For each chapter, your work will be worth 30 to 40 points (30 points for week 1, 35 points per week x 10 weeks, plus 40 points per week x 4 weeks = 540 points total). In addition, you can earn up to 35 extra credit points via the Extra Credit assignments.
Your semester grade will be determined based on a straight scale:
Some components of the course are graded based on effort alone: if you follow the directions, complete the assignment on time, and submit the gradebook self-declaration, you get full credit. These assignments include Starting Assumptions, Digging Deeper assignments, your responses to other students, and Final Thoughts.
Other components will be graded for quality. For example, MasteringBiology® reading quizzes are open-book (not open-friend), but you still have to get the questions right to get credit. Also, your instructor will determine your grade for Freelance Writer and Adopt-a-Species assignments, using rubrics provided for each assignment.
Please note that each assignment requires you to proofread and spellcheck your writing before you claim credit; in addition, instructor-graded assignments include deductions for spelling/grammar errors. You may wonder why an instructor of a biology course would be so hung-up on spelling and grammar. The reasons are that, in this class, you are posting work that others will read. It is inconsiderate and unprofessional to expect other people to read writing that you have not bothered to check yourself. Also, we believe that well-educated students should be good writers. Finally, it models for you what is expected of biologists when they submit their own research papers for publication.
Late work is UNACCEPTABLE. [In case of a documented medical emergency, contact your instructor as soon as you can.]
In addition to the 35 extra credit points available as described, I will award you 0.5 extra credit point if you are the first student to report a typographical error or broken link on this website that I deem necessary to change (limit 10 points per student). To report an error, you must include a link to the page where the error appears, along with a description of the error. Contact your instructor as soon as you find the mistake to find out if it's already been reported or is worthy of credit.