Facts of Life

Some Hard Facts of Life in Your Biology Class

  1. "Make-up Exams": I do not give make-up exams in the traditional sense. If you miss an exam for any reason, you may take a Replacement Exam at the end of the semester. Replacement exams will cover the same material as the regular exam covered, but may be in simpler format (i.e., more essay questions, no matching, etc.). They will never be multiple choice or true/false. While I never intentionally make these exams harder than the regular exams, they are, because you will be more distant from the material covered in class. You may take a maximum of one replacement exam. (i.e., you may not miss more than one exam). NOTE: If you fail to call me within 24 hours of the time the class takes the regular exam, explaining why you missed your exam, you will not be offered a Replacement. That means you will fail the class.

  2. Deadlines:
    1. Reading: Article reports are due on exam days. Consult your specific syllabus for the number of reports due at each exam. These reports must be typed.
    2. Lab Reports: Some lab reports will be turned in before the end of the lab period. Be sure that you listen in lab such for instructions. You will always have at least a week to complete take-home lab exercises. Graphs in lab reports must be prepared by hand on real graph paper. Refer to Lab Reports for complete details.
    3. No late papers will be accepted during the last week of the semester.

  3. Typing: Any assignment for which you are given at least 1 week for completion must be typed. There is an automatic 50% penalty for any such assignment which is turned in hand written.

  4. Penalties: The standard penalty is 10% deducted per day late. A weekend counts as one day; all CoD class days count, even if this class doesn't meet.

  5. Incomplete Policy:
    1. The purpose of an Incomplete grade is to accommodate bona fide emergency situations. If for some reason (health, etc.,) it becomes impossible for you to complete the semester, come talk to me about the possiblity of an incomplete. HOWEVER,
    2. A poor performance during the semester is not adequate justification for an Incomplete.

  6. Some general advice: What goes on in a good classroom is not teaching--it's learning. Your success in this or any other class is entirely in your own hands. If you focus on understanding and learning as much as possible about the things we cover in class, rather than on the easiest way to slither through, you will do well. Be prepared to put in some work--that's what this is all about. Above all, if you find yourself in trouble, come to me and ask for help--right away! The most futile of behaviors is to flounder all semester, then come to your instructor during the last week of the semester and ask, "What can I do to pass your class?" Unfortunately, by that time the answer will almost certainly be, "Enroll next semester and try again." The time to get help is as soon as you get in trouble, not after you've trashed your entire semester. This link will take you to some suggestions for improving your study habits. Almost all students could afford to do this.

  7. Cheating Policy: Finally, I hate the necessity of including the following, but please read this carefully. I will not tolerate cheating of any kind. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, use of unauthorized source materials (including, but not limited to, crib notes) during an exam, illicit "borrowing" of another student's work either during an exam or in preparation of assignments, submission for credit of work not prepared by yourself, and unapproved collaboration on preparation of assignments. If you are in doubt about the ethics of the way you are doing things, ask me about it. Otherwise, you should always assume the "high road" and do the work entirely by yourself.

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