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Syllabus

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Course Materials
Assignments
Exams
Grading

Learning Outcomes

As outlined in the BYU Aims and the GE foundation document, “Scientific Principles and Reasoning: Biological Science, Physical Science, and Social Science,” to successfully complete this course, you will

A defining characteristic of these learning outcomes is focusing on how we know. Thoughtful adults need to know how to think rather than how to simply memorize facts. This does not mean that learning content is not necessary. This means that the hallmark of an educated person is the knowledge of content and how it applies to biological principles along with the ability to use this knowledge in the broader context of application to personal and public policy issues.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.  – Immanuel Kant (1854–1912)

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Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Materials

The required textbook for this course is Bozzone, D. M., & Green, D. S. (2014). Biology for the Informed Citizen. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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Assignments

Rush Writes

Throughout the course we will use brief writing assignments (1 point each) as a tool for discovering, shaping meaning, and reaching understanding of the subjects we are studying. The emphasis on Rush Writes is on learning first, communicating second. The intent of these exercises is to help you identify the areas of study in which you are struggling and will likely need to spend additional time reviewing—not to penalize you for what you don’t know. Thus, they are a low stakes method of helping you learn the material. You will grade your own Rush Writes from a model answer provided in the feedback.

It is in your best interest to prepare an answer as if you were asked the Rush Write question in an exam situation. Students who do not take these assignments seriously and simply submit any answer to get the point and memorize the model answer rather than putting great thought and care into their answer are short-changing themselves. They often sadly discover their folly when taking the exam.

Rush Writes may be given at the beginning, middle, or end of the lesson. Rush Writes at the beginning of a lesson might check for completion and basic comprehension of the reading assignments, allow you to explore what you may already know about the subject, or ask you to provide a relationship between the current and previous subjects. Rush Writes during the middle or end of the lesson might ask you to summarize what you’ve learned so far, provide a forum for questions you still have, or require you to apply the information you have learned to that point.

Portfolio Assignments

The portfolio assignments are intended to provide you with a unique opportunity to explore and develop thinking about concepts related to our stewardship over the Earth as they apply to you as a participant on the path to an eternal education. The collection of portfolio assignments covers all of the material in the course, much like a comprehensive final exam.

In each portfolio assignment, you’ll have the opportunity to reflect on the principles you’ve just learned in the context of your responsibility as a prudent steward of the gifts that have been prepared for your use. It is my goal that you address each topic in a very personal way—carefully thinking about the steps you need to take to become better prepared spiritually, physically, and intellectually as a responsible citizen and righteous steward in the care and keeping of the earth.

NOTE: Detailed writing and submission instructions will come with each assignment. Carefully read these detailed writing and submission instructions! You must answer ALL of the questions in each portfolio assignment. The eleven portfolio assignments will be rigorously graded, so it behooves you to not only read and understand what is expected in each assignment but also to carefully go over the grading guidelines for each.

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Exams

During the course there will be 2 exams. The midcourse exam covers units 1–3. The final exam covers units 4–6.

Each exam will consist of multiple-choice as well as short-answer questions, and each will be worth 100 points. Exam questions are written based on expectations of what an A, B, C, or D student should be able to answer.

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Grading

Your grade will be based on these assignments and exams:

Assignments
Value
Percent
Rush Writes 22 at 1 point each = 22 points approx. 3%
Portfolio Assignments 11 at 50 points each = 550 points approx. 71%
Exams 2 at 100 points each = 200 points approx. 26%
Total 772 points 100%

Grading Scale

This scale is a typical grade standard for this course. Use of a grading standard, in contrast to a curve, means that your grade is determined by where your percentage falls on the grading scale. You are guaranteed the grade listed below regardless of the class average (see Ezekiel 33:20 “…O ye house of Israel, I will judge every one after his own ways”). Typically, over the last 25 years the course average in my biology 100 classes has been at or very near to 80%. Putting a curve on the class would mean that an 80% translates into a C grade—not in your best interest!

A 94.0–100%
A− 90.0–93.9%
B+ 87.0–89.9%
B 83.0–86.9%
B− 80.0–82.9%
C+ 77.0–79.9%
C 73.0–76.9%
C− 70.0–72.9%
D+ 67.0–69.9%
D 63.0–66.9%
D− 60.0–62.9%
E (fail) 59.0% and below

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Plagiarism

Writing submitted for credit must consist of the writer’s own words, ideas, or data. It may be appropriate to use another’s work; however, any material used must be given proper attribution and must only be used to support the writer’s stance.

Plagiarism of any form will, at minimum, result in a failing grade on the assignment and potentially a failing grade in the course. Because of the serious nature of the consequences for plagiarism, we recommend that you contact (or visit if you are on campus) the BYU Writing Center if there is any question about your written work. For more information as well as the Writing Center hours, see the BYU Writing Center website.

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.

Assignments

22 self-graded Rush Writes, 11 instructor-graded portfolio assignments. No assignment resubmissions.

Exams

2 proctored, instructor-graded exams. No retakes allowed. You must pass the final exam to earn credit for the course.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514
USA

BYU Copyright Notice for TEACH ACT

COPYRIGHT NOTICE
The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.
“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment…
Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy.

Copyright notice for specific, individual copies
All copies are intended for non-commercial, educational purposes in connection with this registered course and only for students enrolled in this course. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws.