The format of each class will require you to read that day’s assignment BEFORE you come to class. We will spend each class going through the figures and discussing them since DATA are paramount in science. Each class will begin with a period where you can ask specific questions related to the previous day’s material or specific areas you do not understand from the current day’s assignment. If we do not cover a topic in class, but it is covered in your reading, you are responsible for it. Often, I will call on individuals randomly to answer a question or lead a discussion. If I call on you to answer a question, it is OK to say, “I got this part but this other section lost me.” It is not OK to say, “I didn’t read it” even though I understand that some days you have missed the reading. The best advice I can give you is to be prepared!
Active participation cannot occur when you are not in class. I expect you to be present, on time, and prepared for each class period. However, I may not take attendance. We will likely have a “quiz” on the day’s reading at the beginning of each class, which will be graded and count towards a small percentage of your course grade.
As a matter of policy, in order to receive a passing grade in this course, you cannot miss more than 5 classes without a legitimate reason. You may not miss any labs without a legitimate reason. Legitimate reasons include illness requiring physician’s care, family emergency, etc. Unacceptable reasons include oversleeping, an exam in another class, social function, etc. If you are going to be absent for a legitimate reason (including illness or death in family), you should contact me as soon as possible.
Davidson has a special benefit for science students because you pay the same amount for courses without labs as you do for science courses with labs. This means you get more for your money by taking science courses than non-science courses. It comes with a 3 hour laboratory absolutely free! Approximately 25% of your grade is based upon lab. Lab will be discussed further when we meet the first week of classes. The lab manual will be available in weekly installments in the form of Word or PDF files that will posted on my BIO 114 website.
Finally, I do not know everything. If you think I have said something that is incorrect, please point this out. This entire class is a “work in progress” so please draw my attention to typos, unclear passages, and incorrect statements. If you ask me a question that I cannot answer, I will research it and get back to you. If you have tried to understand the material but just can’t get it, then come talk to me either during my office hours or make an appointment. I am happy to work with each of you as much as is necessary.