Skip to main content

BSCI 1511L Statistics Manual: Syllabus I. General information

Introduction to Biological Sciences lab, second semester

A. Course goals

1. To provide students practical experience with important methods and techniques of modern biology.  Our experiments are designed to complement and supplement the topics in BSCI 110.  The procedures we use this semester are workhorse techniques of cellular and molecular biology. 

2. To introduce students to the fundamental principles of experimental design and statistical analysis.  It is our goal to give you the opportunity to function as a scientist.  This means participation in the actual scientific process of literature review, experimental design, data collection, statistical analysis, and scientific writing. 

3. To increase students' ability to use the higher-order thinking skills of application, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis.  Most students enter BSCI 111 with excellent knowledge and comprehension learning skills.  However, as a scientist, physician, engineer, or other professional, you will routinely have to use higher order thinking skills.  Through experiences in this course, you will be given the opportunity to apply the skills of application (e.g. performing calculations and statistics), analysis (e.g. experimental design), evaluation (e.g. hypothesis testing), and synthesis (e.g. through writing up the results of your research).  You will also be required to use these skills on tests because many questions will go beyond knowledge and comprehension.

B. Where to find information

1. The course guide.  Background information for each lab is found on the online course guide (this website).  The URL for the guide is bookmarked on the lab computers.  The course guide contains the following important information:

a. Learning objectives.  The test questions are specifically designed to assess particular learning objectives.  Therefore, the learning objectives are the best way to figure out what you are responsible for knowing on the test.

b. Background information about the experiment, which you should read before the lab.  This is the primary material on which the RAQs (Reading Assessment Quizzes) are based. 

c. link to the Quizzer utility ("View test results") on the Home page, which allows you to see which questions you missed on the tests.

d. The Statistics Manual, an important reference that you will use throughout the semester.

2.  The lab manual.  The lab manual is obtained from the campus bookstore.  The lab manual contains the following important pieces of information:

a. Experimental procedure.  These are the instructions for the actual lab protocol that you will be doing during the lab period.  On the RAQ you are responsible for knowing the general outline of the experiment, although usually we don't ask about details.

b. The problem set.  This is the assignment which you will complete during and after the lab to be turned in at the start of the following class period.

3. The combined OAK section.  Listed as something like: "A&S BSCI 111A - Intro Biological Sci Lab". This is a single section on OAK in which all students are enrolled.  The only information posted here is:

a. problem set answer keys

The combined section is also used to generate information emails.  Note that students are manually enrolled in this section, so you will not see it on your listing of courses in OAK until near the first day of class.  Also, if you enroll late you may not get added unless you bring it to the attention of Dr. Baskauf that you cannot access the combined section. 

4. The individual OAK section.  Listed as something like: " 201X.FALL.AS.BSCI.111A.0Y Intro to BioSci: Lab " where X is the year and Y is your section number.  This is the separate OAK section for the particular section of the course in which you are enrolled.  Students are automatically enrolled in this OAK section, so you should be able to see it in your course list as soon as you are enrolled, although it may not be available until Dr. Baskauf "turns it on".  The individual section is used only to access the OAK Grade Center which you can use to verify that your grades have been recorded correctly.

C. Who's Who

1. Instructor Dr. Steve Baskauf

How to contact him:

office: 2128 Stevenson Center

office hours: Monday 9:00-10:00 AM; Friday 10:00-11:00 AM

email: steve.baskauf@vanderbilt.edu

phone: 3-4582 (email preferred and more reliable)

Where to find him:

                I am generally in the laboratory area during all of the scheduled laboratory times (every afternoon and Tue & Thu mornings but not Monday night). During much of this time you can look me up in the lab if you need to see me.  I am usually on campus most of the day each weekday, so if you cannot find me please ask one of the staff members where I am.   To ensure that you can find me when you need to see me, email me in advance to arrange a specific time.  Please do not ask me to meet with you during the half hour before the start of a lab, or during the first half hour after the start of a lab.

What should I contact him about?

1. All questions related to absences (use email).

2. All questions about the tests and reading assignment quizzes.

3. Regrade appeals (after a rejection by the grading TA).

4. Questions about assignments.

2. Teaching Assistants (TAs)

How to contact them:

You can find out the names of the TAs and their email addresses on the TA information page on this course guide.

Where to find them:

The office hours and locations for the TAs are also on the TA information page. 

What should I contact them about?

1. Questions about assignments.

2. Clarification or regrade requests for assignments that they graded.