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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: ISSC651 Course ID: 4102 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course is an advanced study of the principles and methodologies of the e-discovery process and the increasing importance of digital evidence in litigation. Topics include contemporary investigative methods, legal issues, cost containment, collecting and prioritizing data sets, preservation of digital evidence, document review, metadata and spoliation considerations, comparative assessments, and forensic investigations. (Prerequisite: ISSC621)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing this class, you will be able to:

  1. Examine the principles, practices, methodologies, and challenges to prepare digital evidence and testimony for litigation
  2. Assess the policies and procedures to conduct detailed enterprise searches using emergent techniques, methodologies, examinations, investigative approaches, and evaluations
  3. Assess the e-discovery review process
  4. Evaluate industry specific legal notices, forms, questionnaires, letters, and other e-discovery specific documentation to include:
    1. spoliation notice
    2. preservation letter
    3. database collection form
    4. data harvesting/collection questionnaire
    5. initial document collection interview form
    6. questionnaire for it staff re: e-discovery compliance
    7. report of parties FRCP 26(f) planning conference
    8. litigation hold letter
    9. suggested protocol for discovery of electronically stored information ("ESI")
    10. federal rules of civil procedure
    11. local rules of civil procedure
  5. Analyze the procedures to conduct comprehensive reviews of automated ways, processes, tools, and instruments
  6. Recommend digital record accessibility and retention policies based on current legal and ethical best practices in the domain of digital forensics
  7. Appraise strategies to contain and reduce e-discovery costs

The grading will be based on six graded homework assignments, eight Forum postings and a research paper.

  1. There will be six homework assignments during the course. The assignments will count as 30% of the final grade. The homework assignments will follow each of the major portions of the course. These assignments will be research problems or questions from the text. They are selected to provide the student with information to understand the concepts discussed. Assignments should be prepared in Microsoft Word or an equivalent word processor program and uploaded into the student folder by the due date.
  2. There will be eight Forum postings you will need to respond to. Answers should be a paragraph with a topic sentence that restates the question and supporting sentences using the terms, concepts, and theories from the required readings. Each initial post should be a minimum of 500 words. In the response to each student, you may attack, support or supplement other students’ answers using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings. All responses should be a courteous paragraph that contains a topic sentence with good supporting sentences and should be a minimum of 200 words. You may respond multiple times with a continuous discussion with points and counter points. The key requirement is to express your idea and then support your position using the terms, concepts and theories from the required readings to demonstrate to me that you understand the material. The Forums will count as 40% of the final grade.The research paper will be a culmination of knowledge garnered from the writing assignments from weeks 1 through 7. The research paper in its entirety will count as 30% of your final grade. The 30% will include an outline (1%), rough draft (4%), paper (20%) and peer review (5%).

See Appendix A – Grading Rubric for Grading Criteria on assignments listed above.

Assignment Requirements:

This course has a strong writing component. The goal is to organize, synthesize, and demonstrate your comprehension of core concepts investigated during this course by applying a combination of the terms, concepts, and details you have learned in a systematic way. As important as "the details" that you analyze and arrange in your writing, however, are the conclusions you draw from those details, and your predictions, responses to, and ultimate interpretation of those details. At this level you are expected to be writing and synthesizing your knowledge and properly using resources and citations. All assignments are to include a minimum of 3 citations, an abstract, and a proper conclusion. The length can vary but the content itself should be about 3 pages. This includes the conclusion but not the cover page, reference page or the abstract.

FORUM Postings:

Each week a Forum question will be provided for a discussion of the week's readings. A specific assignment for posting on the Forum will be announced each week. The assignments may involve discussion or debate. The number of postings required each week will vary and will be announced in the assignment for the week. In most cases, you will be required to post at least one original post and one or more follow-ups to your classmates' posts.

