Announcements

21 July 2021 C.E.

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

The retake examinations will be available 22 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.

17 July 2021 C.E.

The laboratory practicum, as its name indicates, is about the laboratory component of the course. The lecture recordings, therefore, are not particularly helpful in studying for the laboratory practicum. To prepare for the practicum, you should revisit each laboratory exercise to review the major concepts that were introduced. That means paying closest attention to the lesson part of each laboratory exercise, which is the information appearing mostly on the left half of the window. In other words, review the parts that prepared you to answer the questions in each activity. I hope it goes well. Enjoy the weekend.

14 July 2021 C.E.

Section 17028 Examination 4 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 46.0
Historic High Mean: 76.6
Historic Overall Mean: 65.5
Current Term Mean: 61.3
Current Term Low Score: 26.0
Current Term High Score: 96.0


Section 17030 Examination 4 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 46.0
Historic High Mean: 76.6
Historic Overall Mean: 65.5
Current Term Mean: 47.7
Current Term Low Score: 24.0
Current Term High Score: 94.0


Be sure to visit the Hoffman site to read about the Retake Option.
04 July 2021 C.E.

Section 17028 Examination 3 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 44.3
Historic High Mean: 69.9
Historic Overall Mean: 58.2
Current Term Mean: 58.2
Current Term Low Score: 24.0
Current Term High Score: 94.0


Section 17030 Examination 3 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 44.3
Historic High Mean: 69.9
Historic Overall Mean: 58.2
Current Term Mean: 48.0
Current Term Low Score: 28.0
Current Term High Score: 90.0


With three examinations in the book, the numbers on the Summary & Forecast page are giving a clearer than ever picture of where you stand in the course. If your Total Current Score is higher than your Minimum Required for a C, then you are on pace to make it through the course (assuming you can maintain your performance level). If your Total Current Score is lower than your Minimum Required for a C, then your are behind the pace to pass, meaning that without an improvement on the remaining assignments (compared to the scores on the completed assignments), you will fall short of a C. How much of an improvement will be required depends on how big the difference is between Total Current and Minimum Required. As always, you should contact me immediately if you'd like me to clarify anything, or if you'd like to schedule a meeting. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
24 June 2021 C.E.

Section 17028 Examination 2 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 44.1
Historic High Mean: 67.9
Historic Overall Mean: 56.4
Current Term Mean: 54.2
Current Term Low Score: 30.0
Current Term High Score: 92.0


Section 17030 Examination 2 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 44.1
Historic High Mean: 67.9
Historic Overall Mean: 56.4
Current Term Mean: 44.1
Current Term Low Score: 20.0
Current Term High Score: 86.0


As is the case every term, the class means for Examination 2 are lower than the class means for Examination 1 (which is the easiest of the examinations in this course). Please allow me to impress upon you again how important it is to study the lecture recordings when preparing for the examinations. The lectures are THE source of information for the examinations, and there just isn't any way around that. If you don't have time to listen to recordings each day and take notes, then unfortunately you do not have time to take the summer version of this course. I don't want that to sound cold and uncaring; I just want you to know the hard reality of Summer BIO181, and this is usually the part of the term in which that hard reality really sets in. There are many points remaining in the course, and those points can rescue your score, if it is low. However, if your Total Current Score is less than your Minimum Score Required for a C, then you will need to make a pretty drastic change to have a chance of passing. More than anything else, that means studying the lectures even more than you have been doing. I hope it goes well.
12 June 2021 C.E.

Section 17028 Examination 1 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 47.9
Historic High Mean: 71.6
Historic Overall Mean: 59.9
Current Term Mean: 59.8
Current Term Low Score: 30.0
Current Term High Score: 92.0


Section 17030 Examination 1 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 47.9
Historic High Mean: 71.6
Historic Overall Mean: 59.9
Current Term Mean: 51.2
Current Term Low Score: 28.0
Current Term High Score: 86.0


The tables above feature the relevant information for Examination 1. First, let me explain the tables. I am teaching two sections, so focus on the section in which you are enrolled. The numbers listed as "Historic" are values for all of the sections of BIO181 I have taught over the years. In other words, these are what the values "should" be, based on history. The numbers listed as "Current Term" are the values for your section of students.

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 classes 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.
04 June 2021 C.E.

I know I've already tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to prod you into completing the Lockdown Practice, but I just realized that there is something important that I didn't mention. If you do not do the Lockdown Practice before the day of the examination, then you realize on the day of the examination that you're unable to load and run the software, you will not be allowed to reschedule the examination. Instead, you will be required to take the alternative version, which is not multiple-choice format. I'm not mentioning this to be a pain in the ass. I just want you to know ahead of time what to expect (and also to try once again to prod you into completing the Lockdown Practice). Enjoy the weekend (but keep all due dates in mind).

03 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.
01 June 2021 C.E.

As you begin 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.

https://cloudconvert.com/heic-to-png

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

01 June 2021 C.E.

A message from Martina Meraz:

Hello EMCC!

The Academic Success Center (ASC) will be providing services remotely this week.  Beginning Monday, June 7th in-person services will be available to our students.   Math, Science, Writing, and Reading, Languages, and Occupational tutors are ready to support your students. We offer several different formats to choose from.  Students will be able to access tutoring online through the following platforms.

• Walk-in Tutoring - Students can meet with a tutor in-person for assistance beginning June 7th.  Safety guidelines will be followed to keep everyone safe.
• Cranium Café - The Academic Success Center uses Cranium Café to conduct virtual tutoring sessions. It allows our tutors to interact with students via video meeting, instant chat, screen sharing, and an interactive whiteboard space. Students who are currently enrolled can access Cranium Café using the following link: https://estrellamountain.craniumcafe.com/group/asc/lobby. You will need to enter your MEID and password to get access to the tutors. ASC tutors are available between the hours of 8:30 am to 8 pm Monday through Thursday.
• Brainfuse online tutoring is open 24/7/365 and offers tutoring across most subjects.
• The Online Writing Center will critique papers for your students and give them feedback on questions they have. Tutors are available 7 days per week and papers are reviewed and returned to students within 48 hours.

Our tutors also provide study strategies, time management skills, and organizational tips. Embedded tutors are still available to assist their classes and students as needed.

Feel free to reach out to the ASC staff if you have any questions or need additional assistance.

• Math Success - Alexander Garcia – 623-935-8779 - [email protected]
• Science Success - Kris Rothermal – 623-935-8197 - [email protected]
• Writing Success - Rachel Aborne – 623-935-8195 - [email protected]
• RLO Success - Belinda Trevino – 623-935-8186 - [email protected]

Martina

23 April 2021 C.E.

The Overview Video is now available. Please review it carefully before proceeding with anything else for this course. Thanks, and enjoy the weekend.

17 February 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 1 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 1 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 by registering via the EMCC site. 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 1 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.

17 February 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. Otherwise, you will be required to take the lecture examinations on campus in front of an in-person proctor. Whether taken online or on campus, 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 you might be required to take in-person lecture examinations on campus. If this applies to you, 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, 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.


  • 17 February 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.

    Ty