This section will present notices/updates/changes.
Week 1 - 4 Student Survey Results available Click Here
Exam format update (see Student Evaluation
): Exams are open-book, in-class exams. There are 4 exam weeks, each exam will cover 4 weeks worth of lectures. Each exam will be 4 hours in duration,
2 hrs on Thursday and 2 hrs on Fri. Each weekly topic will provide questions
for the exam designed such that a competent student could answer them in 1
hour and will be worth 25% of the exam's total. The exams are open book, which means the students can bring with them and use anything including electronic devices such as laptops, iPads, etc. They are on the honor system not to use electronic devices to contact other students during the exam. Therefore exam questions should be designed to evaluate students' ability to use information and to think rather than to determine how much they know.
You don't have to provide questions on everything that you covered during the week. A rule of thumb would be that 1 question per lecture hour each of which can be answered in 10 min (if you had six lectures during the week), or 15 min if you gave 4 lectures. You can ask questions that are based upon the paper that was discussed as well. Alternatively, you could ask just one or two questions. I would hope that the exam would be more of a learning experience for the students than a hurdle to get past.
Paper Discussion addition (see Student Evaluation) - In addition to assigning a letter grade, you
should also provide some comments about each student's performance
(strengths, weakness, suggestions for improvement, etc). Some examples
"Good participation and questions"
"Best of the group"
"She is struggling with the English language and I had to allow her
more time for understanding the questions, but she will be OK once she
"Good participation and questions"
"Weakest of the group; his participation was good but he misunderstood many basic issues"
"Very enthusiastic participation and questions"
Lecturers use light backgrounds for powerpoints, so that printed handouts are easier for students to take notes on.
Quiz format information added to BlackBoard/Submission Deadlines:
Team Leaders – Please submit your quizzes in the below format in order for questions to be uploaded to
Blackboard (* the answers).
1. The two polynucleotide chains of DNA are held together by what type of bond?
2. The two strands of the double helix are in what orientation?
Video Overviews: Some faculty teams are considering making a short video to provide
an overview of the week's content which would be posted on Blackboard as pre-lecture
material. Ideas for such a video include an overview of a disease (e.g. HIV, Alzheimers,
Cardiovascular Disease) presenting the impact of the disease on society to spotlight
reason(s) why we do basic science research and to provide some perspective as to
where what they are learning in the week fits in the big picture. Also, links to videos
and information that may be found on other web sites can be used. For example, the
Alzheimer's Foundation of America provides a wide variety of videos that illustrate
the disease itself and reports from caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. A quick Google
search provides hundreds of videos that might be of use. If you'd like to make a short
10-30 min video yourself, just speaking or also showing slides, I'm happy to help you do
this. I've done this myself for other courses and can point you to software that makes it
easy to make the video or you're welcome to use my computer, camera, microphone,
Pre Lecture Reading information has been added –
There are two goals for pre-lecture reading assignments. One is to help students learn to learn on their own. The other is to allow lecturers to handle the more complex concepts in class. Lecturers can build on the concepts covered in the pre-assigned reading. We have two required textbooks for the course, Alberts' Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition, Nov 2007 and Boron's Medical Physiology, 2nd edition, 2008. You can assign pages from these texts or send us a pdf (or a link to a pdf) (of a review paper, for example) and we'll post this assignment on Blackboard for the students. A rule of thumb, about 2 hours of pre-lecture reading would seem to be reasonable.
see Pre-Lecture reading assignments
There will be four exams in the course, each covering about 4 weeks worth of material. The exams will be in-class, open book exams given for two hours on Thursday and 2 hours on Friday of each exam week. Therefore each weekly topic team's exam questions will account for 25% of that exam. Since the exam will be 4 hours in total duration given over 2 days, each weekly topic should provide questions that could be answered by a competent student within 1 hour. Since the exam is open-book, the questions should emphasize the use of information, critical thinking and experiment/data analysis, rather than fact recollection.
Based upon observations of some of the team meetings so far, setting up a fill-in-the blank agenda can be helpful on your first (and perhaps subsequent) team meetings. Click here to download a sample agenda.
There have been some questions concerning the number of questions for pre- and post-lecture quizzes. The number is really up to you. Quiz questions are multiple choice and should be designed to focus on key elements that you want the students to have understood from their pre-assigned reading (pre-lecture quiz) and from the week's lectures (post-lecture quiz). So perhaps 5-10 questions for the pre-lecture quiz and 10-20 questions (2-3 per lecture hour) for the post-lecture quiz (2-3 per lecture hour) would be fine.
Feel free to contact other team leaders to establish what content the other teams plan to cover and to perhaps coordinate content. Each team's powerpoint presentations will be available on Blackboard when they are completed and lectures will be recorded an available on Blackboard as well. All team members will have access to Blackboard content.
Some additional clarification has been made to the online quiz section
. Basically, the online quizzes (both pre-lecture and post-lecture) should be composed of questions that focus on the key elements you want students to understand from their assigned reading or from the lectures.
Text books students will be required to purchase (either hardcopy or electronic) will be Alberts' Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition edition and Boron's Medical Physiology, 2nd edition. You can assign pre-lecture reading from these books and/or from review articles that we'll place on Blackboard. Books for Immunology and Microbiology have not been chosen yet.
Both the Alberts and Boron texts are available as electronic versions from Vital Source. These electronic versions can be used on a computer or on an iPad or iPhone (or other smartphone, although I can't imagine using a smartphone to read a text book). Notes or highlights made with one device, will also appear on the others. For more information about VitalSource, click here - Bookshelf — VitalSource Technologies, Inc.