INFM 216-10
Computer Digital Forensics
Fall Semester 2021 Syllabus

Dr. Tonia San Nicolas-Rocca
Office: Email, Zoom, and IM
Office Hours: Email, Zoom, and IM
Virtual office hours: Telephone and online advising by appointment

Syllabus Links
Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning October 12, 2020, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This course focuses on the use of forensics tools and provides specific guidance on dealing with civil and criminal matters relating to the law and technology. Includes discussions on how to manage a digital forensics operation in today’s business environment.

Assignments and Due Dates*

Assignment Type Assignments and Due Dates  % of Grade
Discussion Posts
  • Discussion Post 1 (25 points)
    • Post due Oct. 17
    • Reply due Oct. 24
  • Discussion Post 2 (100 points)
    • Post due Oct. 31
    • Reply due Nov. 7
  • Discussion Post 3 (100 points)
    • Post due Nov. 21
    • Reply due Nov. 28 




Labs 1-3, due Oct. 24

Labs 4-6, due Oct. 31

Labs 7-9, due Nov. 7

Labs 10-12, due Nov. 21

Labs 13-15, due Nov 28

Labs 16-18, due, Dec. 6



Quiz 1, due Oct. 17

Quiz 2, due Oct. 17

Quiz 3, due Oct. 24

Quiz 4, due Oct. 24

Quiz 5, due Oct. 31

Quiz 6, due Oct. 31

Quiz 7, due Nov. 7

Quiz 8, due Nov. 7

Quiz 9, due Nov. 14

Quiz 10, due Nov. 14

Quiz 11, due Nov. 21

Quiz 12, due Nov. 21

Quiz 13, due Nov. 28

Quiz 14, due Nov. 28

Quiz 15, due Dec. 6

Quiz 16, due Dec. 6


Final Exam

Final Exam, due Dec. 6


*Assignments and due dates are subject to change. Late work will NOT be accepted.

       Students will participate in the discussion board by providing ideas and/or opinions relating to assigned readings and lectures, and current events. Discussion board participation cannot be made-up once the discussion has been completed.

        Students are to complete lab assignments.  Lab assignments provide students a real-life look at the use of various tools and systems that are used in forensic analysis.  Students must have access to Infosec to complete lab assignments. 

        Students will complete quizzes covering assigned readings. 

        Students will complete a final exam. The final exam questions will come from the book, and external resources that will be provided to students.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFM 216 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and explain the digital forensics profession and investigations.
  2. Describe and explain data acquisition methods.
  3. Describe and explain the systematic process for collecting digital evidence.
  4. Describe and explain the role of digital forensics in public and private investigations.
  5. Understand the potential benefits, limitations, and risks of digital forensics.
  6. Explain the purpose and structure of file systems.
  7. Use digital forensics tools for forensic investigations.

SLOs and PLOs

This course supports Informatics SLO 6: Identify and evaluate specific information, data, records, and ethics challenges in a defined specialized context (health, sports, cybersecurity), and apply knowledge and skills from foundation courses to design and implement technical user-centered solutions to the specified informatics problem.

SLO 6 supports the following Informatics Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):

  • PLO 1 Apply technology informatics skills to solve specific industry data and information management problems, with a focus on usability and designing for users.
  • PLO 2 Evaluate, manage, and develop electronic records programs and applications in a specific organizational setting.
  • PLO 3 Demonstrate strong understanding of security and ethics issues related to informatics, user interface, and inter-professional application of informatics in specific fields by designing and implementing appropriate information assurance and ethics and privacy solutions.
  • PLO 4 Identify user needs, ideate informatics products and services, prototype new concepts, and evaluate a prototype's usability.


Required Textbooks:

  • Nelson, B., Phillips, A., & Steuart, C. (2018) Guide to computer forensics and investigations (6th ed.). Cengage. Avaailable through Amazon: 1337568945arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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