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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice


OER Course Conversion Projects


               SCI 100:

 Case Studies in the Sciences
First Year Justice Core Seminar

                           OER for SCI 100


Welcome to SCI 100: Case Studies in the Sciences: First Year Justice Core Seminar. This course qualifies as a ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost) course, which means there is no required textbook for this course. Reading assignments for most classes will be posted on Blackboard or found under the "Course Calendar and Readings" on the class LibGuide, which features a drop-down menu of the readings/assignments by "Week". 

Course Description

This course examines case studies in the sciences and how to use them to understand real-world problems. Students will become familiar with the discipline of the natural sciences as well as policy, cultural, ethical, and professional considerations. This course will emphasize collaborative learning.

Case studies tell important stories about real-life controversy and allow students to role-play events they may be faced with in a professional setting.

The cases will focus on three topical areas:

1.     Cell and molecular biology

2.     Toxicology

3.     Criminalistics

Learning Outcomes

Students will enhance their skills and knowledge in the following four categories:

1. Reasoning

a. Students will draw appropriate scientific conclusions from evidence and experimental data.

b. Students will critically evaluate current biological, chemical and physical knowledge, recognize the significance of the scientific process in problem solving and develop a valid research approach.

c. Students will determine and compose appropriate conclusions based on scientific evidence

d. Students will collect and evaluate evidence pertinent to an issue of justice using criteria or a framework appropriate to course content/subject matter

2. Knowledge

a. Students will acquire broad fundamental concepts, theories, and principles in physical and biological sciences.

b. Students will develop a good knowledge of basic science and current scientific discoveries relevant to their study and research.

c. Students will correctly apply information from popular media and primary scientific literature to support their perspectives and research findings.

3. Practical skills

a. Students will develop practical research skills, including emphasizing the role of objectivity in scientific data collection and how these relate to the system of professional ethics in science.

b. Students will apply research protocols for beginning foundations of doing research

c. Students will use se appropriate statistical analyses

d. Students will set academic and personal goals related to course requirements and college success

e. Students will use academic and social support resources to achieve identified personal and academic goals

f. Students will develop competence in oral and written forms of scientific communication using sound scientific reporting techniques

4. Collaboration

a. Students will assume an active and engaged role in collaborations

b. Students will identify and practice collaboration strategies

c. Students will recognize and support contributions of team members

Project Goal Evaluation and Outcomes 

  • Students will assess the effectiveness of their own role in collaborations with people of diverse backgrounds

    • A key feature of the success of the seminar is for the students to work collaboratively with  classmates in several different ways:

      • Listening to and commenting on others’ ideas in class discussions

      • Working in small groups during in-class activities, peer editing, and working together on group research projects.

      • Students will be asked to reflect critically on the classmates contributions to each of these elements in the portfolio entries and to consider what can be done to improve your collaborative skills. You are especially encouraged to model your planned improvements on successful collaborative practices demonstrated by your peers.

  • Students will demonstrate effective planning and reflection to accomplish specific course outcomes
    • Students will submit, and periodically review, goals and timelines for more long-term projects, such as the group research project, and the Opportunity Project.

    • In addition, students will reflect on planning practices, academic growth, and personal growth, throughout the semester in the portfolio entries.

    • In the final portfolio entry:
      • Students will reflect more holistically about the evolution across the entire semester
      • Students will evaluate the efficacy of their planning abilities
      • Students will reflect on how the skills acquired in this course will be useful in future classes.
  • Students will engage with co-curricular activities (i.e. clubs, student activities, lectures, tutoring, academic advisement, community service) to develop academic goals and personal growth
    • Students will demonstrate their commitment to being a John Jay citizen through the completion of the Opportunity Project where points will be awarded points for participating in various co-curricular opportunities at the college.
    • The Opportunity Project is deliberately flexible in its design.
    • Students must attend a workshop at the Writing Center and must visit the library for a workshop, otherwise there are many possibilities as to how the points can be accumulated. To get
    • Opportunity Project credit will be required to do three things:

1) Present evidence of attendance at the event (letter, photo, program, etc).

 2) Write a brief statement summarizing the event/activity

3) Write a brief reflection on what you got out of it.