Course Overview

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Review of Announcement

Review the Announcements Page (this link will open a copy of the Announcements page in a new window)

This is where I will post general class announcements. You need to check this page at least every other day. The most recent announcements will be at the top of the page.


Review of the Syllabus

Review the Syllabus (this link will open a copy of the Syllabus page in a new window)

Things to pay special attention to:

The best way to contact me is by email. If you wish to meet in person, I'll usually be in the teaching lab (1522 Thm) before labs (12:30 - 1:30) W, Th, and F. But your best bet is to look at my work schedule at ask for a specific appointment.

The course is divided into 3 very distinct sections, each followed by an exam.

Students can be registered in either the traditional section (001) or DE section (601) of MB 451, but this is a very soft distinction. If you are not in the area and really are taking the class DE, then of course you will have no choice but to rely on the online resources of the course. If you are local, you have the choice of how to cover the material, either face-to-face in class, or online, or any mixture of these, and it really doesn't matter whether you're registered DE or not.

The lectures will be given in the traditional face-to-face fashion at the regularly scheduled time and place. The same material is available online. Many students will print out the days lecture notes (and hopefully read them in advance - yeah, right.) and bring them to class for the traditional lecture. But if the online notes suffice, you can choose not to come to class, even if you're registered for the traditional section. And you're welcome to come to class even if you're registered for the DE section - this might be useful if you couldn't take the traditional section because of a course conflict on some days, but can come to class on the other days.

About once a week (usually Fridays), we will have a Discussion session instead of a lecture. This will be discussed below (Discusion Sessions).

Other rules & tidbits:

  • Read and understand the Attendance policy
  • Don't cheat - I prosecute Integrity violations
  • If you require Accommodations, you'll need to request this through the DSO.

Review of the Schedule

Review the Schedule (this link will open a copy of the Schedule page in a new window)

Note that the schedule is subject to revision as the semester progresses.

Things to pay special attention to:

The names of the lecture Topics and Modules are links to web pages with the course material. The Topics pages are short introductory pages, but are nevertheless important to put the various modules in context. The bulk of the course material is in the Modules pages. This course material will be covered in the traditional lecture on the dates given.

The Discussion session links will take you to the Discussion session wiki for that topic.

Note the exam dates and breaks. Note that class on the Friday before Spring break has been canceled.


Review of the Exams

Review of Exams (this link will open a copy of the Exams page in a new window)

Things to pay special attention to:

Exams will have a take-home portion that will be given out in advance, and an "in class" portion designed to be taken in a proctored environment in 50 minutes or less. Students in the traditional section will take the exams in class. Students in the DE section will as well, if possible. If this is not possible, testing will be arranged in advance with the instructor and DELTA.

There are two midterm exams and a Final exam. The Final is not comprehensive. Make note that all exams will begin with the same question about the 3 primary branches of life, and the answer MUST be spelled correctly.

Note the exam dates.

At the bottom of the Exam page are links to every exam I've ever given in this course.


Review of the Grades

Review of the Grades (this link will open a copy of the Syllabus page in a new window)

Things to pay special attention to:

All of your course scores will be posted here, by your self-assigned PIN, unless you let me know that you don't wish this. Otherwise, you can always know exactly where you tand in the course.

The grade breakdown and grading scale are straightforward, except that although each of the 13 Discussion sessions is worth 10 points, only your best 12 scores will count toward your final grade.


Review of the Discussion Sessions

Review the Discussion Wiki (this link will open a copy of the Discussion wiki in a new window)

Things to pay special attention to:

About once a week (usually Fridays - check the schedule), we will have a Discussion session instead of a lecture. If you can and choose to come to class on Discussion session days, you can complete the bulk of the Discussion session material in that one hour. I'll have some kind of prompt for the discussion, and working in groups of 3-4 you'll talk about how to respond, brainstorm, and by the end of the hour cobble together some kind of response that you'll turn in. All members of a group will recieve the same grade for that response. Alternatively, you can choose to do the Discussion session online, on the Discussion session Wiki, either as part of a gruop or individually. ALL students need to go back to the Discussion later in the day and substantially address one of the other responses, or revise their original response based on the other students comments or posts. All of this must be completed by midnight of the Discussion session day.

This format for the Discussion sessions is an experiment, and so may require adjustments as the semester progresses.