Please take this information in the spirit in which it is offered: to foster a better learning environment, and to help you avoid outcomes that are not helpful to advancing your goals, whatever those may be. PREREQUISITES AND INTENDED AUDIENCE: BIO 150 is the first half of a twosemester sequence in modern biology. The course is taught at a science majors level and is intended for students who wish to enter the biological sciences, health professions, etc. , or who wish to pursue bachelor’s or graduate degrees in biology or related fields. High school chemistry is the minimum prerequisite.
MATERIALS: It is recommended that you buy a notebook for both lecture and lab in addition to the lecture textbook and lab manual. Try not to mix lecture and lab notes. STUDY TIPS: Ideally, you should go home and review each lecture’s notes within a day of the lecture being given, and keep this up for the whole semester. Also read the pertinent sections in the textbook. The lecture outlines I am providing you are just that, outlines. They should be used as a study guide, because only topics included in the outlines are eligible for the exams to be given.
The outlines do NOT, however, contain every piece of information contained in the lectures. You need to take good notes and study your textbook as well if you wish to do well on the exams. Your goal should be to understand the material such that you could explain the topics to the class in lecture format if you were asked to do so. (You won’t be asked to do this, but it is the best way to see if you really understand the topics). Note that there will be questions on the exams that will separate those students who use rote memorization from those who really understand the material.
See the study tips handout for further information on studying. ATTENDANCE: Regular attendance is expected of all students, and attendance will be taken at each class meeting. There will be no maximum number of absences from lecture that will be grounds for dismissal from the course. However, absence from three (3) lab periods without making up any of the missed periods will be grounds for dismissal. In lab, you will be looking at and observing things; these experiences cannot generally be compensated for by another means. If you miss a lab, your best recourse is to try to make it up with another section, if you can.
Proof of making up a missed lab in another section will erase the absence from your record. If you are absent from lecture or lab, you are still responsible for all the material covered in your absence. CELL PHONES: All cell phones must either be placed in “vibrate” mode or turned off during class. Ringing cell phones annoy both the instructor and the students. If your cell phone rings during class, you will be reminded to place it in vibrate mode or turn it off. GRADING POLICY: Your grade for the course is computed as described in the syllabus.
Four (4) multiple-choice lecture exams containing approximately 50 questions each will be given. The final lecture exam is cumulative, but will be weighted in favor of topics that were not included on the other exams. The lowest of the first three exam grades will be dropped. The final exam and both lab exams may not be dropped, and must be taken to receive a grade in the course. Please note that since the lowest of the first three exams will be dropped, there will be no makeup exams given. If you miss an exam, the missed exam will be the dropped grade.
Overall, lecture exams carry 60% of the weight in your course grade. I strongly encourage students to take all the exams. For laboratory, there will be two lab practical exams, worth 15% each. There will also be an additional grade of 10% each for a lab report (details may be found elsewhere in these course documents). Lab practicals are not cumulative. Overall, lab carries 40% of the weight in your course grade. A penalty of two points off the score of the lab report will be assessed for each day it is late. Penalties are assessed for weekends since I accept assignments electronically as well as in hard copy.
ADDITIONAL CREDIT OPTIONS: All bonus credit earned will be applied to your lowest qualifying exam grade (lecture or lab). Most bonus credit in this course is awarded for participation in activities or projects related to actual scientific research. Options include the following: 1. Seminar attendance. The Department of Natural Sciences sponsors a colloquium each semester during which scientists engaged in current, cuttingedge research visit our campus and speak about their work. These colloquia will be held on Wednesdays during common hour (11:00 A. M. 12:15 P. M. ) The dates for this semester are: 2/6, 2/20, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3, 4/17 & 5/1. One bonus point will be assigned for each seminar attended. Sign-in on the attendance sheet will be the only accepted proof of attendance. 2. Research project lab report. Several faculty members in the department are working on a research project on the distribution of tree species on Long Island. If you choose to participate in this project, you must collect several fresh leaves from trees located on your property (or on a friend’s or other property, with permission.
Please record the address of the property where the samples were collected, or—even better—provide GPS coordinates). You will bring these leaves to the college and will identify the trees they came from using accepted scientific methodology. I will give you guidance in how to identify the tree species. (Note that this may involve meeting outside of class time). You will then write a paper, using the same format as your regular lab report, on the identity of the trees, whether they are native to our area or not, and discuss why they might be growing where you found them.
Your paper will be reviewed and you will have the option to either accept the grade given, or correcting any problems found. If problems are corrected, your grade will be raised to the maximum and your paper submitted for possible publication online at www. saturnjournal. org. This will be worth 10 bonus points. 3. Extra exam credit. There will be four bonus points available on each of the two lab practicals, and five bonus points on the final lecture exam, for a total of thirteen bonus points. Total bonus points available = 30.
When added to your lowest qualifying exam grade, this equates to a maximum of six (6) points added to your final course average. EXAM POLICY: A. Repeating exams. Please note that each exam may be taken once only. Exams may not be repeated because you are not happy with the grade you received. B. Leaving the room during exams. No student will be allowed to leave the room during an exam for any reason except medical emergency or similar serious situations. Doing so will result in a grade of zero on the exam. Please use the bathroom before coming to class.
In classes longer than 75 minutes, during which an exam is to be given, the exam will be given first. OFFICE HOURS: Office hours listed on the first page are open office hours. You do not need an appointment to see me at those times. If you wish to see me at a time other than those listed above, please make arrangements with me as I cannot guarantee I will be in the office at other times. If you have questions or problems regarding the course or material covered, please speak about them with me as soon as possible, either by e-mail or in person.
This is very important. There is a very large amount of material covered in the course and keeping silent about any difficulties you may be having until the end of the semester usually results in a poor grade. WITHDRAWAL FROM THE COURSE: Students who submit a course withdrawal form on or before March 19, 2013 are guaranteed a grade of “W. ” Please note that withdrawal means you did not complete the course and have dropped it. If you wish to drop the course after the deadline, you must submit a course withdrawal form for me to sign.
I will not assign a grade of W once the final has been given, or if you have completed the course and all assignments. I will only assign a regular letter grade. Students who disappear from the course without submitting withdrawal forms will be given a grade of F (failure). GRADING SCALE: In a college environment, you are responsible for most of your own learning. Professors are guides and messengers; they tell you, in essence, what grade you are giving yourself. For example, when you put off studying until the day before an exam, you are giving yourself a poor grade (unless your memory is photographic).
When you keep silent even though you do not understand course material, you are giving yourself a poor grade. I do not punish students by giving them poor grades. However, I do not award good grades for free; you must earn them by working hard. You do not get a good grade simply by showing up for class. You do not get a good grade because you “need” it to move on to another course or degree program. You will earn it by demonstrating that you have attained understanding of the course material presented to you.
Many students consider this a “tough” policy, but trust me, you will thank me later when you enter the new career you are presumably here to train for. Professional rewards, job promotions, etc. —all of these are earned, not given. They are privileges; you do not have a right to them, and believe me when I say they are hard to get! Finally, on to my grading scale (which is a bit more lenient than the one in the college catalog, by the way): If your overall course average is… 88-100 83-87 78-82 73-77 68-72 63-67 58-62 below 58 your grade will be: A B+ B C+ C D+ D F