26 July 2021 C.E.

A reminder from YC:

The course survey for this course is now available. To complete the survey, to go to (you may be prompted to log in), and select the course(s) as indicated.

Alternatively, you can log into the Yavapai College Home Page (, and under My Services/Students, select My Course Feedback.

You may now use your PC, mobile phone or tablet (your choice) to complete your surveys.

25 July 2021 C.E.

For those of you to whom the Option to Retake applies:

The retake examinations will be available 29 July on the Retake Examination page of Canvas, which is now available via a Canvas menu link (immediately beneath the Examinations link). Be sure to complete Examination 5 before completing the retake. You will not be able to acces a retake unless it is the examination on which you scored the lowest. Keep in mind that the optional retake might help you, but it cannot hurt you.

21 July 2021 C.E.

Examination 4 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 46.0
Historic High Mean: 76.6
Historic Overall Mean: 65.2
Current Term Mean: 55.6
Current Term Low Score: 26.0
Current Term High Score: 82.0

In addition to checking your Summary & Forecast numbers, as usual, be sure to also see the Retake Option on the Hoffman site.
13 July 2021 C.E.

Examination 3 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 44.3
Historic High Mean: 69.9
Historic Overall Mean: 58.0
Current Term Mean: 52.2
Current Term Low Score: 22.0
Current Term High Score: 88.0

07 July 2021 C.E.

A message from YC:

The course survey for this course is now available. To complete the survey, to go to (you may be prompted to log in), and select the course(s) as indicated.

Alternatively, you can log into the Yavapai College Home Page (, and under Students, select My Course Feedback.

You may now use your PC, mobile phone or tablet (your choice) to complete your surveys.

02 July 2021 C.E.

Examination 2 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 44.1
Historic High Mean: 67.9
Historic Overall Mean: 56.3
Current Term Mean: 53.7
Current Term Low Score: 24.0
Current Term High Score: 76.0

As usual, the mean for Examination 2 is lower than the mean for Examination 1. Thankfully, it is not much lower. Please once again take a careful look at the various Summary & Forecast numbers to understand the effect this examination has on your standing and your ability to get through the course with your desired final grade. Please don't ever hesitate to contact me with any question or concern. Enjoy the weekend.
19 June 2021 C.E.

Examination 1 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 46.0
Historic High Mean: 76.6
Historic Overall Mean: 66.5
Current Term Mean: 55.8
Current Term Low Score: 26.0
Current Term High Score: 92.0

The table above features the relevant information for Examination 1. First, let me explain the table. The numbers listed as "Historic" are values for all of the sections of BIO181 I have taught over the years. In other words, the Historic Overall Mean is what the values for your section "should" be, based on history. The numbers listed as "Current Term" are the values for your section of students (i.e., this class).

It's vitally important for you to realize that this course does not get easier. Rather, for most, it gets even more difficult, and there is no let-up. But as discouraging as that may sound, I want you to somehow keep from being discouraged. Most of the points in this course are still available, so you still have time to turn this around (and I'm saying this to the classe as a whole, because not every student scored poorly). However, making such a turnaround is going to require much more time spent on the lectures. Please keep in mind that the examination are lecture examinations, and 100% of the material appearing in each examination comes directly from my recorded lectures. Therefore, you need to view and listen to those recordings repeatedly. While doing so, you need to make notes, and refine those notes on repeated listening. Then you need to study those notes to the point that you are able to explain the topics in those notes without looking at anything. This is what I was referring to on the Bonus Points page of the Hoffman site when I suggested giving your own lectures. If you have not tried this, then please let these disappointing examination scores serve as the impetus to try it. Ask yourself whether you have anything to lose. I really don't want to see any of you have a score like these on Examination 2, but the truth is that the score for Examination 2 is usually lower than the score for Examination 1, so please start now to do the things necessary to prevent that from happening.

Finally, please take a careful look at your Summary & Forecast numbers on Canvas, and see how much of an effect this examination has had on those numbers. The Summary & Forecast numbers are designed to give you an idea of what to expect for the remainder of the term. Remember that you want the "Minimum Score Required..." numbers to go DOWN, not up. I truly hope that rest of the course will go well for you.

