three bacterial morphology types: coccus, rod, and spirillum  YSU logo  conidiophores of Talaromyces marneffei, a pathogenic fungus

© 2021 Chester R. Cooper, Jr.

 

 

 

Grading

(January 3, 2021)

General Information

A student’s final grade for the course will be based upon the total number of points earned.  Students shall have the opportunity to earn a minimum of 1000 points that are divided between those available via the lecture component of the course and those through the laboratory component,  The pertinent details are provided below.

In brief, the lecture component is worth 80% of a student’s course grade.  The laboratory component is worth 20% of a student’s course grade.  There are a few “built-in” opportunities to earn bonus points (see below).  However, a student’s final course grade is based upon an absolute scale, i.e., there is no curving of this scale.  Moreover, a student’s success in the laboratory must meet certain levels to receive a particular final course grade.  These details are discussed in the relevant sections below.

Students need to take note that all examinations, quizzes, and other graded activities (e.g., SmartBook assignments, Virtual Lab exercises, etc.) shall be administered via the CONNECT learning platform, whereas certain laboratory reports shall be submitted via a Blackboard specific to a particular laboratory section. 

Lecture Grade Components

Examinations.  Dates for examinations have been established (see Lecture/Laboratory Schedule).  These dates are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Five examinations will be given throughout the semester.  The first four are worth 100 points each.  The last exam, which shall be semi-comprehensive, is worth 125 points.  Collectively, all five examinations are worth 525 points towards a student’s course grade.

Please take note of the following regarding examinations:

i)       All exams shall be administered electronically.  Therefore, students must possess an appropriate laptop computer to take this course or have access to a desktop computer.

ii)      Students may take an exam remotely (on- or off-campus) or in the lecture hall, but the exam must be taken as scheduled.  If taken remotely (off-campus), the student is solely responsible for any interruptions (i.e., glitches, freezes, lost connections, etc.) due to an unstable internet connection or any other reason.  Though each instance will be considered on a case-by-case basis, Dr. Cooper is not likely to be sympathetic to adverse events taking place off campus during an examination quiz, etc.

iii)     All examinations shall be electronically proctored using the program Protorio.  This will require students using the Chrome browser to take exams.  Except for the occasionally proctored quiz (see below), other browsers can be used for other CONNECT assignments.  NOTE: for Proctorio support, go to https://proctorio.com/support.

iv)    Exams I through IV shall begin promptly at 10:00 AM on the dates assigned.  Students have until 10:50 AM to complete the exam.  Students should expect to take 5 minutes of this time to properly sign-in for the exam being administered, which shall include at a minimum presentation of your identification.  NOTE: Students must possess their YSU ID to take any proctored exam/quiz.  The ID will need to be recorded by Proctorio..

v)      Exam V shall begin promptly at 8:00 AM on May 7th and end no later than 10:00 AM.  Students must begin Exam V before 8:15 AM.  Scores earned by students beginning after this time shall not be recorded.  Also, students should expect to take 5 minutes of this time to properly sign-in for Exam V as previously noted.

vi)    Due to the asinine policies of the YSU Bookstore, students will have to pay for the Proctorio service ($15.00) using a credit card since the cost was not included in the First Day Ready package.  However, once paid, the proctoring service will be included in your CONNECT subscription for the entire semester.

vii)   Each student shall not have the same version of the examination.  Typically, examinations shall be mainly comprised of multiple-choice questions, true/false statements, and matching problems.  However, fill-in-the-blank type questions (YES, spelling does count!) and short essay questions may be used as well.  These examinations will focus solely on material covered since the previous examination, yet current material often builds upon that previously covered in the course.

viii)  The last examination is semi-comprehensive mainly covering recent material, but it will include a number of questions covering previously presented information.  Note: you really can’t study for the previously covered information since it is material that is generally foundational to the entire course, e.g., what differences exist between prokaryotes and eukaryotes?  Either you know it or you don’t.

ix)    Make-up examinations will be given ONLY at Dr. Cooper’s discretion upon either verification of an “excused absence” (see Attendance) or an acceptable extenuating circumstance.  Make-up examinations may take any form, including the use of oral or essay questions.

x)      Except for extreme extenuating circumstances, it is unacceptable for a student to request to take an examination at a time other than scheduled.  Having a second examination, or even a third examination, the day before, the day after, on the same day of the scheduled microbiology examination is not even remotely a rational or valid reason to request a change in the microbiology examination date.  (Out of curiosity, did you ask the other instructor to change the date of their examination?).  Also, do not make vacation plans that will result in your absence from an exam, quiz, laboratory experience, etc.  Dr. Cooper shall give no consideration for vacation plans.  Moreover, a request to take an examination earlier/later for vacation, holiday, or like purposes is entirely unacceptable.  The latter is especially true of the final examination.  Do not make plans to finish the semester earlier than 10:00 AM on May 7th.  Requests to take Exam V on a different day/time shall not be honored.

