Week 1 -- Orientation -- Index of Assignments

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Hello everybody, and welcome to Contemporary Issues in Biology. Take a look at this short video to help get you started, then see read on to get started on several orientation activities to help you be successful in this class this semester. If you have questions at any point, please feel free to email your instructor.

What a lot of stuff to do!

Each of the orientation activities listed below reinforces the College of Arts and Sciences orientation (which you are required to complete), adds orientation to some of the additional tools we will use in this class, or helps build the foundation for our class community. It may seem as if there is a lot to do, but most of the activities shouldn't take you very long to complete. Here is a summary of this week's activities; more specific instructions appear below.

Due dates?

The deadline for the College of Arts and Sciences Online Course Orientation is absolute. For the course-specific orientation activities, you can pace yourself during the first week of class, so long as you finish all activities by our course deadline. Remember, you must also declare these assignments under "Declarations" in D2L. Please be aware that the specific due dates/times listed for each assignment will be strictly enforced.

Required activities: Be sure to click on the links below (especially links to each individual assignment) for more information.

Due Date
Est. Time
Please complete as soon as possible (must complete by 5 p.m. Friday, August 22nd)


College of Arts & Sciences Online Course Orientation; available as a separate course at Desire2Learn (follow these instructions for self-registering for the orientation course). When you are done, forward your Confirmation Email to your BIOL 1003 instructor.

One of the activities of the orientation may be to take an Online Course Readiness Assessment. Please make a note of your scores for each of the three components of this activity; you will need them when you complete the last of the course-specific orientation activities.

1-2 hours
Websites available continuously

Get acquainted with this course:

Make sure you are familiar with the Features of this Course Website. See especially the following pages:

You might also visit the Weekly Schedule and click on a few weeks' worth of assignments to see what sort of work you will be doing this semester.

Then, log on to the Desire2Learn (D2L) site for Contemporary Issues in Biology and take a look around. The content on D2L includes gradebook declarations, a survey, a dropbox, and discussion boards. When you want details about assignments, come back to the course homepage, not D2L.

Finally, consider enhancing your profile on D2L by adding a profile picture, your favorites, and other information (go to our "Roster" for the class, then click on the person icon next to your name). This will help others in the class get to know you.

15 -30 min.
Sunday, August 24 at 11 p.m.

Email Confirmation

  • use your OU email to retrieve and respond to instructor's email
  • gradebook Declaration in Desire2Learn
15 min.
Sunday, August 24 at 11 p.m.

Class Survey


15 min.
Sunday, August 24 at 11 p.m.

Plagiarism quiz

  • read materials on academic integrity
  • take quizzes at the Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism website until you get a perfect score
  • gradebook Declaration in Desire2Learn
45 min.
Sunday, August 24 at 11 p.m.

Discussion Board Activities

  • post an "introductory statement" about yourself at the discussion board in Desire2Learn, and ...
  • tell the class what you like to be called
  • gradebook Declaration in Desire2Learn
30 min.
Sunday, August 24 at 11 p.m.

MasteringBiology Setup

  • Register as a new user and connect to our class at MasteringBiology®
  • Do the Introduction to MasteringBiology homework in that system
30 min.

Sunday, August 24 at 11 p.m.


Childhood Memory

  • post your story at our D2L Discussion Board
  • reply to at least two other students' Childhood Memories
  • gradebook Declaration in Desire2Learn quizzes
30-45 min.

Sunday, August 24 at 11 p.m.


Starting Assumptions

30 min
Sunday, August 24 at 11 p.m.

Course Contract and Goals

  • fill out the online form
  • gradebook Declaration in Desire2Learn
30 min.
***All course-specific orientation activities must be complete by Sunday, August 24th at 11 p.m., or you risk being dropped from the course.***

[A big THANK YOU to Dr. Laura Gibbs for generously allowing this course to copy or modify many of her course orientation activities.]

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Contemporary Issues in Biology -- BIOL 1003
Mariëlle H. Hoefnagels, Ph.D. © 2004-2014.
biology1003 at OU dot edu (at = @, dot =.)
Last Updated August 10, 2014 3:44 PM

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