Jamie Cunningham


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

I teach several biology classes (BIOL 121;BIOL 135;BIOL 230;BIOL 231) and the overall class format varies depending on the focus of the class. My lectures are generally a mixture of information written on the white board and images, photos and diagrams in PowerPoint to better illustrate concepts. Quizzes are given frequently so that I (and my students) can better evaluate how well the material is being retained prior to exam time. Exams are based on the lectures and consist of a combination of multiple choice/scantron questions and short answer questions. Laboratory time is generally divided between a short lecture covering the topic background, the demonstration of new techniques and time spent practicing those techniques and completing the exercises in the laboratory manual. Lab reports and assignments are based on the manual and contribute to the overall grade along with exams and projects. Lab exams are a combination of written questions and problems and practical application of learned skills.

Resource Use

Book: Limited
Software: Limited

Assessment

There are usually 4 exams spaced throughout the semester. Exams for lecture based classes are 100 points each and based on the lecture material covered in class. Questions are a combination of multiple choice recorded on scantron sheets and a short written section which combines short answer, fill in the blank, diagram labeling, etc. There is a cumulative final exam during finals week of the same format. Lab base courses have 50 point exams that are a combination of written questions and practical application of laboratory skills and techniques. There are no lab finals. Both lecture and lab courses will have quizzes at least once per week, the top 10 quiz scores count towards the final grade in the class. Projects are assigned to students in both lecture and lab courses allowing for the opportunity to further investigate questions of interest within the realm of the topics covered in the class. Lab based courses will also have weekly homework assignments based on the laboratory manual that contribute to the overall score for the course.

Homework Policy

Lab homework is generally due the week following the completion of the laboratory exercise. There is a 24 hour grace period to get in late lab reports. After 24 hours expect to lose points or be unable to turn in assignments for points.

Attendance Policy

Attendance will not be taken beyond the first two weeks of class, nor will participation be directly calculated into the overall grade for the course; however, students who miss class will not have the opportunity to make up quizzes taken during that time or be able to turn in lab reports for exercises in which they did not participate. Students are responsible for reading the syllabus to determine what material as covered so they can read the appropriate chapters of the text book, arranging to get notes from classmates, and otherwise catching up on information that was missed for classes that were not attended. I am more than happy to explain concepts to students who do not understand them regardless of whether or not they attended class, but an honest effort must be made to catch up. Do not expect me to cover in 5 min (right before class or in an email) what it took 50 minutes or more to cover with the class on the day you were not present.

Availability

The fastest way to reach me is by email. If you would like to meet in person come by my office hours or arrange another time to meet with me.

Additional Information

I have a BS in Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Kansas. At the age of six I really wanted to be MacGyver when I grew up and my mom told me that I needed to pay attention in my science classes if I wanted to do that. I think I've been a science geek ever since.