Jean Ann Vickers


Class Format

At this time, I only teach sections of BIOL 121 in face-to-face format.

BIOL 121 – Introductory Biology for Non-Majors – has two formats: lecture and lab. The lecture format comprises 3 hours per week. BIOL 121 lecture is a traditional, instructor-led journey through the objectives and material.

I encourage relevant questions and examples from students as I emphasize the applications of the material. I demonstrate examples of application throughout each lecture. Students are expected to take notes using the resource of provided power point slides via the LMS. Associated reading materials are posted in the tentative schedule of the syllabus. Reading these associated materials prior to coming to class greatly enhances what students get out of the lecture time.

The lab format, which comprises 2 hours per week, is more relaxed and casual, especially after we all know each others’ names. Lab is NOT slow paced! Typically, I utilize every moment of the lab time so it is imperative that students arrive on-time. Students work in groups of 2-4 to complete the lab activities. The lab activities are designed and paced to relate to what we are discussing in lecture. Lab time is the active learning component of this course.

Resource Use

Textbooks

Textbooks (2) are essential resources for your success in BIOL 121. Plan to use the textbooks extensively. You will have 2 textbooks – 1 for lecture with available e-book format, study guide and web resources – and a laboratory manual. Both of these textbooks are considered consumable and therefore are purchased new each semester and are not available for buy back at the end of the semester/course. I did much research in the selection of the textbook. I took into consideration the clientele of Non-Majors, the emphasis on understanding concepts and application of the material, as well as the readability.

LMS (D2L)

The LMS will serve as a central resource for: copies of the power point slides, relevant documents handed out in class, unit study guides, timely announcements and an updated calendar/schedule as well as a running record of your grade in the course. Students are expected to check their LMS account regularly and often.

Assessment

Students earn their grade through 4 unit exams (40%), 3 lab practical exams (15%), multiple quizzes (20%), a final exam (10%), and many “daily” assignments such as discussion/participation, homework and projects (15%). Exams are rigorous, and unit study guides will help in student success. The “daily” work is designed to enhance student grades and ensure that all points do not come from exams alone.

Homework Policy

I work hard to give students rapid feedback on all assessed work. So, in fairness, I do NOT accept any late work.

Attendance Policy

It is essential that students make a conscientious effort to attend every class and lab and be prepared to participate. Students who perform best are the ones who attend lecture and lab on a regular basis, and participate while present.

I take attendance for every lecture and lab session. Lab sessions meet once per week, lecture sessions meet 2 (TR) or 3 (MWF) times per week. Your grade will be negatively impacted after missing your 3rd lab; your grade will drop 1 letter grade. After your 4th missed lab, your grade drops 2 letter grades. After your 5th missed lab you receive an “F” for the course. In lecture after your 10th absence in a TR lecture, or your 15th absence in a MWF lecture, you receive an “F” for the course.

Availability

I am available and on campus 5 days a week (M-F). I have 5 pre-set office hours each week and you do not need an appointment to visit with me during that time. I am also available by appointment if my schedule office hours do not work for you.

Additional Information

I do not allow electronic devices in the classroom (with the exception of approved computer use for note taking). All electronic devices need to be shut off (or silenced) and put away for the duration of the class. During assessment (exams and quizzes), the electronic devices cannot be on your person. Failure to comply with this policy will result in your removal from class during non-assessment times, or a zero on the exam or quiz during assessment times.