is a discipline that focuses on the study of life. As a
student enters the course with a thick and expensive text
book in her hand she may not realize the source of all the
information within the text. Over the last few hundred years
we have learned an enormous amount about the living world.
Thousands of men and women have patiently observed the
natural world at the same time as they have asked questions
about it. Questions are often followed by additional
observations as well as experiments. In that manner an
amazing realm of connections from cells to ecosystems have
unfolded over the last two centuries. The pace is steadily
accelerating as we are learning more about life.
In the biology lab we have tried to make it possible for you as an introductory biology student to get an opportunity to observe life with your own eyes and mind. You will gain hands-on experience using living materials and hopefully build a basic understanding of the use of the scientific method within the field of biology. It is our hope that you will have fun as you travel through the realm of biology together with your team in the laboratory this semester.
about the Biology 10 Laboratory:
NOTE: Labs start the first week of classes
Biology 10 consists of both a lecture and laboratory component. It is essential that you participate as an active member in all the group activities. Only through group participation will labs be of maximum benefit to all students. Each week the laboratory covers one or more of the basic concepts presented in the lecture. Using a hands-on approach, we will use various problem solving techniques to further explore the lecture material.
Each lab session will begin with a short quiz (see section 4 below on grading), followed by 15-30 minutes to discuss the objectives of the lab, review key concepts and terms, review the procedures to be used and cover safety precautions that must be observed. You will get much more out of the lab (as well as finish sooner) if you read the lab in advance. You may even be able to answer some of the questions based on the materials presented in the lectures or in the book.
You must buy a current copy of the Biology 10 Lab Manual from the bookstore. Bring the lab manual with you to each lab. Your comments and suggestions on the manual are welcome and appreciated and will be incorporated into the next edition. You should also bring your textbook, paper, pencils and a calculator to each lab.
You are expected to attend each lab. If you miss four labs you will be dropped from the course.
If you miss the lab you are enrolled in, you may attend another lab session - if there are seats available. There is a schedule posted in the lab that shows the times that other labs are offered. This schedule is also located on the web site. If you do go to another lab - it must be during the same week as your scheduled lab and you must notify your regular instructor and the instructor of the other lab prior to going to a different lab. Please note that other instructors may not have room in their labs, may give different kinds of quizzes and may require you to bring scantron forms. Check with the instructor first. The maximum allowed number of make-up labs is three.
The actual number of points you earn will be divided by the total points available in the lab. This number will be converted to a percentage. You will earn points in the lab each week by completing a pre-lab exercise, taking a quiz and turning in your completed lab report. See your instructor for additional grading details.
Each day you should access the pre-lab worksheet for the next lab from the pre-lab page on the class web site. You should review the upcoming lab and the appropriate sections of the textbook and complete the pre-lab. This will also help you complete the lab faster.
exercises must be shown to the instructor at the beginning
of the lab. Pre-lab exercises will be graded as
3 pt. = All questions answered with correct, thorough, and well thought out responses (including explanations).
2 pt. = All questions answered with correct, thorough, and well thought out responses with one or two mistakes or unanswered questions.
1 pt. = All questions answered with correct, thorough, and well thought out responses with three or four mistakes or unanswered questions.
The lab reports will either be reviewed at the end of each lab (if time permits) or will be turned in at the end of each lab. Lab reports will be graded as follows:
7 pt. = All questions answered with correct, thorough, and well thought out responses (including explanations)
6 pt. = All questions answered with correct, thorough, and well thought out responses with one or two mistakes
5 pt. = All questions answered with correct, thorough, and well thought out responses with three or four mistakes
4 pt. = All questions answered with correct, thorough, and well thought out responses with five to nine mistakes
3 pt. = All questions answered, but with many incomplete or wrong answers
2 pt. = Many questions answered, some incorrect answers
1 pt. = Majority of questions answered, some incorrect answers
0 pt. = Less than half of the questions answered
Lab reports that are turned in will be graded and returned to the appropriate drawer in the prep room by 9:30 am the following Monday morning. This will allow you to review and correct mistakes prior to the next lab (and quiz).
Quizzes can consist of multiple choice, figures and/or short essay questions covering the lab from the week before and/or the pre-lab exercise for the current week. Unless you are notified otherwise the quizzes will be closed book/open mind. The quizzes will be given at the beginning of lab - so arrive on time. Each quiz is worth 15 points.
You can review your grade with your instructor at any time.
West Valley College makes reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students should notify DESP (Disability & Educational Support Program) located in the Learning Services building (408-741-2010) of any special needs. If you are uncertain as to whether you need such accommodations, it is recommended that you visit the Supported Education Center for a consultation.
The college has a wide range of support services available for students that need assistance. These services range from tutoring and special short courses in reading and writing skills to financial aid and special programs for disabled students. If you believe that any of these programs would be of help to you, please check with the counseling office or consult your class schedule for a list of telephone numbers.
All materials and handouts used in the class can be recycled. If there are materials you do not wish to retain, and you do not have appropriate recycling at home, you may return the materials and we will recycle them for you. Just outside the classroom you will find containers for recycling glass, plastic and aluminum. Please be responsible and use them!
West Valley College is one of the safest colleges in California. However, earthquakes and other incidents have been known to happen from time to time. In the event of a power failure the room can be very dark, therefore, you will be expected to bring a small flashlight to each class. There will be spot checks for compliance with this regulation and bonus points will be awarded to students who have come prepared.
Please note the following telephone numbers and locations:
General safety issues and safety concerns relative to individual labs will be covered in the appropriate lab.
CHEATING AND PLAGIARISM
This is a serious issue. If you feel uncertain about what plagiarism is we encourage you to visit this site. Do not plagiarize! You will get a zero for the day on your work. Repeated violations will earn you an F in the class. It is possible that an instructor gives you an 'F' as a course grade.
SOME FINAL WORDS
If you feel that you are not performing as well as you would like on pre-lab exercises, quizzes, lab assignments or the lecture exams; feel free to talk with your instructor during lab or office hours. They may be able to help. Do not let your situation get so bad that you can't recover. We will do anything within reason that we can to help.
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