Bringing the Courtroom into the Classroom
Published on October 30, 2015 by ctannehill
For the students in last quarter’s cyber forensics class at Broadview University-Boise, their final project brought the courtroom into the classroom.
“Cyber Forensics teaches, paralegal, and information technology students about computer crimes,” explained Doug Miller, an information technology and business program chair and instructor. “The final project for the class was a mock trial where the issues of proving child pornography were discussed.”
For the mock trial, an individual was accused of having child pornography on a computer. Students in the cyber forensics class acted as the prosecutor, defense, detective, accused, and witnesses, and Bryce Smink, a local attorney and Broadview University adjunct instructor, presided as judge for the case.
“The work leading up to the trial was fun to watch,” said Doug. “The prosecutor was having troubles nailing down evidence and witnesses, and the detective was trying to get the expert witness to understand how to testify.”
The mock trial gave the students the opportunity to apply what they learned about cyber investigations, evidence management, and litigation in a way that went beyond lectures and readings.
“We were studying cybercrime so we actually got to experience what it is like in a courtroom, what a cyber case might be like, and what things the prosecution needs to find someone guilty of a cybercrime,” said Sam Essaff, a student.
Chris Thoms, a student, added, “It was a good project and experience. Bryce, the guest judge, gave us some good insight on stuff related to the class.”
Although Bryce found the accused not guilty due to inconclusive evidence, he was impressed with the students’ efforts.
“The students did an excellent job to simplify the technology issues, so non-technical people could easily understand the evidence, evidence chain, legal issues, and burden of proof,” said Bryce.