Your first post each week must be posted by Wednesday at midnight EST. Please try not to be late with this post because your classmates will be relying on you to post on time to give them a post to respond to later in the week. All follow-up posts must be posted by Sunday at midnight EST.

research/Project Paper:

You will be required to write a project research paper this semester. The specifications are as follows:

  1. 10 pages (double-spaced) Arial 10 pt font.
  2. Choose any topic related to the course and write about the latest developments and issues. This should be an accrual of the concepts you learned throughout the course.
  3. Use at least ten references outside of your textbook (you may use your textbook too, but are not required to).
  4. In addition to the required number of pages for the assignment, you must also Include a reference page (bibliography), written in APA style and a title page. Be sure to give all of your papers a descriptive title.
  5. A rough draft of the paper at the end of Week 6. This is to be a complete paper, meeting the page requirements – not a partially completed paper. Points will be deducted for short or incomplete papers. Your rough draft will be graded and helpful feedback will be provided to indicate where you are falling short. You may correct any deficiencies before resubmitting your final draft at the middle of Week 8.
  6. Typewritten in double-spaced format with a readable style and font and submitted inside the electronic classroom (unless classroom access is not possible and other arrangements have been approved by the professor).
  7. Page margins Top, Bottom, Left Side and Right Side = 1 inch, with reasonable accommodation being made for special situations
  8. Your paper must be in your own words, representing original work. Paraphrases of others’ work must include attributions to the authors. Limit quotations to an average of no more than 3-5 lines, and use quotations sparingly! It is always better to paraphrase than to directly quote.

All assignments and Forum questions are required by 11:55 PM Eastern Time on the Sunday of the week assigned in order to receive maximum credit.

NameGrade %
Assignments 26.00 %
Assignment 1 5.00 %
Assignment 2 3.00 %
Assignment 3 5.00 %
Assignment 4 3.00 %
Assignment 5 5.00 %
Assignment 6 5.00 %
Forums 40.00 %
Week 1 Forum 5.00 %
Week 2 Forum 5.00 %
Week 3 Forum 5.00 %
Week 4 Forum 5.00 %
Week 5 Forum 5.00 %
Week 6 Forum 5.00 %
Week 7 Forum 5.00 %
Week 8 Forum 5.00 %
Peer Review Forums 6.00 %
Wk2 Peer Review (Forum part of Assignment 2) 2.00 %
Wk4 Peer Review (Forum part of Assignment 4) 2.00 %
Wk7 Peer Review (Forum part of Wk7 Paper) 2.00 %
Research/Project Paper 28.00 %
Project Paper - Outline (Wk4) 1.00 %
Project Paper - Rough Draft (Wk6) 4.00 %
Project Paper - Submission (Wk7) 3.00 %
Project Paper - Final Submission (Wk8) 20.00 %

Required Text

Schuler, Karen A. (2008). E-discovery: Creating and Managing an Enterprisewide Program - A Technical Guide to Digital Investigation and Litigation Support. Syngress Publishing. ISBN: 9781597492966

Book is available as e-text in Books 24x7 Book ID: 32202

Reference: American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Washington, DC: Author. ISBN: 1-4338-0561-8

Software Requirements

1. Microsoft Office (MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint)

2. Adobe Acrobat Reader

3. A number of testing tools

Selected Bibliography

Web Resources for Advanced Digital Forensics & eDiscovery

1) Law Technology News

2) Managing E-discovery

3) FRCP: Rule 26

4) E-Discovery white papers

5) Orange Legal Predictive Pricing Estimator

6) Litigation Response Planning and Policies for E-Discovery

Book Title:E-discovery: Creating and Managing an Enterprisewide Program - A Technical Guide to Digital Investigation and Litigation Support - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Syngress Publishing
Author:Schuler, Karen A.
Unit Cost:$78.35
Book Title:REFERENCE ONLY- Information Security Fundamentals, 2nd edition-This text will be REQUIRED in ISSC661 and ISSC680. This text will be used as a reference only for the other courses in the ISSC program. E-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Auerbach Publications
Author:Thomas R. Peltier
Unit Cost:$79.95

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.