Ellyn Mulcahy


The following information comes from the named instructor and should describe characteristics general to courses as taught by this instructor. Individual sections of specific courses will deviate from this description in some respects.

Class Format

Face-to-face sections

BIOL 231, Microbiology Lab meets twice weekly and is matched approximately with Microbiology lecture for content. It is not required that students take both lab and lecture with the same instructor, but many students prefer to do so. Comprehensive knowledge is key to student success; skills and practical knowledge are taught throughout the course, each week students build upon what they learned the week before. The course culminates in a semester lab project.

Hybrid sections

BIOL 135, Cell & Molecular Biology meets for required lab sessions; the remainder of the lecture content, assignments, quizzes and exams are online. There are weekly deadlines for a quiz, an assignment or an exam. Comprehensive exams are given half way through the course, and at the end of the course in the JCCC testing center. Lectures are provided both in written and oral format with most topics also including a video of that topic taught at the whiteboard and/or in the lab.

Online sections

BIOL 132, Public Health contains lecture content, assignments, quizzes and exams online. There are weekly deadlines for a quiz, an assignment or a discussion board question. Lectures are provided both in written and oral format. Some assignments include field-trip options; these are clearly stated at the beginning of the semester. There are alternatives to the field-trips available if necessary.

BIOL 230, Microbiology contains lecture content, assignments, quizzes and exams online. There are weekly deadlines for a quiz, an assignment or an exam. Comprehensive exams are given half way through the course, and at the end of the course in the JCCC testing center. Lectures are provided both in written and oral format with most topics also including a video of that topic taught at the whiteboard.

Resource Use

Textbooks are essential in all courses for learning the content and to supplement the lecture material. If a student has an older edition of a textbook, please check to see if it is suitable.

Calculators are required for all classes; a scientific calculator is sufficient.

Lab coats are required for all lab sessions.

Computer software, in all courses, web-based materials are used.

Online homework is used in BIOL 132, BIOL 135 and BIOL 230.  BIOL 231 will typically not use online homework.

Assessment

All classes include regular assessment, most often weekly. BIOL 231 includes in-lab quizzes during most lab sessions and take-home exam review quizzes. Assessment includes quizzes and exams. All assessment questions come directly from lecture notes and lab topics.

Homework Policy

All classes include regular homework; late work is not accepted unless there are extenuating circumstances whereupon the student must seek approval from the instructor. All written assignments and lab reports require references, and are graded for content, spelling, grammar and correct citation style. All classes include a sustainability assignment.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is required for all lab sessions and is very important for maintaining continuity of content. Lab session can rarely be made up in any format. BIOL 135 students that miss part of any lab, or an entire lab session, will be dropped from the course immediately, or be assigned an F if it is after the drop deadline date.

Availability

I use email to contact students and answer email daily. I grade almost every week day and will respond to any questions within 24 hours almost always (unless over a weekend or holiday or if JCCC is closed). I encourage students to come to my office hours and to make appointments outside office hours to discuss any issues.