EXAMPLE: How you will be evaluated

Your final grade in this course will be determined by the following:

  • Written assignments 20%
  • Six (6) Quizzes 40%
  • Participation/discussion 15%
  • Lab work and reports 25%
    • 100%
  1. Written assignments will be 6 (out of 7 assigned) reports on readings from the Science Times. (To do well in this course, do a thorough job on the written assignments, and submit them on time--remember that something will be due every Sunday.)
  2. Quizzes are given during the weeks specified in the course schedule. There will be 7 quizzes covering material from the text, the mini-lectures, and possibly the Science Times. You may refer to your text or the Science Times article while doing the quiz. 5 points will be added to the quiz average if each one is completed by the date indicated on the course schedule. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped. (To do well in this course, write correct, complete, and thoughtful answers to your quizzes, and complete them on time.)
  3. Participation refers to the quality, quantity and timeliness of your responses to discussion questions, including the frequency of your log-ins. (To do well in this course, log in at least 3 times a week, at regular intervals, and participate in all discussions.)
  4. Lab activities will be specific things you will do. None of the activities are complex, none require equipment beyond what is supplied in the packet of materials, and there is no dissection. An overview of the lab schedule for the semester appears in the next document, the course schedule; more specific details appear in the course modules and the lab manual. There is something to be done every week. (To do well in this course, follow the directions carefully, and complete each part of the work on time.)
  5. Final exam will be required only for people who missed one or more of the quizzes or Science Times assignments. It can also be an option for those who want an opportunity to raise their grade, but it cannot be used in place of lab work.


The numerical average of the four groups of grades will determine your final course grade. An average above 90 earns an A, 80 to 89 a B, 70 to 79 a C, 60 to 69 a D, and lower, an F.

Note that there are 3 things (and sometimes 4) you need to do every week for this course:

  1. reading from the text, looking up "terms to understand" and the answers to specific questions.
  2. reading from the New York Times Science section and writing a response, or taking a quiz.
  3. doing something for the lab part of the course.

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