As promised, here’s the forensic science module review.
Normally I just dump all my module reviews into the semester post. This one is different only because 1) it was offered in 2 parts: the first part being on Coursera and the second part in traditional lecture style and 2) because the parts were offered not in tandem but in different parts of the term. So I thought this calls for a more comprehensive review that deserves its post.
** I have tried to make this review applicable for both editions of the Forensic Science course. However, this may not be necessarily true or representative of CM8022 as taking the full course in one semester is different (perhaps even drastically so) from breaking up into 2 parts that are done in different semesters.
CM8002/CM8022: Forensic Science || Professor Roderick Bates
Online Segment of the course- Signature Track
I thought that the online segment of the course was actually very good, with some of the experiments that were mentioned in the notes being done in front of the camera (a far better method of delivery than in the lecture theater, if you asked me). Additionally, the videos were not overly lengthy as they were split into parts, which is another positive in my opinion.
That said, I could see how this mandatory online segment of the course would be hard for people who need a fixed schedule for learning better. I know even I struggled a little bit because self-discipline can be hard. This is especially true if you have other things that require your attention (like a word count to hit…). Nonetheless, it still is worth doing just to prove yourself that you can do it. At worst, you’ll just end up taking longer on the things than you needed to do anyway.
Also, another piece of advice: do try to take the signature track. Like, NTU gives it out for free, so might as well.
Why? Simple. While I kind of hated marking people’s stuff (and may have shirked my duties on occasion *coughs*), it really does help to see what kind of mistakes others have made in the case study/ let you know where you’re lacking in the case study. It is also nice to get feedback on your work and see what other people think of it (even if you think their feedback is utter nonsense).
Expert Lecture Segment of the course
I thought I would like this segment of the course more than the online segment (I really did). Turns out that I preferred the online segment of the course, which was strange to me.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, this segment is interesting. I loved hearing about the cases the experts worked on, I enjoyed listening about tales in a forensic science laboratory etc. I guess it just wasn’t as interesting because due to privacy issues, the lecturers were only able to reveal what was publicly available (which I can understand) but I found myself wanting to know more (which could not have been revealed).
Also, Nanyang Audi is not especially conducive for lectures, especially for those with laptops. I don’t believe there were very many power points in the lecture theatre and while that was not an issue for me (I arrived early to get a seat near a power point), it could prove problematic for others. Additionally, the lack of tables just made me sad because it was hard to write/ type. While I can understand why they used Nanyang Audi as the lecture theatre (it has to be, with that many people taking the course), I didn’t find it particularly conducive.