BIOL 4001-202 Meets Fridays from 12:00 - 12:50 PM.
The purpose of this seminar class is to:
Oral Presentation (incl. attendance & reprints)
Microscope Proficiency Exam
Graphs/Tables Proficiency Exam
Written Exercise on Reading & Evaluating Literature
Major Field Test in Biology
1. Students in Seminar will take two proficiency exams: one that evaluates your ability to generate, understand, and correctly interpret data that are presented in tabular and graphical formats and another exam that evaluates your competency and use of microscopes.
2. We will have a single Saturday morning meeting on March 23 at 9:00 A.M. in which each student will take the comprehensive Major Field Test (MFT) in Biology. This separate date/time is necessary due to the length of this standardized exam being 2 hours. YOUR ATTENDANCE ON THIS DATE TO TAKE THE EXAM IS MANDATORY! Your performance on the MFT exam will count 10% of your grade for seminar. Your grade will be based on a 180 point scale. This is taken from the fact that your total test score from the ETS Major Field Test will range anywhere from 120-200. Take pride in yourself and take it seriously! Prepare for it thoroughly and try to do your best on it.
The majority of the course (effort, points, etc.) will focus on analysis, critique and presentation of current primary research articles taken from the biological literature. This project will include:
3a. Choosing a peer-reviewed primary journal article published within the last TWO years involving research on some aspect of biology and getting the article approved by the instructor for use in your presentation. After approval of article/topic, decide on an appropriate title for your seminar presentation and prepare flyers to announce your presentation before posting in the halls of Bolin Science Hall. Flyers should also be approved by the instructor before being posted in the halls. Presentation title should not be exactly the same as the article used as basis for your presentation.
3b. Providing a reprint of the journal article to everyone in seminar ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE of your presentation day. Each student should then read the presenter’s article prior to the actual presentation and come with questions about the article or topic to ask the presenter during the question and discussion period after the presentation has been made.
3c. Presenting a 15-minute presentation on the article and topic it concerns using Powerpoint or other appropriate presentation format. After you complete your presentation, you will be expected to answer questions concerning your topic from those in attendance.
3d. You will be required to complete a written exercise that will assess your ability to critically and effectively read and evaluate professional literature (see separate handout concerning the exercise). This exercise will be completed and turned in to your instructor ONE WEEK BEFORE your presentation along with the reprint of the article you have chosen to use as the basis for your oral presentation.
3e. Each student will evaluate all of your fellow classmates’ seminar presentations. Therefore, attendance at ALL seminar presentations is MANDATORY. Points will be deducted from your final grade for any days missed. We only meet one day a week for an hour, so I expect all of you to always be here for class. See page 43 of the MSU Handbook and Activities Calendar for information on class attendance policy.
Grading, concerning presentations:
Oral presentation 150 points
Attendance & peer evaluations 30 points
Reprint distribution 20 points
Students are expected to attend all meetings of the classes in which they are enrolled. Although in general students are graded on intellectual effort and performance rather than attendance, absences may lower the student’s grade where class attendance and class participation are deemed essential by the faculty member. In those classes where attendance is considered as part of the grade, the instructor should so inform students of the specifics in writing at the beginning of the semester in a syllabus or separate attendance policy statement. An instructor who has an attendance policy must keep records on a daily basis. The instructor must give the student a verbal or written warning prior to being dropped from the class. Instructor’s records will stand as evidence of absences. A student with excessive absences may be dropped from a course by the instructor. Any individual faculty member or college has the authority to establish an attendance policy, providing the policy is in accordance with the General University Policies. [MSU Student Handbook, p. 37]
Absences will be excused for:
It is the responsibility of the student to obtain notes or other information covered in class during an absence.
I will respond to e-mail during regular school hours (8:30 am – 5:00 pm M-F). I will make every effort to respond to e-mail sent during the week within 24 hours. Those sent over the weekend will be attended to on Monday.
Always include a subject line in your e-mail messages. It would be particularly helpful to include in the subject line the course number & section (i.e. BIOL 4001).