions are very similar to what you will encounter on the proctored quizzes. The Graded Quizzes can be found in the section labeled "Graded Quiz" for each week. The quiz questions are based primarily on the textbook reading and activities for each week.  Each student gets one chance only to take a quiz. Once a quiz is opened it must be finished in 30 minutes. Failure to follow these instruction will result in a loss of points for the quiz in question. Do not attempt to take a quiz on your phone.

D. Quizzes are due in sets of 6. The first 6 quizzes are due by the Friday of week 6. The second set of quizzes (7-12) are due
the Friday of week 12, the last set of quizzes are due by Friday of week 16.


A. 30% of your grade is based on assignments. A list of assignments can be found in the assignment section. Assignments are due by 9 pm Sunday of the week they are assigned unless otherwise noted. You must have a valid excuse to turn in late assignments. 

B. All assignments are worth 10 points. Late assignments are reduced 50% for each day they are late. For example an assignment worth 10 points is worth 5 points if one day late and 2.5 points if 2 days late. Your assignments must be done by you and written in your own words. Copying from someone else or the text is not permitted. Anyone caught doing this will get dropped from the course and could face consequences from Hartnell College. Please refer to your student handbook for more information on academic integrity.


A.  30% of your grade is based on discussion participation. You must post one time a week when a discussion topic is assigned and respond once to other student's postings. General postings are due by Friday (9 p.m. pacific standard time) of the week and responses to the general postings are due by Sunday (9 p.m. pacific standard time). If you don’t post by the stated due day, you won’t get any points. You are expected to only post quality information that pertains directly to course content. I will create a topic area for you to talk freely, however, this is a way for you to make friends, not gain class credit, and any postings in this area will not be included in your grade. You are expected to be polite and respectful in your communications at all times. I also suggest you spell check your postings.

B.  Each discussion post is worth 10 points, for a total of 20 potential points per week. A discussion rubric will be included in your orientation materials. 

Take Home Final

10% of your grade is based on a take-home final.  You must E-mail your take home final to the instructor by Tuesday of finals week.  This is the official last day of the course.


You will get your quiz scores immediately. Please allow one week for discussion and assignment scores.

You will earn at least an A if you earn 9-10 points/10 points, at least a B if you earn 8-9 points /10 points, and at least a C if you earn 7-8 points/10 points. Discussion and quizzes are  worth 20 points per week  so you need to double the points: 18-20 =A, 16-18 =B, and 14-16 =C. 

What is my first assignment?


Part 1

  1. In your own words, explain what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
  2. What is the course policy for those who plagiarize?

Please click on the following link to learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it!

PLAGIARISM: A Student's Guide to Recognizing It and Avoiding It  (Links to an external site.)

Please view the following tutorial on plagiarism and take the quiz at the end.  (Links to an external site.)

For your viewing pleasure:

Plagiarism: Don't Do it  (Links to an external site.) play_overlay.png

Part 2

List, in order, the 7 principles of crime scene investigation. Provide a brief description of each principle. Remember to properly cite any sources you use in your assignment.

Reading-- Preface and pp. 25-30.  The first 40 pages are located here:  (Links to an external site.) )


Please introduce yourself to the class.

Here are some ideas for what you can write about in your introductory statement:

-Your year in school.
-Your biology background.
-Your academic goals.
-Why you are taking this class?
-Your work experience.

-What excites you?
Anything else we should know about you?




BIO 13

Instructor: Alicia Steinhardt