To keep you on task and engaged in the course, there will be multiple low-stakes assessments ongoing throughout the semester. These will all be PLEDGED assignments.
Most assessments will be delivered through Moodle or the text website. See the schedule for dates of each assessment and plan your schedule accordingly.
During a quiz assessment, you cannot use your book, notes, or any other source other than your personal memory and skills, unless otherwise indicated. Be sure to give yourself enough time to avoid late penalties. I aim to grade assessments as quickly as possible, no more than one week after the deadline.
Prior to the beginning of one class each week, you will take a short quiz on the week’s readings and discussions. It may be as short as 2 multiple choice questions. The quizzes will be available on your version of ICB and your scores will be entered in the Trunity Learning Management System. Quizzes will primarily cover material specified on the schedule. Some assignments will assess your ability to analyze data that you have never seen before and apply central concepts from the course to new data. You may also be asked to design experiments. This helps me assess your growth in science practice skills. To be successful in this course you must be able to evaluate material critically and apply concepts to new data.
There may also be quizzes during class that are not graded. You may not use grace period hours for quizzes, as they are designed to help you assess your understanding of the week’s work and prepare for class.
Reflection papers will be short 1,000 word (maximum) essays integrating your biological knowledge. They are open-ended, but you must demonstrate: 1) your ability to apply knowledge of one of the five Big Ideas to biological data and 2) achievement of at least one of the LOs listed on the first page of this syllabus. I will explain more in a video, but one example of this would be to apply the Big Idea of Evolution to a case study from the Cell module that also addresses the role of environmental change in the case study and the Big Idea.
Simply rehashing the data from a case study and peripherally relating it to a different big idea will be insufficient to meet the goals of the assignment.
You will write four (4) reflections, one for each of four of the five Big Idea: Information, Evolution, the Cell, Emergent Properties, & Homeostasis.
Short responses will be used in a variety of ways, some of which will be assessed, and some of which are designed for you to show engagement (next page) and understanding. You must do this several times throughout the semester. The question I pose will be based on the reading and the data in the case study. You will post your response on Moodle or in the text.
PLEDGING UNDER THE HONOR CODE:
All of your quizzes are closed book, closed notes, closed-friend assignments. Set aside a block of time during the interval between when I pass out the exam and when it is due. You can take the exams any place you want. This form of testing is only possible because of the Honor Code. If you violate my trust in you and the Honor Code, we will have to take the tests during the 50 minutes of class, and I will be extremely disappointed. You are required to not cheat on these exams and to report to me or the Dean of Students any violations you observe or hear about secondhand. This means that even your lab partners or best friends must be reported if you know they are cheating. The entire system will break down when individuals make exceptions to the rule in order to spare their friends.
- Weekly Quizzes (~13 @ 15-20 pts each) = 250
- Short Responses (several) = 100
- Reflection papers on Big Ideas (4) = 350
- Laboratory (two reports) = 250
- Engagement and preparation, including lab = 50
- Total = 1000
A: 94.0-100%; A-: 90.0-93.9%;
B+: 87-89.9%; B: 83.0-86.9%; B-: 80.0-82.9%;
C+: 77-79.9%; C: 73.0-76.9%; C-: 70.0-72.9%;
D+: 66-69.9%; D: 60.0-65.9%; F: < 60%