Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Education (Curriculum and Instructional Technology)

First Advisor

Constance P Hargrave


The purpose of this study is to measure the effectiveness of the Digital Forensic Imaging Simulator (DFIS) to prepare law enforcement professionals with the procedural knowledge needed for disk duplication. DFIS was developed to aid in the professional training of law enforcement professionals and college students studying criminal justice by providing online opportunities to educate a wider audience of students without the need for face-to-face hands-on learning exercises. This study's examination of the effectiveness of the simulator involved conducting a comparative analysis of DFIS against the use of traditional hands-on training through a quasi-experimental design (N=47) and provided evidence of statistically significant increases in content knowledge as well as being equal to traditional training procedures. The participants in this study were all law enforcement officials (sworn and non-sworn) from 30, primarily European countries.

A comparison of post-test means from a content knowledge survey revealed no statistically significant difference between those trained by a traditional method and those trained by DFIS (p=0.289). A conclusion that DFIS is very effective in developing the necessary conceptual knowledge for forensic drive imaging was reached and can be utilized in place of hands-on exercises in educational environments. This study has provided critical and not previously documented evidence that a digital forensic training simulator can be effective in training students and future forensic examiners in copying crucial physical evidence for examination. DFIS can benefit the educational and law forensic community by introducing a new tool to their online curriculum and by helping expand their educational opportunities.


Copyright Owner

Douglas G. Elrick



File Format


File Size

139 pages