BIOLOGY 160 - GRADING AND COURSE POLICIES

  • Grading Policies
  • Make Up Exams
  • Bonus Points
  • Attendance
  • Honor Code


    EXAMS

    There will be five exams (see syllabus for schedule)
    • four midterms (100 points each)
    • one final exam (200 points)
    Each midterm exam will cover specific lectures, as indicated on the Lecture Notes Web Site.

    The final exam will be ~50% on material covered after Exam 4, and ~50% cumulative.

    Exam questions are in multiple-choice format, usually with five choices per question.

    Each exam question is worth two points

    • 50 questions on a 100-point midterm
    • 100 questions on a 200-point final


    WORKSHOPS

    Workshops are scheduled at the same time/day as exams.
    They will be held on days when there is no exam.

    Each workshop is worth a potential five points, with workshop leaders assigning points on the following scale for each participant:

      0 - unexcused absence
      1 - present, but obviously unprepared and inattentive
      2 - present, but unprepared
      3 - present and mentally involved, though not actively involved in discussion
      4 - mentally and actively involved in discussions
      5 - outstanding involvement in discussions, with excellent grasp of materials

    Workshop Leaders are NOT ALLOWED to divulge your point totals for each workshop.
    Simply participate, put in the effort, and you will receive a good score.

    Some workshops will consist of a lecture with embedded quiz points.


    FINAL GRADING SCALE AND LETTER GRADE ASSIGNMENTS

    Individual exams are worth only points. They are not assigned a permanent letter grade.
    However, I will send you an approximate letter grade scale for each exam,
    based upon the normal curve of the entire class's scores.
    An approximate distribution is generally be distributed along the curve as follows:

        • 90% and above - A
        • 88-89% - A-
        • 86-87% - B+
        • 80 - 85% - B
        • 78-79% - B-
        • 76-77% - C+
        • 70 - 75% - C
        • 68-69% - C-
        • 66-67% - D+
        • 50 - 65% - D
        • scores below 50% of possible points - F

    • This curve and cut-offs are hypothetical examples only.
    • Your class curve might be significantly different from that shown above.
    After each exam, I will send you an updated
    Overall Grade Scale Update so you can have an idea of what your current letter grade is at any point in the semester.


    MIDTERM EXAM MAKE-UP POLICY

    If you miss an exam for any reason, I will allow you to take a make up exam.

    But there's a catch.

    • Regular exams are multiple choice.
    • Make up exams are short answer/essay format.
    • Material covered is the same on regular and make up exams.
    • However, most students find the essay format more challenging.
    • This is fair, since you'll have more time to study for a make up exam.
    • Use the same study guide to study for either the regular or make up exam.
    • Your grade will be based on the same scale as that of the regular exam.

    If you miss a regular exam, you must notify me within 48 hours of missing the exam to be eligible to take a make up exam.

    ALL MAKE UP EXAMS WILL BE GIVEN DURING THE READING DAYS JUST BEFORE FINAL EXAMS.

    The exact time and place of the make up exams will be announced via email from Blackboard.
    If you need to make up a missed exam, be sure to
    EMAIL ME to


    FINAL EXAM MAKE UP POLICY

    THERE WILL BE NO EARLY OR LATE FINALS. NO EXCEPTIONS.

    Please do not make travel plans that interfere with your final exams.

    YOU MUST tell your parent/guardian/anyone who might make travel plans for you
    NOT to make travel plans that interfere with your final exams.

    If you have a family or medical emergency that forces you to miss the final exam:

    If you meet these criteria,

    If you miss the final (or other exam) and take no steps to let me know, your grade will be based upon your exam scores with a ZERO for the exam(s) you missed.

    If you miss the final exam and are not passing the course at the time of the final exam, you will receive an "F" for the course.
    This is university policy.


    BONUS POINTS

    There are two ways to get extra points in this course
    • in-class bonus quizzes
    • bonus questions at the end of an exam

    Bonus points are exactly that: BONUS

    • They are NOT mandatory.
    • The ONLY way to get them is to attend class and answer the bonus questions.
    • If you are absent FOR ANY REASON, you will not be able to take the bonus quizzes for that day.

  • There are about 50 bonus questions embedded in lectures (starting after Exam 1), each worth ONE POINT.
    • You will be allowed to count UP TO 40 POINTS of bonus answers you get correct.
    • (This gives you a little freedom for a necessary absence.)

    Here are the complete Rules and Instructions for Bonus Point Quizzes.

    You are responsible for reading and abiding by these rules in order to get bonus points.

    There are no other ways to get bonus points/extra credit in this course.

    An extra credit opportunity extended to ONE student must be extended to ALL students.

    Therefore, requests for a special extra credit assignment will not be granted.


    ATTENDANCE

    Attendance should be considered mandatory, but you're on your honor.
    • I do not take roll,
    • ...but I can see your participation via bonus quiz answers.

    Posted lecture notes are an outline of what is actually said in class.
    Anything said in class or in the assigned text readings is fair game for exams.

    Self-motivation and a willingness to truly apply yourself and learn spell success.
    It is your choice.


    INCOMPLETE OR WITHDRAWAL FROM THE COURSE

    If you are not doing as well as you would like by the second exam, you have the option to Withdraw (W) from the course.
    • a W will appear on your transcript
    • a W does not affect your Grade Point Average
    • one or two Ws will not affect your likelihood of getting into post-graduate schools
    • a pattern of repeating Ws might affect your attractiveness as a candidate for med school, graduate school, or other professional school.
    If you are earning scores consistent with a "D" or "F" in the course by the time the
    LAST DAY TO DROP WITH A "W" DATE rolls around, it is best to withdraw and try again later.

    A grade of "Incomplete" (I) is given only in the case of a true family or medical emergency.

    A student usually requests Incompletes for multiple courses in a semester because of such a problem.
    An Incomplete is not appropriate if you are failing the course, so please don't ask.

    If you are given an "I" in this course


    HONOR CODE

    The Honor Code is taken seriously here.

    Students suspected of cheating will be turned over to the Honor Council.
    Students found guilty of academic dishonesty will receive a grade of "F" for the course.


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