SPECIAL NOTICE: Due to the online educational environment we are experiencing, many instructors of other courses often blithely give broad deadlines to their students for completing an exam, task, quiz, etc.  In the past, these time frames have included on occasion the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM period as well as established times that sections of BIOL 3702L meet.  To be unequivocally clear, students enrolled in BIOL 3702 and an accompanying BIOL 3702L section must wholly reserve the times for which they have officially enrolled in this course to attend to required activities, e.g., scheduled exams.  If an instructor of another course assigns an activity that conflicts with the time of a required BIOL 3702 lecture/laboratory activity, the student should immediately notify both that instructor and Dr. Cooper.

CONNECT SmartBook Exercises.  For each chapter covered, students should complete an assigned SmartBook exercise via CONNECT.  The dates that these exercises are opened and closed have been scheduled (see the table below and Lecture/Laboratory Schedule).  All exercises will be open at 8:00 AM on the stated date and, except for Chapters 32-35 (see table below) close at 10:00 AM on the stated date.  The deadlines are firm – there shall be no extensions!  Each exercise will incur a significant amount of time to complete.  Therefore, plan accordingly.  Collectively, the exercises are worth 190 points towards a student’s course grade.  Partially completed exercises earn partial credit.  Non-submission of an exercise for any reasons will result in a score of “0” for that assignment.

SmartBook Assignments on CONNECT

Assignment

Approx. Time Required

Points Available

Date Opened
(8:00 AM)

Date Closed
(10:00 AM)

Chapter 1

1 – 1.5 hours

10

January 11th

February 5th

Chapter 2

45 - 90 minutes

10

Chapter 3

2 – 3 hours

10

Chapter 4

30 – 45 minutes

10

Chapter 5

1 – 1.5 hours

10

February 3rd

March 5th

Chapter 6

1 – 1.5 hours

10

Chapter 7

1.5 – 2 hours

10

Chapter 8

1 – 1.5 hours

10

Chapter 9

45 - 90 minutes

10

Chapter 10

1 – 1.5 hours

10

March 3rd

March 26th

Chapter 11

1.5 – 2.0 hours

10

Chapter 12

30 – 45 minutes

10

Chapter 16

1 – 1.5 hours

10

March 24th

April 9th

Chapter 19

30 – 45 minutes

10

Chapter 27

30 – 45 minutes

10

Chapter 32

1.5 – 2.0 hours

10

April 5th

May 7th

(DUE AT
8:00 AM)

Chapter 33

1.5 – 2.0 hours

10

Chapter 34

30 – 45 minutes

10

Chapter 35

30 – 45 minutes

10

Quizzes.  Dates for eighteen (18) quizzes have been established (see Lecture/Laboratory Schedule).  The deadlines are firm – there shall be no extensions!  These quizzes are worth 5 points each.  A missed/unsubmitted quiz will incur a score of “0”. 

Overall, this grade component is worth 85 points towards a student’s total course score though there is the opportunity to earn 90 points (or more due to bonus questions).  Hence, if a student misses one quiz, no real harm will occur to the student’s course grade.  Missing more than one quiz may have an impact upon the number of points a student can earn.  Earning more than 85 points on these quizzes shall be considered as earned bonus points.

Each student in each lecture session may not have the same version of the quiz. 

i)      Each quiz shall be mainly composed of multiple-choice questions, true/false statements, and matching problems.  However, fill-in-the-blank type questions (YES, spelling does count!) and short essay questions may be used as well. 

ii)     Each quiz is timed – typically students shall have 5-7 minutes to complete a quiz.

iii)   Quizzes will focus solely on material assigned for that particular chapter.

iv)   Quizzes can never be “made up” regardless of reason.  Extreme extenuating circumstances may be considered by Dr. Cooper, but his decision is final.  However, students need to be aware that each quiz has a period of availability and “last minute” approaches to taking a quiz should be avoided.  Running out of time to take a quiz shall never be considered as an extenuating circumstance.

