Ian Kennedy, Forensic Consultant & Open University Lecturer

Ian, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be involved with the Open University?

I have always been interested in further and higher education. I have been teaching ICT related subjects and mathematics part-time for over 10 years. When I saw the OU opportunity to teach in the very field within which I worked I jumped at the chance!

What do your duties as an Associate Lecturer involve?

A mixture of supporting students via email and telephone (usually by prior arrangement), monitoring and contributing to both the student and AL’s discussion forums and marking assignments.This last area is where the bulk of your teaching takes place as you aim to engage with your students with your feedback.

What main areas does the M889 course cover and who is it aimed at?

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The course is a beginner’s course in Law and Forensics. It is not designed to produce lawyers or forensic investigators. It’s remit is to give an overview and an awareness of both the legal and technical issues with digital investigations and is ideally suited to anyone with an interest in the subject or businesses who perhaps seek to have a greater forensic readiness capability within their organisation.

What do you think is the main value to students who successfully complete the course?

This depends on who you ask: the technically minded students on the course can’t wait to get their teeth into the technical details; the managerial/legal students however seem to enjoy the ethical/legal issues surrounding the subject.

What advice would you give to someone considering the course?

Read the Course Guide carefully, be mindful of the commitment you must make to complete the assignments and contact the OU with any questions you have.

Have you had any feedback from students? What do they say about the course?

The feedback I have seen has been positive overall.

How does this course compare, do you think, to any other post-graduate courses on offer?

I am involved with a number of other MSc courses in the digital forensics field. The course materials have been authored by a well respected figure in the field and this shows in that the syllabus is a very practical approach to both the legal and technical issues facing today’s digital forensic examiners.

Further information about the M889 course can be found at http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/bin/p12.dll?C01M889

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