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Biology 103 Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

(click on the questions for the answers)

Can I attend a lab/recitation section I'm not registered for? Short answer, No.
I missed/will miss a lab/recitation, what do I do?
I will miss the first weeks acitivites, will I be dropped from the course? Short answer, No.
How do I change lab/recitation sections?
What is the Monday 7pm Class time?
I missed/will miss a lecture, what do I do?
Exam Information: Times, Dates, Locations, Answer keys
Digital Post Information
Digital Post Topics and Due Dates
I missed the time cut-off for the Digital Post, Can I turn it in late? Short answer, No.
Can I take the exam at an earlier date/time?
Can I use note cards, a translator, a dictionary, etc during the exam? Short answer, No.
I forgot to turn in my Biology Journal, what do I do?
I'm thinking of "S/U-ing" this course, should I?
How do I calculate my grade?
My final points total is a fraction, does it round up or down?
Can I do additional extra credit to improve my grade? Short answer, No.
What are the Extra Credit Lecture Puzzles?

Can I attend a lab/recitation section I'm not registered for?
You are not allowed to attend another lab/recitation section, utilize the GTA office hours instead. Lab and recitation activities are important sources of material for the exams and portfolios. If you missed an activity and would like to learn what was missed, you can attend any Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) office hour (also posted outside 133 Weniger) the following week to go over the activity. It is recommended that you read over the missed activity before attending to maximize the time available with the GTA. If you know you will miss lab or recitation at the end of a week before an exam or portfolio due date, it is recommended that you attend GTA office hours earlier in the week, prior to missing the activity.



I missed/will miss a lab/recitation, what do I do?
If you missed an activity and would like to learn what was missed, you can attend any Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) office hour (also posted outside 133 Weniger) the following week to go over the activity. You are not allowed to attend another lab/recitation section, utilize the GTA office hours instead. Lab and recitation activities are important sources of material for the exams and portfolios.It is recommended that you read over the missed activity before attending to maximize the time available with the GTA. If you know you will miss lab or recitation at the end of a week before an exam or portfolio due date, it is recommended that you attend GTA office hours earlier in the week, prior to missing the activity.



I will miss the first weeks acitivites, will I be dropped from the course?
No, you will not be dropped from the section. If you are enrolled in a section, your seat is reserved for you, weather you attend or not. If you missed an activity and would like to learn what was missed, you can attend any Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) office hour (also posted outside 133 Weniger) that week or the following week to go over the activity. You are not allowed to attend another lab/recitation section, utilize the GTA office hours instead. Lab and recitation activities are important sources of material for the exams and portfolios.It is recommended that you read over the missed activity before attending to maximize the time available with the GTA. If you know you will miss lab or recitation at the end of a week before an exam or portfolio due date, it is recommended that you attend GTA office hours earlier in the week, prior to missing the activity.



How do I change lab/recitation sections?
General Biology is typically fully enrolled and sections are waitlisted. There is plenty of space in the lectures but the labs/recitations have limited space. The only way to change the section you are enrolled in is to change sections through the registrar. When doing this online be sure not to drop the section you are currently enrolled in, as you might not get back into the course. Contact the registrar for guidance. You are not allowed to attend a lab/recitation section you are not enrolled in.



What is the Monday 7pm Class time?
General Biology does not have class on Monday at 7pm. This time slot is for the two scheduled evening exams. The Registrar blocks this time so students do not register for classes that meet during the evening exams.



I missed/will miss a lecture, what do I do?
We recommend that you get lecture notes from a friend in class. After reviewing the notes if you have questions, please attend any Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) office hour (also posted outside 133 Weniger).



I missed the time cut-off for the Digital Post, Can I turn it in late?
Digital posts and the Digital Summary are used to assess science understanding and skills related to constructing media about science. Descriptions of the Digital Post and Digital Summary are available in Appendix B of the activity manual and at the course website. Each week's digital post has a designated topic and the topic needs to be a component of the post to receive full credit. After uploading each post to Canvas, there is a brief survey on Canvas about that uploaded content. Each uploaded post of original content is worth two possible points, each accompanying survey is worth one point. There is a week to make and upload each digital post and take the accompanying survey prior to the due date/time, no late posts are accepted for credit. There are two weeks to complete the digital summary assignment on Canvas prior to the due date/time, no late digital summaries are accepted for credit.

I've got an exam conflict, what do I do?
All exam times were listed in the schedule of classes at the time of registration, prior to the start of the term. If you have scheduled a conflicting class or have a conflicting exam at the same time as a General Biology exam, it may be possible to take the General Biology exam slightly earlier on the same day, or a different format exam later in the week. Contact Dr. Lesley Blair for arrangements during the first two weeks of the term. No exam will be given on a date earlier than the scheduled date.



Can I take the exam at an earlier date/time? (AR 16. Finals Week)
Students frequently request early exams due to travel plans or other considerations. Due to the size of the course, the exam dates and times listed in the schedule of classes will be followed. The final exam will be given according to the "Schedule of Group Examinations." There will be no final exams given prior to the scheduled date/time.



Can I use note cards, a translator, a dictionary, etc. during the exam?
No,... students can not use note cards, dictionaries, translators, computers, calculators, cell-phones, iPods, etc. during exams. Only a pencil and eraser.