12 June 2021 C.E.

Unfortunately, there are still five students in this class who have not received any point in this course, because they did not submit the Rules Consent Form. Each of those five students should have received a Canvas message days ago about this problem. If you have a zero for Total Current Score, you should immediately check your messages and submit the Rules Consent Form. Thanks.

09 June 2021 C.E.

As you work on the virtual laboratory activities, you'll notice that uploads of images will require your images to be in either PNG or JPG format. This online conversion tool might be helpful to some of you.

That link defaults to converting between HEIC and PNG, but notice that you can choose other formats from the dropdowns.

09 June 2021 C.E.

I want to re-explain something that can be confusing. I say "re-explain", because I think I already explained this in my Overview Video. Anyway, when an assignment is completed on Canvas, you might see a score for that assignment immediately. However, there are two important things to keep in mind about that score:
  1. The score for that assignment that you see immediately after submitting the assignment is not necessarily the final (complete) score for that assignment. That's because certain assignments have some parts that are graded automatically, and other parts have to be graded by me. When that's true (like for the Metric System Lab, for example), then the score you see immediately is only taking into account the automatically graded part. Only after I grade the rest of the assignment will the true (final) score appear. You will never see the final score appear until after the due date has passed, because I don't grade any assignment until after its due date.

  2. Whether the score you see for an individual assignment is the final score or the incompletely graded score, that score has NOT been incorporated into your overall Total Current Score (in the Summary & Forecast) until I update the totals. I update the totals from time to time for various reasons, and I always update them shortly after I finish grading an assignment. So, if you keep a close eye on your Total Current Score, and you notice that it has changed, then you can be assured that the totals have been updated.
Having mentioned the Overview Video reminds me that there are several of you who probably have not viewed the video, and that can only hurt you. The reason I suspect that is that several of you have zeroes showing in your Total Current Score, and that happens when a student has not followed the instructions to submit the Rules Consent Form. The Overview Video instructed you to click on every link on the Hoffman Site, and one of those links is the Rules Consent Form. I'm not trying to scold anyone; I just want to minimize the difficulty in what is already an extremely demanding course. If you have not viewed the Overview Video, then you should do so now.

Also, now that a few assignments have been graded, I want you to pay attention to how the other Summary and Forecast numbers change, especially the three listed as Minimum Score Required... Those are the best way of judging whether you'll be able to get through this course. Keep in mind that they are minimum values, so you want to get them as LOW as possible. Please carefully read their explanations on the Summary & Forecast page of Canvas.

Finally, only a few of you have completed the Lockdown Practice, and even some of those few did not do it correctly, so I urge you to get this out of the way as soon as possible. You do not want to be worrying about this on test day. Please believe me. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the day.

08 June 2021 C.E.

Thanks to everyone for submitting the First Day Attendance. Don't be confused by the score for that. It was worth zero points, so zero is perfect. If you have not already done so, you should carefully review the Overview Video before doing anything else in this course. Even if you have viewed the video, please read the following carefully, because I want this difficult and demanding course to go as smoothly as possible. I want you to approach this course in terms of assignment categories. Each category features its own batch of points, each category features it own Canvas page, and each category requires its own resources.
  1. The most valuable category is Examinations. To prepare for the examinations, the lecture recordings and slide shows are absolutely indispensable. Every bit of information treated on the examinations comes from those lectures. The eText on Mastering MIGHT also help, but you should definitely think of the recorded lectures as THE souce of information for the examinations.
  2. Laboratory Exercises are self contained, meaning that the information required for completing them is in the assignment itself. However, you should feel free to use whatever sources of information help you, as well.
  3. The information for each laboratory quiz is found in the corresponding laboratory exercise. This is why it is so important to complete a laboratory exercise before its corresponding laboratory quiz, and each laboratory quiz is due after its corresponding laboratory exercise.
  4. The eText on Mastering is most useful for researching your answers during Mastering assignments. It takes a bit more time to look up answers during those Mastering assignments, but the time is well spent, because points are precious. Use the search tool to find information efficiently.
  5. The information for Topic Quizzes can be found in both the lecture recordings and the eText.
Only the assignments that require the Lockdown Browser (which are all five examinations and the Laboratory Practicum at the end of the term) are closed-book format. For those, you may not have any materials (phone, blank paper, book, etc.), and please keep in mind that headphones may NOT be worn during these assignments. EVERYTHING ELSE (topic quizzes, laboratory exercises, etc.) should be considered open-book, so feel free to use whatever resources (beyond those recommended above) that you feel are helpful.

