Lecture. I expect you to attend every lecture. Without a doubt, your absence will be recorded when you do poorly on exams. I may occasionally have brief quizzes about the previous lecture at the start of a lecture, mostly to record attendance. You will not understand my emphasis, which is the emphasis on exams, only by reading the textbook or looking at illustrations. If you must miss a lecture, be sure to get help with the notes from a classmate and ask me questions during office hours. I’m always willing to help you to better understand material.
Recitation. You are required to attend every 3-hour recitation for its duration, and your absence will count strongly against your grade. Because you will be working in pairs or groups, it will be impossible to “make up” group work outside of class. In addition to attending, you should come prepared to carry out the day’s tasks, as your grade will depend in part on peer evaluations.
Participation and conduct. Discussions during lecture and recitation are interactive. Your participation is expected and will contribute to your grade. I also expect you to be respectful of me, your classmates, and the learning environment. Please do not disrupt the class with cell phones, late arrivals, or early departures from class.
Collaborative learning. Several activities in this course will involve working in pairs or small groups. Part of your grade will be based on your ability to work effectively within your group. Nevertheless, you will complete most assignments individually, so that a large part of your grade will be based on your own work. You alone are responsible for all of your submitted work.
Exam content. You will be tested on lecture material and reading material. I will provide study guides as necessary. I encourage you to study in groups—you will learn more if you quiz each other to test the depth of your understanding of terms and concepts.
Missing an exam. You should avoid missing an exam except in the case of a true medical emergency suffered on the day of the exam. Other legitimate, unavoidable conflicts (e.g., med school interviews) must be approved by me well in advance. Family vacations do not qualify. Make-ups may be given, if I choose, within a day or so earlier or later than the scheduled time.
Late assignments. Assignments are due at the date and time specified. Assignments handed in past the deadline time will have approximately 10% deducted per day (including weekend days). Zero points will be recorded for any work turned in after the assignment has been discussed in class or handed back. Make arrangements with if you plan to turn in an assignment late. Do not put a late assignment under any office door—it should be handed to me, sent to me by email, or given to the Biology Dept. secretary so the date/time can be recorded (Biology office: 214 SCIC, 8:30 - 4:00 weekdays).
Computer resources. Written assignments should be word-processed, and other computer software will be necessary for some assignments. The computer lab in the Biology department is generally open during the day, except when reserved for classes or lab (check the door for posting). Desktop and laptop computers are also available in Addlestone library.
Disabilities. Any student with a documented disability who has been approved to receive accommodations through SNAP please feel free to discuss this with me during office hours.
This course asks you to learn and perform tasks like a professional biologist. At the same time, you will be required to uphold the standards of integrity expected of a professional. Lying, cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism related to exams, discussions, or recitation work are violations that will be identified and punished in accordance with the College’s honor code. Be absolutely sure that you understand violations of the honor code, including both obvious and subtle points of plagiarism, as described in the student handbook (http://www.cofc.edu/studentaffairs/general_info/studenthandbook.html). Please consult the handbook and talk with me if you have any doubts or questions about whether your work, especially your writing, is conforming to these expectations and avoiding violations.
Many of your recitation projects will involve working in groups. In these situations, the work you submit must still be completed independently. There is a fine line between collaboration and copying, but if I suspect that one student has copied the work of another, one of two situations will result:
(a) For lesser and unintentional offenses, I will have you sign a form acknowledging your understanding of the mistake—this form will be forwarded to the Dean of Students and placed in your file. A second such violation in this or any other class in the future will result automatically in an honor court hearing.
(b) More serious cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be reported directly by me to the Dean of Students for consideration by the honor board. Putting yourself in this position risks an XF for the course, a mark that indicates failure due to academic dishonesty. Along with common problems (e.g., unauthorized collaboration, unauthorized study aids, copying, falsifying excuses, giving unauthorized assistance), please be aware that re-submitting work you did for other classes or projects is also a violation of the honor code. We have digital copies of assignments submitted by students in previous semesters, and reuse of such materials will result in reporting to the Dean of Students.
Having served on the honor board, I can tell you that board members, most of whom are students, take these issues seriously. Severe punishments are mandatory when students are found in violation of the honor code. It is far better to turn in your own sub-standard work than to risk an XF on your transcript for cheating or sloppy plagiarism. I have already had the misfortune of dealing (successfully) with the prosecution of one such case. Academic dishonesty is a huge waste of my time and your academic record.