BIO440 Senior Integrative Exercise in Biology

Fall 2019

Course Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Barry K. Rhoades

106 Munroe Science Center                                                                     

Office Phone: 757-5238                                                                    

Home Phone: 755-1630

Office  hours:             Monday           9:00 - 10:00 AM

                                    Tuesday           10:00 - 11:00 AM

                                    Wednesday      9:00 - 10:00 AM

                                    Thursday          10:00 - 11:00 AM

                                    Friday              9:00 - 10:00 AM    

                                    or by appointment

(I will be in my office during these times.  Feel free to drop in to my office any other time from 9:00 to 5:00 weekdays.  When I am not in my office, I am often in my lab space (MSC 101/103), in the general biology lab (MSC 128) or in the Vivarium (MSC 102).  If I can meet with you at that time I will, otherwise I will make an appointment for a future time.)

 









COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

Class meetings:   Fridays 2:30-4:30

                                               

Course  objectives and description:  The Senior Integrative Exercise in Biology (BIO 440) is a three credit hour course designed to provide a capstone integrative experience for senior biology majors, by helping her prepare for a professional career in the life Sciences and by enhancing her capacity for integrative thinking through an interdisciplinary experience that encourages her to make connections among the various parts of her course of study and between her academic learning and the world outside the classroom.

 

In completing this course the student should:

 

1)   practice professional modes and standards for researching, analyzing, preparing, and presenting information in the life sciences,

2)   critically review articles from the primary science literature and lead class discussions ins journal club format,

3)   produce elements of a short grant proposal and a proposal review,

4)   design, conduct, and report on a service project in the Wesleyan Community incorporating what you have learned in the life sciences,

5)   compile and annotate an annotated bibliography or professional articles for a topic which bridges between biology and at least one other discipline,

6)   research, prepare, present, and field questions on an interdisciplinary topic which bridges between biology and at least one other discipline,

7)   demonstrate a degree of competency with the scope of biological knowledge, as demonstrated by the ETS Major Field Test in Biology, and

8)   demonstrate writing ability on a standard writing assessment exercise.
 

Note that the SIE is a required course for graduation with a Biology or Environmental Studies Major and one of two alternative courses for graduation with a Neuroscience Major.

 

Course content:  Studenst work individually and collectively to critically review papers from the primary scientific literature, to design and review grant proposals, to design and conduct a service project, and to research and present a focused topic integrating biological concepts and methods with those of another academic discipline.

In SIE this semester, there will be three main themes. The focus of the first part of the course will be developing your profesional skills as a scientist.  The focus of the second part of the course will be on participating in science as a collaborative activity.  In the final portion of the course you will relate science in a meaningful and socially relevant way to other academic disciplines by collaborating with one another.  Descriptors for the tasks associated with each portion of the class are included in the outline below.

 

I. Your Professional Development as a Life Scientist

 

a. Identify two articles from the primary scientific literature in your chosen field.  Lead class discussions ofthe articles.  Produce short written reviews of those articles

 

b. Take the Major Field Test in Biology and produce a Senior Writing Sample at a time to be determined.

 

II. Science as a Collaborative Effort

 

a. Prepare a 1-2 page evaluation of a grant proposal provided to you.  Bring this to class and participate in a grant panel review.

 

b. Prepare a the project overview, goals, and objectives sections for a  grant proposal for a hypothetical research project which we will create in class.  Bring these to class for a discussion of their contents.

 

c. Design, conduct, assess and report on a groupo service project in the Wesleyan ommunity.

 

III. Integrating Biology with Other Disciplines

 

a. Together with your classmates identify major issues that have arisen from scientific and/or technological advances, or world issues which biological investigation and knowledge could help address. Choose one of these issues on which the entire class can collaborate.

 

b. Research the professional literature in your major field and at least one other recognizable academic discipline to become a "local expert" on a particular, focused aspect of you chosen issue.  Specifically, establish a base of a minimum of 12 articles from the professional literature in your chosen disciplines.  Prepare and turn in an annotated bibliographic guide to your literature base.

 

c.  Prepare and participate in a panel discussion of your issue/problem.  Start with a brief 8-10 minute PowerPoint presentation of your particular topic.  Then, together with your team-mates, collaboratively answer questions from your audience about your panel issue and your specific topic.

 

Prerequisites:  The prerequisite for this course is senior standing with a major and significant upper-level coursework in Biology, Environmental Studies, or Neuroscience.

 

Wesleyan College Statement on Disabilities: Wesleyan College is committed to equal education, full participation and access to facilities for all students. Any student who requires reasonable academic accommodations, use of auxiliary aids or facility access for a class must first register with Disability Resources by contacting Jill Amos, lamos@wesleyancollege.edu or (478) 757-5219. If reasonable accommodations are established, students should request Accommodation Letters from Disability Resources then schedule an appointment to meet with the professor to determine how the accommodations will be implemented for each class as early in the semester as possible. Accommodations require advance notice to implement and will not be retroactively administered for the semester. Accommodations that decrease the integrity of a course will not be approved

If you have any disability, documented or otherwise, which might reasonably affect your ability to participate in any course activities, please consult privately with the instructor prior to the end on the drop/add period (2nd week of the course).

 

Class Preparation and Participation:  There is no textbook for this course.  The bulk of the work in this course will involve finding articles and other resource materials and working with these to prepare for class presentations and discussions.  As senior majors in the Biology or Neuroscience Programs, you are expected to assume a personal responsibility to prepare for all of our class sessions so that you can participate fully in discussions and support each other' presentations

 

Attendance:   You are expected to attend classes regularly.  Because this class only meets once a week, any absence is potentially problematic.  Excessive unexcused absences (more than 2) from class will be reported to the Dean in accordance with college policy and may result in a grade reduction of one full grade.