When you get used to thinking of the organization of the course in terms of assignment categories, I think things will make a lot more sense. Also, keep in mind that the Assignment Schedule page on Canvas lists everything by due date, so use that as a checklist as you proceed through the course. ALWAYS feel free to email me. I'd like you to not only succeed in this course, but enjoy the experience, as well. Thanks for reading.

30 April 2021 C.E.

The Overview Video is now available. Please have a careful look as soon as possible. Thanks.

16 April 2021 C.E.

Since this is an online course, you will be required to demonstrate your attendance (for the first day only) by completing a quiz on Canvas that will ask you to enter a specific word. That word will appear on 7 June. It will appear on this Announcements page, because this course will require you to use this website in addition to Canvas throughout the term.

On 7 June, visit this site to find the word, then go to Canvas to complete the quiz, which will appear as a link in the Canvas menu for this course's Canvas. The link will appear as "First Day Attendance".

The quiz will be automatically graded, so you will be able to look at your grades on Canvas to verify that you have successfully submitted the quiz. If you fail to submit the First Day Attendance quiz, and if there is a wait list, then you will be withdrawn from the course.

If you are trying to get into this section, then you should immediately ensure that you are on the wait list. Do not wait until the first day of the term to do that; do it right now. Once you are on the wait list, you must also demonstrate your attendance the first day. However, you will not have Canvas access. Therefore, send me email (directly to [email protected]) and include your full name, your student ID, and the word revealed on 7 June). Only students on the wait list should demonstrate attendance by emailing me; all registered students must do so by submitting the Canvas quiz.

I will request that students on the wait list who have demonstrated attendance be added to the course, but the college will not allow me to exceed 24 students, so this can occur only if there are registered students who do not demonstrate attendance on the first day, and the order of names on the wait list will be used to determine the order of students to be added.

15 April 2021 C.E.

  • To maximize safety during the pandemic, I will be offering all of the lecture examinations through Canvas. However, to be eligible to take those online examinations, there are strict requirements that must be met, and you must convincingly demonstrate that you meet those requirements.The lecture examinations will be entirely multiple-choice. However, see exceptions below.

  • To be eligible for online lecture examinations, you must adhere to all of the following:
    1. You must use a computer that is equipped with a webcam and is compatible with required lockdown browser software.
    2. You must download, install, and run the lockdown browser software.
    3. An iPad will work, but other mobile devices probably will not.
    4. A Chromebook MIGHT work. The Chromebook version of the lockdown browser software is in beta. Therefore, there is no guarantee that it will work. If all you have is a Chromebook, then please email me as soon as you know that.
    5. Prior to the start of each lecture examination, you will be required to make a video recording of your surroundings to demonstrate that you have no papers, book, devices, etc. that are prohibited during the examination. This recording must be convincing, and it must clearly and completely show the desk space in front of you. This will require you to lift up your computer (if the webcam is incorporated into the computer), turn it around, and point it downward to clearly demonstrate that the surface is free of materials. If it is not possible to move the camera in this way, then you must use a mirror to show the desk space.
    6. If the video is not sufficient, then your examination will not count, and you will be required to take an alternative version that will NOT feature any multiple-choice questions.
    7. Each examination will be timed, and you will be required to finish it in one sitting. If you leave your chair during the examination, or if you wear headphones during the examination, then your examination will not count, and you will be required to take an alternative version that will NOT feature any multiple-choice questions.
  • I would really like this to go smoothly for everyone, which is why I have made a practice test called Lockdown Practice. You will find it on the Canvas site for this course. It is not worth any points, but it is required, and it will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you have the hardware requirements in place for the real examinations. Please complete the Lockdown Practice at your earliest convenience. Pretend that it is a real test, so take the time to make a careful recording of your surroundings. That way, I can review your practice recording and tell you whether a similar recording on each test day will be sufficient.

  • 15 April 2021 C.E.

    A Quick Note

    Welcome to the fully online version of BIO181 for the estival term of 2021. Please have a look around, and keep an eye on this site and on Canvas. I highly recommend signing up for automated notices of announcements that will be posted here.