Course

BIOL R101L: General Biology Lab (35736), 1 unit

Semester

Spring, 2017

Meeting time & Place

T 1:00 PM -3:50 PM (LS4)

Instructor

Dr. Michael Nicholson

Contact information

Office = Liberal Arts Building, South Wing, room “T”

e-mail = mnicholson@vcccd.edu -or- dr@michael-nicholson.com

web page = http://www.oxnard.michael-nicholson.com

Office phone = (805) 678-5197 -or- (805) 498-8451

Office hours

Office Hours = M/W 12:15-1:30; T/Th 9-9:30 & 12:15-1

 

Required Lab Manual:  Nicholson & Newby.  2016.  General Biology Laboratory.  Bluedoor.  ISBN 978-1-68135-249-7

 

Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes:  Upon completion of the course, students will understand the nature and methods of scientific inquiry, recognize various cells and their basic structures, be able to use basic laboratory equipment such as a microscope and measuring tools, describe cellular processes such as respiration and mitosis, and explain concepts of inheritance and natural selection.  Learning outcomes (SLOs) will be measured with lab scores for specific items (assignments and quizzes, for example), with a microscope practical exam during which students will demonstrate how to use a microscope, and with a comprehensive laboratory final exam during which students will, among other things, identify various components of a controlled experiment, including control and experimental groups, and controlled, independent, and dependent variables.

 

Grading Criteria:  Each meeting, a quiz will be given and/or lab assignment(s) collected.  Each quizzes and assignments will cover the information from the previous lab and/or from the current lab; quizzes will generally be announced the week in advance.  The quizzes and/or assignments for a given lab will contribute to a weekly lab score.  Expect a total of 15 regular lab scores, worth a total of 15 points each, a microscope practical exam worth 25 points, and a comprehensive lab final worth 50 points.  All assignments (pre-lab assignments from the pending lab and post-lab assignments from the previous lab) are due at the beginning of lab – lab assignments should be delivered to instructor upon entering the class; no assignments will be accepted after the class has been in session for more than 10 minutes.  Quizzes will be given at the beginning of a lab only.  Late lab assignments will not be accepted, and make-up quizzes will not be given.  The lowest weekly lab score will be dropped; the microscope practical and the comprehensive final are not subject to being dropped.  The grading scale is bracketed on 10% (i.e. >90% is an A, 80-89% is a B, 70-79% is a C, etc) for the (expected) total of approx. 285 points that will be available.

 

Internet Access:  It is expected that students will have internet access, even if only through the library on campus.  Emails and notifications, if distributed, will be sent to the email address on file in Banner, so please make sure your information is up-to-date and accurate.  This syllabus is available for review/printing online only.  Other materials required for points during the course may be available online only, including information, handouts, and homework assignments or “take-home” quizzes or exams.

 

Attendance:  Failure to attend may reduce the final grade.  Attendance will be tracked with sign in sheets and by receipt of lab deliverables.  Attendance itself does not contribute to the grade, but missing class can hurt a grade if material is being missed or is not being completed as a result of absences.  Laboratory scores are based on experience-based and participation-based assignments, as well as evaluations of knowledge of the same through quizzes and/or exams – absence reduces a grade by disqualifying work and/or evaluations relevant to the laboratory.  Missing the first date of class is grounds for being dropped.  Furthermore, if a student misses 1/9 of the course (2 days), he/she should expect to be DROPPED from the course or receive a failing grade.  Failure to attend is NO GUARANTEE of being dropped!  To avoid receiving a failing grade, students who stop coming to class are urged to drop the course on their own, instead of expecting to be automatically dropped.  Special note on being late to lab:  Being tardy to lab is not acceptable, and may result in a point reductions to deliverables from lab (some items are due within the first few minutes of lab, for example).  Furthermore, entering lab late is a distraction to the entire lab, which requires separate treatment according to the section on Cell Phones and Other Distractions and Disruptions.

 

Academic Honesty:  Cheating is not tolerated and any student found cheating will receive a summary grade of zero on the material at hand.  Academic Dishonesty Reports will be filed as appropriate for a student who performs any acts of cheating.  Collaboration for in- and out-of-class work is not considered cheating, provided that the collaboration is approached with the spirit of academics and learning.  If collaboration is specifically not allowed, there is a specific responsibility to adhere to a policy of academic honesty.

 

Cell Phones and Other Distractions or Disruptions:  Cell phones and other electronics cannot be used during lab and must be muted or otherwise silenced.  Recognizing that emergencies can occur and that some students may have a specific responsibility, if an incoming call MUST be answered, please exit the laboratory to do so.  During exams or quizzes, cell phones must be turned off, so students with responsibilities to others must prepare for a temporary break in communications at these times.  Other disruptions may be interpreted as (to name a few examples) arriving late to class, excessive attention to or reliance on messaging/paging/texting, casual/off-topic conversation, eating, and using electronics for purposes not directly related to the course material at-hand.  Students who choose to ignore cell phone/distraction/disruption rules or who decide to engage in distracting or disruptive activity may be summarily dismissed from class, and may therefore miss points as a result of the forced departure.

 

Laboratory Safety:  Students are required to follow laboratory safety guidelines as described by the instructor, as well as in the lab manual.  Specific directives may be given for specific labs.  Failure to follow safety guidelines is justification for summary dismissal from the laboratory. 

 

Educational Assistance Center (EAC):  Students with disabilities, whether physical, learning, or psychological, who believe that they may need accommodations in this class, are encouraged to contact the EAC as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.  Authorization, based on verification of disability, is required before any accommodation can be made.  The phone number for the EAC is (805) 986-5800 ext 5830 and they are located in the Student Services Building (behind business office and admissions and records).

 

Financial Aid:  Educational costs can be a burden, but options exist meeting the costs!  Talk to someone at Financial Aid, in the Student Services Building, Room 140, to identify the best options for you.  The phone number for Financial Aid is (805) 678-5828.


 

LABORATORY SCHEDULE

 

Lab assignments will be due at the start of lab.  Lab quizzes, when offered, will be offered at the start of each lab only.  While most lab quizzes will be comprehensive in nature, the subject focus for any specific lab quiz will be the subject matter that was covered in the lab from the previous week.

 

 

Week

Starts

Ends

Lab Topic

Lab #

1

1/9/17


Classes Start


1

1/10/17

1/13/17

Rules for proper lab safety & Scientific Investigation

1-2

2

1/16/17

1/16/17

MLK No Classes


2

1/17/17

1/20/17

Scientific method and experimental design

3

2

1/20/17


Last day to drop w/refund


3

1/24/17

1/27/17

Microscopes and cells

4

3

1/27/17


Last day to drop w/out "W"


4

1/31/17

2/3/17

Diffusion and osmosis

5

5

2/7/17

2/10/17

Enzymes: Factors affecting their rate and activity

6

6

2/14/17

2/16/17

Ecology

15

6-7

2/17/17

2/20/17

Presidents' Birthdays No Classes


7

2/21/17

2/24/17

Respiration and fermentation

8

8

2/28/17

3/3/17

Photosynthesis and plant pigments

7

9

3/7/17

3/10/17

Cell division

9

10

3/14/17

3/17/17

Spring Break No Classes


11

3/21/17

3/24/17

Mendelian genetics

10

12

3/28/17

3/31/17

DNA structure, replication, and protein synthesis

11

13

4/4/17

4/7/17

Principles of heredity: Human genetics

12

14

4/11/17

4/14/17

Evolutionary observations

13

15

4/18/17

4/19/17

Systematics

14

15

4/20/17

4/21/17

No classes


15

4/21/17


Last day to drop w/W


16

4/25/17

4/28/17

Systematics & Microscope Review

14

17

5/2/17

5/5/17

Microscope Practical Exam


18

5/9/17

5/12/17

In-Lab Final Exam


19

5/16/17

5/19/17

Final Exams Week No Labs