BIOLOGY 112 LAB OUTLINE – Spring, 2014

BIO 112 is a hybrid course because of the nature of the lab.  Completing the laboratory portion of this course will demand significant  time outside of class.  This is reflected in the shortened lab sessions (two hours rather than the typical three hour labs).  As a distance-learning course, we will use Blackboard to supplement communication.  In addition certain assignments will be turned in via email.

This lab will focus on students working creatively in small groups to learn how to do science. Working in groups of two or three, students will design experiments, gather data, and then present their findings orally and in writing. The first three labs will consist of group activities designed to review material covered last semester and prepare students to complete experiments of their own design. Labs 4-7, 8-11, and 12-15 are four-week sequences devoted to particular experiments. Experiment 1 (Labs 4-7) will investigate the effect of some independent variable on reaction time or blood pressure in humans. Experiment 2 (Labs 8-11) will investigate the effects of some independent variable on human behavior. Experiment 3 (Labs 12-16) will investigate topics chosen by students. Each group of students will design an experiment by the end of the first lab (What will you test and how will you test it?), complete the collection of data by the end of the third, and present their findings during the fourth lab. Each presentation will consist of one paper per group and an oral presentation involving all group members. Labs 5, 9, and 13 are computer simulations that track lecture topics and are placed so that groups will have two weeks to gather data and prepare lab reports.

GRADING: Lab will be worth 25% of your overall grade in General Biology. Each lab will be worth 1 point. To earn points you will have to be present and participate in the activity of the day. Students will have something to turn in from each lab (see below). Grading usually will be based upon group efforts and often on work done in class during the lab.  Additional grades will be earned by a homework assignment (week 3) worth 1 point and three lab reports.  The first two lab reports will be worth a maximum of four points and the third one worth twice as much (eight points). Therefore, you will have the opportunity to earn up to 32 points during the semester (15 points from 15 labs plus two 4 point lab reports and one 8 point lab report). I will determine your grade by adding up the total number of points earned and then dividing by 30. This means that you can earn a total of 107% from lab or that you can miss two lab grades and still earn 100%.

Each of these activities will be worth one point

Lab 1. In-class exercise: Experimental Design.

Lab 2. In-class exercise: Solving Statistical Problems

Lab 3. Interpreting an Article in a Scientific Journal

Lab 4. In groups of three: Turn in Experimental Design and Reference for Experiment 1

Lab 5. In-class exercise: "Seedling" grade from student competition

Lab 6. In groups of three: Turn in Raw Data from Experiment 1

Lab 7. In groups of three: Oral Presentation of Experiment 1

Lab 8. In groups of three: Turn in Experimental Design and Reference for Experiment 2

Lab 9. In-class exercise: "Shark" grade from student competition

Lab 10. In groups of three: Turn in Raw Data from Experiment 2

Lab 11. In groups of three: Oral Presentation of Experiment 2

Lab 12. In groups of three: Turn in Experimental Design and Reference for Experiment 3

Lab 13. In-class exercise: "Cycle" grade from student competition

Lab 14. In groups of three: Turn in Raw Data from Experiment 3

Lab 15. In groups of three: Oral Presentation of Experiment 3

ATTENDANCE POLICY: There are no make-ups in lab. You will have to come to class in order to earn points.


Grading Criteria for Lab Reports

The three lab reports will be graded using the following criteria. Only typewritten papers or those written on a word processor will be graded. All lab reports must include a cover sheet. Points will be earned based upon four criteria:

1. COMPLETENESS: Does your experiment test what you say it does?
Do you say what you should in your paper?

2. ANALYSIS: Do you carry out the appropriate statistical tests?
Do you perform these tests correctly?
Do you interpret correctly the results of these tests?

3. FORMAT/WRITING: Does your paper follow the correct format?
Is your writing clear, concise, and grammatically correct?
Is your writing free of misspelled words?

4. TABLES/FIGURES: Do you display appropriate data in Tables or Figures?
Do you follow proper format?
Do any Figures included have visual impact?

I will grade each paper on a 0-4 scale (roughly equivalent to "A-F") with respect to completeness, analysis, format/writing, and tables/figures. These component scores will appear on the cover sheet of the paper. The grade for the paper will be the arithmetic mean of the four components. The first two papers will be worth four points, while the third paper will be worth eight points.

BIO 112 Lab Schedule


1    1/6, 1/8  Introduction, Experimental Design

2    1/13, 1/15, 1/22  Statistical Analysis(Rank Sum Test)

3    1/27, 1/29  Writing a Lab Report: Presentation (preparing Tables and Figures)

4     2/3, 2/5  Experiment 1 (Experimental Design)

5    2/10,  2/12  Photosynthesis Lab ("Seedling")

6     2/17, 2/19  Experiment 1 (Data Collection)

7     2/24 2/26  Experiment 1 (Lab Reports due, Oral Presentations)

8     3/10, 3/12  Experiment 2 (Experimental Design)

9    3/17, 3/19  Behavior Lab ("Shark")

10   3/24, 3/26  Experiment 2 (Data Collection)

11  3/31, 4/2  Experiment 2 (Lab Reports Due, Oral Presentations)

12   4/7, 4/9  Experiment 3 (Experimental Design)

13  4/14, 4/16  Reproductive Physiology ("Cycle")

14   4/21, 4/23   Experiment 3 (Data Collection)   

15   4/28, 4/30   Experiment 3 (Lab Reports Due, Oral Presentations)

NOTE: The lab meeting on Monday, May 5 will be used as a make-up, if necessary.