Bonus Points.  There is no inherent right for “bonus points”.  Bonus points are only a courtesy that may be extended to students.

Please take note of the following:

·       The availability of “bonus points” is wholly at Dr. Cooper’s discretion.  Usually, examinations and the occasional quiz include one or more bonus points.

·       Students MUST NOT ask for bonus points or special projects to earn bonus points.  Such requests will be denied.

·       Bonus point opportunities are never able to be “made up”.  If a student misses them by being tardy, absent, or otherwise, the opportunity is gone.

·       Known “bonus point” opportunities include the following:

o   Assessment Quiz. Students cannot study for this in class quiz to be given during the first week of classes (see Lecture/Laboratory Schedule).  This quiz is intended to assess a student’s current knowledge in microbiology.  Students cannot study for it, so just take it.  There will be no extensions or “make ups” granted if the quiz is not submitted by the stated deadline.  This assessment is worth 10 bonus points, or 1% of the course grade

o   Proctorio Practice Quiz.  This exercise is worth 10 bonus points – 1% of the course grade.  It is intended for students to become comfortable with the Proctorio proctoring program.  See the Lecture/Laboratory Schedule for the availability and the submission deadline.  This is a firm deadline with no possible extensions.

o   Syllabus Acknowledgement and Liability Waiver. Submission of these two elements by the stated deadlines will earn a student one (1) bonus point each.  See the “Miscellaneous Quizzes/Assignments” file in CONNECT to complete these requirements.

BIOL 3702L Laboratory Grade Components

For all BIOL 3702L assignments, be sure to check the Lecture/Laboratory Schedule for deadlines.  NOTE: Because Spring Break has been divided into separate “days off” instead of one continuous week, the scheduling of laboratory assignments differs among several of the laboratory sections at particular times.  Be sure to review the Lecture/Laboratory Schedule in detail.

General Laboratory Grade Information.  As a reminder, the laboratory section of this course is worth 20% of the overall BIOL 3702 course grade, or 200 points.  However, the grade components for BIOL 3702L, as detailed below, comprise various opportunities to earn 300 points.  Therefore, the total number points earned by a student in BIOL 3702L will be normalized (i.e., proportionally converted) to represent 20% of the course grade.

Safety Quiz.  This quiz, worth 15 points towards a student’s overall laboratory score, will cover those important safety items and rules as presented by the laboratory instructor.  Please refer to the web page BIOL 3702L Laboratory Safety Rules and Procedures.  This quiz can be found in the “Miscellaneous Quizzes/Assignments” file in your CONNECT subscription.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Any student not scoring at least 12 points on the safety quiz shall not be permitted to participate in any laboratory activity.  The student must repeat taking the quiz (a different version) until a minimum score of 12 or better is achieved.

Pre-Lab Quizzes. Ten (10) scheduled pre-lab quizzes (meaning before attending a laboratory session), worth 5 points each, have been scheduled.  The scores of these quizzes will be counted for a total of 50 points towards a student’s overall laboratory grade.  The quizzes will cover the material provided in the laboratory instructions for the exercise(s) performed or to be performed that day/week.  The deadlines are firm – there shall be no extensions! 

These pre-lab quizzes must be taken prior a scheduled laboratory period in which the student is enrolled and has been assigned.  Quizzes will be available via CONNECT as noted in the Lecture/Laboratory Schedule. 

Laboratory Reports.  These reports are worth a total of 120 points towards a student’s overall laboratory grade.  The deadlines for these reports have been established (Lecture/Laboratory Schedule).  These reports will be submitted in a paperless manner via Blackboard for each specific laboratory section.  Your laboratory instructor shall provide the relevant details.  Regardless, unless otherwise noted by the laboratory instructor, laboratory reports submitted after the time stated by the instructor shall not be accepted and a score of “0” shall be recorded.  The deadlines are firm – there shall be no extensions! 

Skills Tests.  These exercises, worth a total of 45 points towards the overall laboratory grade, are designed to assess a student’s mastery of particular microbiological skills.  The particular instructions for these Skill Tests shall described in handouts provided as links in the Lecture/Laboratory Schedule web page.  The Skill Tests to be performed this semester and their point values are as follows: Microscopy (5 points); Streak Plate (5 points); Gram Stain (5 points); and Bacterial Unknowns (30 points).