I forgot to turn in my Biology Journal, what do I do?
Journals can be turned in early (starting the previous week). Journals are assemblages of student work to be completed over two to three weeks of time, with minimal work the weekend before a due date. The 5:00 p.m. Monday due date time is the latest a journal can be turned in for full credit. Late journals are any journals turned in past the 5:00 p.m. due date cut-offs. Late journals will receive point penalties because (1) students had extra time to prepare the journals, and (2) late journals are not available for the Monday team grading session and will require extra attention. Late journals can be turned in to the mailslot in 131 Weniger Hall (GTAs are not to accept late journals) in the following time periods with mandatory deductions: (1) After 5:00 p.m. on the due date until noon/12:00 p.m. the next day (typically Tuesday). These late journals will receive a 25% point deduction. (2) After 12:00 p.m. the day after the journal is due until noon/12:00 p.m. the next day (typically Wednesday). These late journals will receive a 50% point deduction. It is not recommended that you slide late journals under the door of room 131 Weniger, any journals received in this manner will be dated as received on the next date. Journals turned in after the noon/12:00 p.m. cut-off on Wednesday will receive no credit.). If you are ill, contact Dr. Lesley Blair before the journal is due. The only journals accepted more than two days late would be in the case of a serious, unavoidable conflict (such as military commitments, being personally hospitalized, or death of an immediate family member). Arrangements should be made with Dr. Blair as soon as possible in these cases. as soon as possible in these cases.

I'm thinking of "S/U-ing" this course, should I? (AR18. Alternative Grading)
At least 140 points have to be earned to get a C- in General Biology. If you are not sure whether you should choose the S/U option, consult your advisor. Typically it is most critical to choose the S/U option if a lower grade point average will impact a scholarship or financial aid in some manner. If there is a possibility of getting the Unsatisfactory grade (less than a "C-", less than 140 points), it may be important to weigh the impact of earning a low grade (D+, D, D-, F) without the S/U option, versus the impact of a "U" grade and having to re-take a science lab course, i.e. credit for the course versus no credit.



How do I calculate my grade?
The total number of points possible in General Biology are:



Assessment
Points
Portfolio #1
15
Portfolio #2
20
Portfolio #3
25
Exam #1
40
Exam #2
40
Final Exam
60
Total
200

The same grading criteria and cut-offs are used for all students taking General Biology. No additional work or grading opportunities are given to specific students, ensuring every student has an equal opportunity to a fair grade. General Biology grades are a reflection of what someone knows (conceptual understandings) and can do (skills).

All General Biology courses are criterion graded, meaning that if you earn the following number of points out of the 200 total points, you are guaranteed the indicated grade (barring any extreme circumstances, such as university closures, etc).
We do not curve, so if a large number of students master the course material, a large number can earn high grades. Students are not competing with each other for grades. The point cut-offs could be lowered if class data indicates that a particular exam question or portfolio assignment was too difficult or poorly worded. This does not occur frequently, due to thorough proofing of exams and assignments.

Points
186
180
174
166
160
154
146
140
134
126
120
<120
Grade
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F
Grade Points
4.0
3.7
3.3
3.0
2.7
2.3
2.0
1.7
1.3
1.0
0.7
0.0

My final points total is a fraction, does it round up or down?
Final point totals, not percentages, are rounded to the nearest whole point. Totals of XXX.50 or more round up to the next whole point, while scores of XXX.49 or less round down to the lower whole point. For example; 139.50 points rounds to 140 points resulting in a C- grade whereas 139.49 rounds down to 139 points resulting in a D+ grade.



Can I do additional extra credit to improve my grade?
The same grading criteria and cut-offs are used for all students taking General Biology. No additional work or grading opportunities are given to specific students, ensuring every student has an equal opportunity to a fair grade. In other words, students who request additional work or other special grading considerations before or after the course is completed are always denied these requests. OSU grade changes are intended to be used only for clerical or computational errors. In General Biology, these errors could occur if the exam scantron was filled in improperly, or a portfolio was graded incorrectly. These errors are rare, but if you think one may have occurred, contact Dr. Lesley Blair immediately. For a possible exam scantron error, e-mail your name, lab section number, and concern to Dr. Lesley Blair. For the portfolio, write a note explaining the concern, attach it to the entire portfolio including the coversheet (you can staple all the pages together and keep the portfolio cover if desired), and resubmit it into the 131 Weniger mailslot or directly to Dr. Lesley Blair at lecture or during office hours. If it is the third portfolio, drop the portfolio and note into the mail slot in the door of 131 Weniger.



What are the Extra Credit Lecture Puzzles?
There are five extra credit puzzles given throughout the term in lecture, each worth one point (five points total). These puzzles must be completed and turned in during the lecture in which they are administered to receive credit. There are two purposes for these puzzles. First, the extra credit puzzles provide an opportunity for exploring a lecture topic in more depth. Second, these extra credit points may help students who are "stuck" between grades move up to the next grade. For instance, consider two students with a total number of 158 points (a grade of C+), one student with one extra credit point, the other with three extra credit points. The student with one extra credit point will receive the C+ (total of 159 points), the student with three extra credit points will receive a B- (total of 161 points). These are the only extra credit points offered in the course. On Canvas, your total earned points appear (including any of the three potential lecture extra credit points that are earned), so you have a potential of 205 points, and the final course grade is calculated on a possible scale of 200 points (see above).