Tuesdays & Thursdays; 8:00 - 9:20 a.m.
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. Plants are essential to all life on earth and while this course will be taught at the introductory level, you will leave with a new and better appreciation for plants of all shapes and varieties.
General Botany is a laboratory science and laboratory attendance is REQUIRED. If you miss any laboratory section for any reason, it is your responsibility to contact your laboratory instructor and make arrangements for completing missed laboratory assignments. If you miss THREE or more laboratory sessions for any reason, you may be dropped from the course with a grade of F. You should ONLY miss lab if it is unavoidable. A strong performance in the lab can greatly help your final grade.
General Botany is also a lecture course and lecture attendance is REQUIRED. Lecture provides information relating plants to their context in nature and in human society and provides the details of plant biology that cannot be covered in the laboratory portion of the course.
Students are required to complete all exams, both lecture and laboratory, as well as any and all laboratory assignments as given by the graduate teaching assistants.
No late assignments will be accepted.
There are no make-ups for exams. Unexcused absenses on exam day will net students a zero for that exam.
Attendance of both the lecture and laboratory is required. Excessive absenses will earn the student an "F" in the course.
Out of general courtesy for both your fellow classmates and the instructor, please observe the following:
1) Do not walk through the classroom after the class has begun or before the class has ended;
2) Do not talk during lectures or examinations;
3) Turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices that make noise or have the potential to disrupt the class before you walk into class.
Students who insist on disrupting the class will be asked to leave the classroom and will be referred to the Dean of Students.
Lecture exams are set as indicated on the Schedule and will NOT be moved. There will be no make-up exams for any reason. If you have a legitimate, excusable reason for missing an exam, a substitute score based on the portion of the comprehensive final corresponding to the missed exam will be used to replace the missed exam. Note: doctor/dentist/therapy or other appointments made on exam days do NOT constitute excusable absences as you know exactly when the exams are scheduled from the very first day of class. Unexcused absences on exam day will result in the grade of "zero" for that missed exam. The final exam will be given on the scheduled day and time as reported in the Schedule of Classes. There will be absolutely no make-ups for the final exam. Absolutely no electronic devices of any kind, not even a cell phone, may be used during exams. Final note: Excuses for missed exams will only be considered if you notify me BEFORE 8:00a.m. of the day of the scheduled exam. Notification after the exam is concluded is not acceptable.
Final Grade Assessment
Final grades will be calculated as follows:
Lecture exams: 75% of final grade
(broken down as follows)
Midterm #1: 25% of lecture score
Midterm #2: 25% of lecture score
Comprehensive Final: 50% of lecture score
Laboratory final score: 25% of final grade
Grade ranges: A (90% or higher); B (80-89.9%); C (70-79.9%); D (60-69.9%); F (59.9% or less)
Extra credit may be earned through good attendance: this will be assessed at the end of the semester, but generally students missing three or fewer classes will add extra points to their final course total points (note: these are points, not percentage points). Bonus questions will also appear on exams; answering them correctly will add points to exam scores.
Students with disabilities are required to register with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodations can be provided. The instructor then needs to be notified by the student of the nature of these accommodations. It is the responsibility of the student to make their own arrangements with Disability Support Services with regard to examinations.
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.
Instructor's Expectations of the Student
The instructor expects all students to try. The laboratory portion of the course provides a nice base of points to work with, but the majority of your grade comes from the lecture exams and so you MUST do well on exams to do well in the course. This is especially true of the final exam which is comprehensive and worth DOUBLE that of a midterm. You are encouraged to work for the final grade you want in the course starting on the first day of class. You should read the chapters before coming to class, take good notes, and begin studying for exams well in advance of the exam day. Reading is critical – time does not allow a full exposition of all material during lecture so students must keep up with the reading and take the time to study the book chapters. As a general rule, for every 1 hour you spend in class, regardless of the type of class you are taking, you should be spending 3 hours outside of class studying for it. Successful students make the time commitment necessary and earn the highest grades. If you truly wait until the day before to "cram" for an exam, you should not expect to do well. This is again, especially true of the final – a comprehensive exam is different from a midterm and must be studied for well in advance.