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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


You can progress through these courses as fast or as slow as you like. Each course is approximately 10 hours total, and includes recent news articles, instructional videos, and discussions of current events related to the subject. You can enjoy learning anywhere, because each course is laptop and mobile friendly.

Current Courses

Biometrics: An Introduction to Physiological and Behavioural Biometrics

This online, non-credit course will introduce you to the fascinating and rapidly growing world of biometrics. The future of biometrics is intimately linked to two parallel issues in our modern world: first, the increasing need for the identification and authentication of individual human beings, and; second, with an increasingly diverse, destructive, and expanding physical and digital threat landscape, biometrics are the most logical and secure modality for authentication to prevent attacks against people, places, and things. This course will provide an overview of behavioural and physiological biometrics and their application, along with a brief synopsis of future trends and markets for their application.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historical foundations of biometrics;
  • Identify and interpret the scope, depth, and breadth of the uses and limits of biometrics;
  • Compare and contrast several applications of physiological and behavioural biometrics;
  • Critically analyze the political, economic, and policy factors that impact the role and use of biometrics across various sectors; and
  • Identify and appraise emerging challenges to biometrics and consider how these can be addressed.

Bitcoin and Blockchain: An Introduction

This course will introduce you to the fascinating and rapidly growing world of bitcoin (cryptocurrencies) and blockchain technologies. The future of money rests in digital currency, and the most famous of digital currencies at the time of this writing is bitcoin. Bitcoin, is intimately linked to a technology referred to as blockchain, an unchangeable chronological list of all transactions that can be linked to and confirmed within a given digital currency. This course provides an overview of the definition, history, and application of bitcoin and blockchain and then focuses specifically on their application, along with a brief synopsis of future trends, markets for their application, and the future of crime in the blockchain economy.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historical foundations of bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain;
  • Identify and interpret the scope, depth, and breadth of the uses and limits of bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain;
  • Compare and contrast several applications of both bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain technology;
  • Critically analyze the political, economic, and policy factors that impact the role and use of bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain across various sectors; and
  • Identify and appraise emerging challenges to bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain and consider how these can be addressed.

Cybercrime: An Introduction

This course is designed to provide you with an overview of criminal activity perpetrated using computers, the internet, and other network-connected digital devices. Course topics include a synopsis of the history of cybercrime, emerging trends, applicable legislation, cybercrime investigations, and the nature of digital evidence. Cybercrime prevention methods are highlighted, as are understanding cyber victimization and criminal typologies.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize how past, current, and emerging digital technologies impact the cybercrime landscape;
  • Make connections between the emergence of cybercrime and the evolution of digital technology;
  • Become more comfortable with the language and terminology associated with cybercrime;
  • Begin to critically analyze the legislative issues relating to cybercrime laws in Canada, including understanding the jurisdictional challenges related to enforcement;
  • Consider victimology in cybercrimes and identify the societal factors that contribute to cyber criminology;
  • Compare and contrast the most common methods of cyber-attacks;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the changing crime landscape, including how cybercrime bridges the gap between virtual/digital and physical worlds; and
  • Describe the user’s role in cybercrime prevention and identify some user-related vulnerabilities commonly exploited by cyber criminals.

GIS Systems

This course offers an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and the invaluable contributions made by such technology to crime mapping, municipal planning, policy development, health care systems, business intelligence, and agricultural development in the 21st century.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historical, technological, demographic, political, and economic origins of geographical information systems;
  • Identify and interpret the scope, depth, and breadth of the uses and limits of GIS technology and data management;
  • Compare and contrast several applications of GIS;
  • Critically analyze the impact of GIS technologies within and across various sectors; and
  • Identify and appraise emerging challenges to GIS and consider how these can be addressed.

