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BSCI 1511L Statistics Manual: Syllabus V. Frequently asked questions

Introduction to Biological Sciences lab, second semester

Frequently asked questions

A. Question: Where are the class data?

Answer: They are on the course guide, listed under the appropriate experiment.  You will generally not find the data until a day or two after your lab period.


B. Question: Where are the answer keys?

Answer: The problem set answer keys are posted here on the Course Guide, under the Home tab. The answer keys should appear at 4 PM on the Friday of the week the assignment was turned in, and will be password protected (see Dr. Baskauf or any staff member for this password).  They will remain available for two weeks.  The test answer keys are available on request from Dr. Baskauf or any lab staff member.


C. Question: Why do I only get one hour of credit for three hours of lab time per week?

Answer: I do not know the answer to this question.  This question would be better addressed to higher levels of administration of the college.  It does not seem particularly fair - however this arrangement is found at nearly every university and it has been this way for decades if not centuries.  Therefore it is not likely to change any time soon.


D. Question: This lab is supposed to go along with lecture.  Why doesn't it correspond more?

Answer: We try to make the topics in lab correspond to lecture as much as we can.  However, practical considerations dictate that we cover some topics at different times than in lecture.  This is particularly true during the molecular cloning series of labs when we must perform protocols in a particular sequence that is not the same as the logical order for studying the central dogma of molecular biology.    In addition, some topics in lab may not be covered at all in lecture because their study requires physical presence in the lab environment or because there is not time in lecture to explore them to the depth we can in lab.  Although it is hoped that lab will compliment the topics covered in lecture, it is not intended to be a "review session" for lecture.


E. Question: Why is the majority of my grade from tests?

Answer: Although I hear this question repeatedly, students who ask it are not paying attention because less than 50% of the grade comes from tests (see the category weights in the section of the syllabus on grades).


F. Question: Why are the tests so hard?

Answer: The tests are not intended to be hard or tricky.  However, some test questions are designed to test your ability to use higher order thinking skills such as application, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis in addition to the simpler skills of knowledge and application.  Questions requiring the use of higher order thinking skills may be harder for some students because generally students have less experience with that type of learning and the thought processes involved in using higher order thinking skills is more complex.  If you feel a test question was unclear, incorrect, or confusing, please bring it to Dr. Baskauf's attention.


G. Question: I have an accommodation from the EAD.  What should I do?

Answer: Send an email to Dr. Baskauf to make him aware of your situation.  Most accommodations involve either special testing conditions (e.g. taking the test in a quieter environment) or extra time on tests.  Since students choose the time at which they take the test, students needing these types of conditions can usually be accommodated by taking the test in the morning when the lab is nearly empty.  The time limit set for the tests (30 minutes) is generally 2 to 3 times the amount of time needed by most students to take the test.  So students rarely need additional time beyond the normal time limit.  If you need different or additional accommodations, please discuss your situation with Dr. Baskauf.


H. Question: Can I use the computers and printers in the lab?

Answer: The computers are available for the use of students in the course at any time that the lab is open (7:30 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays during the semester).  However, if lab is in session priority goes to students enrolled in that section.  The extra computers around the side of the lab are always available for use, although when class is in session and a test is being given, there may be severe competition for those computers.  Printing should be limited to a small number of pages and to assignments for the BSCI 111 course.  If you need to do personal printing or to print a large number of pages, please use your own printer or a commercial facility such as Campus Copy or FedEx Office.  We reserve the right to record and restrict the number of pages printed by individual students.