MWF 1100-1150 for Lecture
Purpose of the Course
Botany is the study of plant biology, which means everything from how plant cells function, to how plants are structured, to how they form an integral part of the biosphere. Ecology, evolution, adaptation, and conservation will be stressed. While this course will be taught at the introductory level, you will still be exposed to key biological and chemical concepts. If you find yourself having trouble, you should come to me for help before it is too late to improve your grade.
Final Grade Assessment
Final grades will be calculated as follows:
Lecture portion of the course: 75% of final grade (450 points)
Lab portion of the course: 25% of final grade (normalized to 150 points)
100% (600 points)
Lecture points are distributed as follows:
Exam #1: 100 points
Exam #2: 100 points
Writing Assignment: 50 points
Comprehensive Final: 200 points
Grade ranges: A (90% or higher); B (80-89.9%); C (70-79.9%); D (60-69.9%); F (59.9% or less). Thus, if you want to get an A in the course, you need to achieve a minimum of 540 combined points out of the total 600 possible.
Late papers/assignments will not be accepted for any reason.
Attendance is strongly recommended for the lecture portion of this course. Attendance is required for the laboratory portion of the course. Three unexcused absences from the laboratory portion means a failing grade for the lab.
Lecture attendance is strongly recommended. Class will begin promptly at 11:00am and you must be in your seat, ready to begin. A seating chart will be made and attendance will be taken on a regular, if not daily, basis. If you are not in your seat by 11:00am, you will be counted absent even if you show up late. If you leave class early without prior permission, you will also be counted absent. I will cover material in lecture that is not in your textbook so it is in your best interest to come. Students with poor attendance generally receive poor grades.
As General Botany is a laboratory science, lab attendance is required. Excused lab absences must be for dire situations or because of university sanctioned events and you must notify your TA immediately (within 48 hours) of the absence in order to be eligible for make-ups, if make-ups are available. It is your responsibility to contact your TA. Excused absences must be accompanied by written verification of the reason for the absence. If you fail to meet these requirements, the absence will be declared un-excused. Students with THREE or more un-excused lab absences will fail the lab portion of the course.
All members of in-season sports teams or other campus organizations who will be missing class because of university sanctioned events MUST present to me a written statement on university letterhead and signed by a university official indicating those dates that will be missed because of travel or participation in the university event. Athletics documentation must be presented to me within the first 2 weeks of the beginning of the semester. Other documentation (such as for theater, etc.) must be presented to me at least one week prior to the time that will be missed.
Out of general courtesy for both your fellow classmates and the instructor, please observe the following course policies:
1) Do not walk through the classroom after the class has begun
2) Do not get up and leave the classroom before the end of class unless you are ill
3) Do not talk during lectures or exams except to ask questions of the instructor
4) Do not engage in disruptive or disrespectful behavior
5) Do not cheat on exams or assignments (see Student Handbook)
6) Do not play games on your electronic devices
7) Do not do homework for other classes
8) Do not read books, newspapers, sleep, listen to music, etc.
9) Do not play on your social media sites, etc.
Disruptive students will be given one verbal warning to improve their behavior. Second offenders will be asked to leave the classroom and will be referred to the Dean of Students. Abusive students will be dismissed from the class permanently. The instructor reserves the right to amend these rules as necessary throughout the term.
Policy on Electronic Devices [READ THIS TWICE]
Turn off or silence (note: vibrate is not the same as silent) all cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices that make noise or have the potential to disrupt the class before you walk into class. Class should never be disrupted because of someone’s cell phone going off. NO cell phones are permitted to be out and/or in my (or your) sight in this class. If you want to use your phone to record the lecture, it must be placed at the front of the room. Laptops may only be used to take notes. If your phone is out and/or in sight, you will be asked to put it away and you will lose 2 points off of your final grade for each offense. If you are caught doing anything other than taking notes on your laptop, you will be asked to turn your laptop off and you will lose 2 points off of your final grade for each offense. Should your phone ring/vibrate during class, or your laptop sound incoming mail, etc., you are dismissed for the day. You are to silence your device immediately and quietly leave. You will be counted absent for the day. Continued abuse of the electronics policy will result in referral to the Dean of Students.
Students with disabilities are required to register with Disability Support Services (DSS) before classroom accommodations can be provided. The instructor then needs to be notified by the student of the nature of these accommodations. This notification will take the form of an official letter obtained from DSS by the student and given to the instructor. Every effort should be made to provide me with this documentation within the first 2 weeks of the semester to avoid losing accommodations because you failed to provide proper notification in a timely manner. It is always the responsibility of the student to arrange accommodations with DSS. Students with disabilities must still take their exams on the same day as the rest of the class.
For university standards of conduct please refer to the MSU Student Handbook. In general, students are to attend all meetings of all classes; instructors may drop students for excessive absences, indifference, disruptive behavior, or failure to meet class assignments; students are prohibited from cheating, plagiarizing, or colluding. The Student Handbook is also a contract, and it really is expected that you have actually read the document.
Dates for the lecture exams are listed on the Lecture Schedule and will NOT be moved. There will be no make-up exams given to any student for any reason. However, if you have a legitimate, excusable reason for missing one of the midterm exams, a substitute score based on the portion of the comprehensive final corresponding to the missed exam will be used to replace the zero received. Students are NOT allowed to miss the final exam; failure to take the final exam results in a failing grade for the course.
Excusable reasons for missing an exam include the following:
1. Extreme and verifiable illness (colds don’t count and you must have a doctor’s note)
2. Accident or injury (must present verification, e.g., tow slip)
3. MSU sanctioned event (you must be active participant, not support staff)
4. Extreme family emergency (e.g. funeral the day of the exam; must show proof)
In all cases, students MUST notify me, the instructor, PRIOR to the start of the exam to receive consideration for an excused absence. If you are physically unable to notify me, then have a friend or family member notify me. Notifying me after the fact will result in an unexcused absence and a zero for the exam.
Inexcusable reasons for missing an exam include the following:
1. Scheduling doctor/dentist, therapy or other appointments for the day/time of the exam
(Possible exception: court dates)
2. Failure to show up (missed bus, forgot, slept in, etc.)
3. Weather (if the MSU campus is open, you need to be here)
(Possible exception: travel distance over an hour in length)
4. Congested exam schedule or overlapping classes
5. Failure to obtain babysitter or caregiver
6. Work schedule conflict
In general, none of these excuses will be accepted for missed exams as all of them stem from a lack of responsibility on the part of the student to maintain control over their own schedules. You know exactly when your exams are scheduled and you should make every effort to take them.
Absolutely no electronic devices of any kind may be used during exams. All exams are closed book and will be monitored for cheating. If you are caught doing anything suspicious, your exam will be taken away from you and you will receive an automatic zero for the exam.
There isn’t any extra credit, so don’t ask for it. You must work for the grade you want from the first day of the semester.