Skills Tests results will be submitted in a paperless manner via Blackboard for each specific laboratory section.  Your laboratory instructor shall provide the relevant details.  Moreover, unless otherwise noted by the laboratory instructor, laboratory reports submitted after the time stated by the instructor shall not be accepted and a score of “0” shall be recorded.  The deadlines are firm – there shall be no extensions! 

Virtual Lab Exercises.  Students are to complete nine (9) Virtual Lab Exercises throughout the semester as indicated by their availability in the Lecture/Laboratory Schedule.  The deadlines are firm – there shall be no extensions! 

Eight of the nine exercises are worth 5 points each, including a tutorial exercise that is counted as bonus points).  The ninth exercise, to be assigned to each individual student, is worth 15 points.  Collectively, not counting the tutorial, this component is worth 50 points towards a student’s laboratory score.  Points earned by completing the tutorial shall be considered as bonus points.  The dates that these exercises are open and closed have been scheduled (see Lecture/Laboratory Schedule).  These exercises will incur a significant amount of effort on a student’s part.  Therefore, students should plan accordingly.  Partially completed exercises will earn partial credit.  An exercise not submitted on time will incur a score of “0”. 

Laboratory Etiquette/Citizenship.  This grade element, worth a total of 20 points towards the overall laboratory grade, represents a subjective assessment by the laboratory instructor regarding a student’s demeanor in the lab, including collegiality, ability to follow instructions, cooperation in keeping the lab neat and clean, following instructions (especially safety guidelines), etc.

Bonus Points.  There is there an inherent right for bonus points.  At the discretion of the laboratory instructor, bonus points may be made available.  Students MUST NOT ask for bonus points or special projects to earn bonus points.  In addition, bonus point opportunities are never able to be “made up”.  If a student misses them by being tardy, absent, or otherwise, the opportunity is gone.

Laboratory Grade Policy.  Laboratory Grades Matter!  Regardless of the number of points a student has accumulated in this course, the following policy applies to a student’s final course grade. 

·       Students who earn 140-159 normalized points (equivalent to a “C”) in the laboratory section of this course shall not be eligible for a final course grade of “A”.

·       Students who earn 120-139 normalized points (equivalent to a “D”) in the laboratory section of this course shall not be eligible for a final course grade of “B” or better.

·       Students who earn 100-119 normalized points (equivalent to a “F”) in the laboratory section of this course shall not be eligible for a final course grade of “C” or better.

Determination of Final Course Grade

With consideration of the laboratory grade policy noted above, the following unconditional grading scale will be used to determine a student’s final grade in this course:

·     Grade of A = 900 or more total points earned

·     Grade of B = 800 – 899 total points earned

·     Grade of C = 700 – 799 total points earned

·     Grade of D = 600 – 699 total points earned

·     Grade of F = 599 or less total points earned

This grading scale is absolute!  For example, a grade of “B” will be given to a student who earns 899 points.  NO EXCEPTIONS!  My reasoning is simple – at a minimum, every student in this course has the opportunity to earn 3% or more of the total course points as bonus points.  Students should realize the following: a good grade is not an entitlement; it is an earned honor.

Please report any “broken” links to Dr. Cooper

 

Coronavirus Safety
Measures

Lecture Home Page

BIOL 3702L Home Page

 

Lecture/Laboratory Schedule

Assignment Deadlines

Lecture/Laboratory Recordings

 

Course Description

Learning Outcomes

Course Materials

 

Dr. Cooper’s Contact
Information/Office Hours

Syllabus Changes

Attendance

 

Syllabus Acknowledgement

Liability Waiver

Grading

 

Open Lab Schedule

Decorum

Security

 

Lecture Videos

Laboratory Videos
[links to important videos]

ASM Recommended
Competencies and Skills

(PDF)

 

Other Important
Information

Special Accommodations

Laboratory Exercises
[links to PDFs/other materials]

 

Email Communications

Appreciation

Laboratory Safety Rules

 

Sources Used

Standard Lab Practices

A close up of a sign

Description automatically generated

 

Around the Micro Lab

(under development)

Distribution of Course Material

 

Instructor’s Manual

(under development)

Why This Web Page?

 

Youngstown State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, age, religion or veteran/military status in its programs or activities. Please visit the EIT Home Page for contact information for persons designated to handle questions about this policy.

It is possible that portions of this web page are not wholly in accord with the American with Disabilities Act.  If this is the case, a student currently enrolled in this course should contact Dr. Cooper (crcooper01@ysu.edu; 330.941.1361) and compliant material shall be provided as soon as practical.

© 2021 Chester R. Cooper, Jr.