 

Cell Phones: Please do your classmates the courtesy of turning off your cell phones during class and lab periods. If you must answer your cell phone, please leave the room to do so. If you leave the room, please do not come back. If you feel that you must monitor your cell phone during class or lab, please get permission from the instructor.

 

Recording Devices: All novel materials developed and presented in this course are the academic and intellectual property of the course instructor, course students, and/or Wesleyan College.  Unauthorized photography, recording, electronic monitoring, and/or web dissemination of any portions of class or laboratory sessions potentially violates the legitimate expectations of privacy of your classmates and the course instructor.  Please obtain the explicit permission of the instructor before making any video or audio recordings in this course.  Please do not, under any circumstances, post recordings from this class to electronic or social media.

 

Wesleyan College Statement on Classroom Behavior:  Students, faculty, and staff are expected to treat each other with respect in all interactions.  Int the classroom, rude, disruptive, and/or disrespectful behaviors as determined by the faculty member interfere other studentsí rights and with the instructorís ability to teach. Therefore, anyone exhibiting unacceptable behaviors during the class will be asked to leave and will be counted absent for that class period. Failure to cooperate with this process will result in disciplinary action that may include withdrawal from the class or dismissal from the College.  Violations will be reproted to the Provost.

 

Wesleyan College Statement on Educational Privacy:  In order to promote an environment in which ideas may be freely expressed, the interior office and classroom spaces at Wesleyan are private spaces. The unauthorized creation of photographic images, audio or video recordings of students or faculty in these spaces is considered to be disruptive behavior which may result in a student's removal from class according to the instructorís discretion. The distribution of any such recordings of students or faculty without the express written permission of the College is strictly prohibited and is subject to disciplinary action by the Provost of the College.

 

All novel materials developed and presented in this course are the academic and intellectual property of the course instructor, course students, and/or Wesleyan College.  Unauthorized photography, recording, electronic monitoring, and/or web dissemination of any portions of class or laboratory materials or sessions potentially violates the legitimate expectations of privacy of your classmates and the course instructor.  Please obtain the explicit permission of the instructor before making any video or audio recordings in this course.  Please do not, under any circumstances, post recordings from this class to electronic or social media.

 

Wesleyan College Department of Biology Policy on the Honor Code: The Honor Code is the foundation upon which life in the Wesleyan College community is built. Academic violations of the Honor Code include, but are not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, inventing or falsifying information, turning in work for more than one class without authorization, or helping someone else violate the Honor Code. Students must self-report academic violations of the Honor Code to the faculty member teaching the class. If a student knows of an academic violation of the Honor Code by another student, she must report that violation to the faculty member if the student does not self-report.

 

In this class,  cheating (giving or receiving any unauthorized information or supplying information from any source other than your memory) on any exam will result in a course semester grade of  F.  Plagiarism and/or improper citation on any assignment will be dealt with on a case by case basis, but also may result in an F grade for the assignment or the course. If a student is unclear about violation of the Honor Code for any assignment, she should contact the instructor before handing in the assignment. . All academic violations of the Honor Code will also be reported to the Provost, who may impose additional penalties for repeat offenders, including expulsion from school.  Repeat offenders will be sent to Honor Council by the Provost, who may impose additional social penalties. For more information on how the Honor Code works, including the appeals process, refer to The Wesleyanne: Student Handbook.

 

Students further agree that by taking this course all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Use of the Turnitin.com service is subject to the Usage Policy posted on the Turnitin.com site.

 

 

Grading:    The semester grade will be computed on the following basis:

 

Attendance and Participation

Major Field Test in Biology

 

 

 10%

10%

 

Lead Discussion on 2 Articles

Written Reviews of 2 Articles

 

 

 10%

10%

 

Grant Proposal Reviews and Panel

Grant Proposal Overview, Goals, Objectives

 

 

    5% 

    5%

 

Service Project Conduct

Service Project Assessment and Presentation

 

  10%

  10%

 

 

Annotated Bibliography

Individual Topic Presentation

Panel Discussion

 

  10%

  10%

  10%

 

TOTAL

 

100%

 

            Grades will be based on the following scale:

            90% = A, 80% = B, 70% = C, 60% = D, <60% = F.

         

 

COURSE SCHEDULE:

 

Week Date

Discussion Topic

Preparation/Due

1

Aug 23

organization, course design

personal info for for class poster

2

Aug 30

sharing articles, reviewer assignments

choose 2 articles

3

Sept 6

Journal Club I - article discussions

distribute article 1 or link

4

Sept 13

Journal Club II - article discussions

distribute article II or link

5

Sept 20

  grant application/review process

2 article reviews

6

Sept 27

grant review panel

individual grant review

7

Oct 4

brainstroming/planning service project

ideas for service project

rapporteur grant review

8

 Oct 11

conduct service project

 

9

Oct 18

brainstorm grant proposal

conduct service project

 

10

Oct 25

service project presentation

 

11

Nov 1

integrative project brainstorming

grant Overview. Goals, Objs.

12

Nov 8

individual research

service project assessment 

13 Nov 15  individual research  

14

Nov 22

practice group presentations and panel

individual PPTs

annotatied bibliography

 

Nov 29

THANKSGIVING BREAK - NO CLASS

 

15

Dec 6

panel presentations in a public forum

 

TBA     MFT in Biology  

TBA

 

Senior Writing Sample