Smart Cities

This course will introduce you to the fascinating and rapidly growing realm of smart cities. Smart city solutions emphasize a collaborative approach that focuses on and encourages data collection and the sharing of information to promote safety and manage risk. This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the network of devices – including smartphones, CCTV cameras, GPS and RFID technologies, and crowdsourced information – that can be leveraged to develop sustainable infrastructures and coordinate city resources.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historical, technological, demographic, urbanization, political, and economic origins of smart cities;
  • Identify and interpret the scope, depth, and breadth of the uses and limits of smart cities’ technology and data management;
  • Compare and contrast several applications and/or limitations of smart cities technology;
  • Critically analyze the impact of climate change and political, economic, and policy factors that impact the role and use of technologies within and across various sectors of smart cities; and
  • Identify and appraise emerging challenges to the smart city paradigm and consider how these can be addressed.

Video Surveillance Systems

This course offers a synopsis of the key aspects of video surveillance, empowering you to competently discuss video surveillance systems.  This course is designed to help you speak the language of video surveillance, while also providing the knowledge and tools that empower you to make decisions surrounding the role of video surveillance in your personal and professional life. This course is intended to respond to a need for public safety practitioners to be able to identify, protect, store, collect, transport, and utilize video surveillance footage.  Relevant legislation, the value and prevalence of video evidence, and emerging video surveillance technologies such as body-worn cameras and video analytics are discussed.  You are also afforded the opportunity to use some popular Video Management Systems software and tools.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Become comfortable with the language and terminology associated with video surveillance systems;
  • Compare and contrast common deployments of video surveillance systems;
  • Recognize the impact and evolution of video surveillance technologies as a result of emerging digital technologies;
  • Critically analyze the legislative issues relating to video surveillance laws in Canada, including understanding the complex issues surrounding privacy, digital evidence, and the Criminal Code of Canada;
  • Understand and comment knowledgeably on the power of analyzing video-related data to create actionable intelligence, including business intelligence and public safety uses;
  • Identify the information security risks posed by video surveillance cameras along with methods of mitigating those risks; and
  • Describe the past, present, and future roles of video surveillance in society.

 

Upcoming Courses

Future Directions in Digital Technology (Fall)

This course will introduce you to the future growth and directions of digital technology.  The future directions of digital technology will be reviewed in the context of prediction and growth, artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics, augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality, cloud computing and quantum computing, and the impact of such invasive technologies as biomechanics, human implants, and nanotechnologies.  This course is designed to provide you with an overview of digital technologies, with an eye towards the probability of implementation and the potential disruptions such technologies may have upon society.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historical development and impact of digital technologies from the turn of the century to the present day;
  • Identify and interpret the scope and context of three (3) select technologies and the respective impact(s) on modern society;
  • Critically analyze the impact of the growth of data and data storage and why this is relevant to the future of digital technologies; and 
  • Identify and appraise emerging challenges to the development, use, and misuse of future digital technologies.

Artificial Intelligence: The Next Frontier (Fall)

This course will introduce you to the exciting and rapidly evolving world of Artificial Intelligence (AI).  Once considered science fiction, AI has experienced an exponential rise to relevance due in large part to the advancements in computing power, the ubiquitous collection of data driven by internet use, and the societal trend of connecting everything to the Internet.  Topics covered in this course include the historical context of AI, the scientific development of AI, and the use of AI in both public and private sectors.  The future of AI is also discussed in the context of smart cities and concurrently growing technology areas.  This course is also designed to provide students with an overview of the current and proposed implementations of AI, along with the potential disruptions posed by this technology.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historical development and impact of AI from both fictional and non-fictional sources;
  • Identify and explain how existing/legacy digital technologies work together and the value of interoperability in AI-based applications;
  • Identify and interpret the scope of multiple AI technologies and their respective impact(s) on modern society;
  • Explain the symbiotic relationship between data, the internet of things, and AI;
  • Identify and appraise emerging challenges to the development, use, and misuse of AI; and
  • Identify ethical and moral issues related to the widespread adoption of AI-based technologies.
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