This course consists of lecture MWF 10-10:50 and lab (various days). Both lecture and lab must be attended.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
College Realities 101: What is TRULY Expected of the Student
Final Grade Assessment
Final grades will be calculated as follows:
Lecture portion of the course: 75% of final grade (550 points possible)
Lab portion of the course: 25% of final grade (normalized to 185 points)
100% (735 points possible)
Lecture points are distributed as follows:
Feb 1, 2013
Feb 25, 2013
Apr 17, 2013
Grade ranges are based on points and the cumulative scores (rather than individual assignments or exams). Overall, final grades will be based on the following scale: A (90% or higher); B (80-89.9%); C (70-79.9%); D (60-69.9%); F (59.9% or less). An A percentage-wise in the lecture and an A percentage-wise in the lab will give you an A in the course. The minimum A in the lecture is 90% of 550, which is 495 points; the minimum A in the lab (normalized to 185 points) is 166.5 points. Thus, a combined point total of 662 points out of 735 possible points will earn you an A. Grades are based on points, not curves.
NOTE: For student-athletes, students on scholarship, or students who need specific grades to enter a student organization or academic program, you must start earning your minimum grade requirement to keep yourself on the team, on scholarship, or get into your program starting on the first day of class. Those students whose academic career is dependent on a minimum GPA should be even more motivated than the general student population to earn the grades that will keep them in school. Grades cannot and will not be adjusted at the end of the semester to help you “make” the needed grade just to keep you in school. If you wish to continue at MSU or any other school, you must earn the right to do so, just as every other student must do so. Do NOT dig yourself a hole with poor grades and then expect someone to save you.
Policy on Late Assignments
No late assignments will be accepted from any student for any reason. This is a non-negotiable policy. This syllabus contains a schedule of what the assignments are and when they are due. Assignments are due BEFORE the beginning of class (10:00am) on the dates indicated (once I start to lecture, no assignments will be accepted). You may not email assignments to me and I will not continually remind you that assignments are due. It is your responsibility to note the due dates and allow sufficient time to complete them. Having printer problems before class or forgetting assignments in your room/car are not acceptable reasons for handing material in late. Assignments must be stapled (if necessary) prior to being turned in!
Lecture attendance is strongly recommended. Class will begin promptly at 10:00am 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 10:00am, 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 some material in lecture that is not in your textbook and/or cover material that is in a different order from your textbook. Exams are based specifically on what is discussed in lecture, but if you do not hear the lecture, you will not do well on the exams. 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.
Course Policies Regarding Disruptive Behavior
Out of general courtesy, please observe the following course policies:
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 complete 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:
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:
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.