Lab meets M 1-3 and must be taken concurrently with Introduction to Biology Lecture
General Lab Rules and Expectations
The laboratory counts as 25% of your final overall course grade for BIOL1103. Lab grades will be based on points distributed as follows:
Quizzes (10 quizzes @ 10 points each; top 9 scores count): 90 points
First Midterm 100 points
Lab Final (Second Midterm) 100 points
Lab Report Draft 25 points
Lab Report Final Copy 50 points
Mini-Research Project Poster and Presentation 100 points
Participation 35 points
Total Points Possible: 500 points
Your overall percentage out of the total possible will be reported to the lecture instructor (Dr. Little) for incorporation into your final grade calculation. All grading questions for the lab should come to me.
Attendance of the BIOL1103 laboratory is required. Our general policy is that any student with 3 or more absences in the laboratory receives a failing grade for the laboratory. Excused lab absences must be for dire situations or because of university sanctioned events and any make-ups of missed material will be at my discretion. It is your responsibility to notify me of the reason for your absence and to provide documentation for that absence. Excused absences must be accompanied by written verification of the reason for the absence that is written and signed on official letterhead (e.g., a doctor’s note on clinic letterhead/clinic absence form). Without documentation, the absence is un-excused. Un-excused absences will not be eligible for make-ups.
Excusable reasons for missing lab include 1) Extreme and verifiable illness (colds and elective procedures don’t count and you must have a doctor’s note verifying you could not come the actual day of your lab); 2) Accident or injury (must present verification, e.g., tow slip, emergency room documentation); 3) MSU sanctioned event (you must be an active participant, not support staff, and you must provide official documentation of participation); and 4) Extreme family emergency (e.g., funeral the day of lab; must show proof; immediate family only – best friends, great aunts, etc. don’t count).
Inexcusable reasons for missing lab include: 1) Scheduling doctor/dentist, therapy or other appointments to coincide with lab (possible exception: court dates); 2) Forgetting you have lab, sleeping in, missing the bus, etc.; 3) Weather (if MSU is open, then you must be here); 4) Failure to obtain babysitter or caregiver; and 5) Work schedule conflicts.
Quizzes and Exams
Quizzes will be given at the beginning of each lab period beginning the third week of the semester and occurring every lab period except for days on which a midterm is given (10 quizzes in all). The lowest quiz score will be dropped. Quizzes will cover material from the previous lab and from the lab that will be worked on that day. Students who come in late will not be allowed to take the quiz and will receive a zero.
Two exams will be given. The First Midterm will cover the first 9 lab exercises, while the Lab Final (Second Midterm) will cover the last 7 lab exercises. Each midterm will be worth 100 points and will consist of a combination of written questions and stations (e.g., a microscope set up with a slide about which you must answer certain questions). Questions may ask you to identify things, perform calculations, analyze sample data or answer general questions about the labs performed. You should take good notes as each exercise is performed to prepare for these exams. Students must take the exam on their scheduled lab day – there will be no make-ups.
Exercise #1 in the Lab Manual will be used as the basis for a lab report used to assess your ability to present information in written format. You will perform the experiments, collect individual and class data, and then present the results and conclusions in a rough draft you will turn in to your TA (see Lab Report handout). Your TA will provide feedback on the report and hand it back to you to re-write. You will then turn your re-written report back in for a final grade. All lab reports, and all parts of all reports, must be computer generated (typed and with computer rendered tables and graphs). If you do not know how to use Microsoft Word or Excel, please seek help from your TA/instructor.
With your lab partners, you will design and perform a mini-research project over the course of the semester and then present a poster to the class that describes what you did and what it means (see Mini-Research Project handout). This project is not optional and cannot be done individually as part of the grade is to see how well you work together as teams.
Unless you have received explicit permission to use your phone during a given lab session, all cell phones are to be turned off or silenced for the duration of the lab. You may NOT make or receive phone calls during the lab period NOR send or receive texts. Occasional exceptions may be made in extenuating circumstances so long as you have received permission first. If you are allowed to use your phone during the lab session, it MUST be for scientific purposes only. This will be monitored. Breaking the rules will result in confiscation of your phone for the remainder of the lab period.
Please see the MSU handbook and MSU Portal for additional information on university policies regarding attendance, behavior, disability services, and student responsibilities and rights. By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a limited right to all materials produced by the student for the purpose of determining authenticity and for educational purposes.