MCDB 1150 Biofundamentals

MCDB 1150-003 - Fall 2015 MWF 10-10:50 in MCDB A120 (GOLD)


Prof. Mike Klymkowsky (aka Prof. K):
Office: Porter Bioscience B425
Office hours: Thursdays: 2:45 to 4 PM or by appointment (e-mail me)

Other instructors:
Emina Begovic, Ph.D.
Office hours 11-Noon Monday/Wednesday
in Porter Bioscience B425 (Dr. K's office)

Tristan McClure-Begley, Ph.D.
in Porter Bioscience B425 (Dr. K's office)

Graduate Teaching Assistant: Joseph Rokicki
Office hours:
Wednesday from 11-12 in the Learning Lounge: Porter B0054

For policies on disabilities, religious observances, classroom behavior, sexual harassment, and the honor code : click here

INFORMATION:MCDB 1150-003 uses an interactive on-line text (through nota bene) and beSocratic tutorials.

Typically you should read the text first (in NB) and then work through beSocratic activities, please note any points you find confusing. Particularly in NB, try and help members of your reading group with answers and generate a short list of questions you would like to discuss in class. Please note, I get an email for every comment made.

learning lounge

This course may be different from what you are be used to. There is no co-seminar for this course, and all exams are held during scheduled class periods. Our goal is to help you learn biology, not to sort you - so please take that into account.

  • No text book is required / no co-seminar
  • All relevant materials available through the Biofundamentals web site (or just google biofundamentals).
  • You will therefore need access to the web.

Because the class involves active discussion about materials covered, we have a few rules (many based on research on how students learn).

  • Computers and phones in class: In class, there will be NO use of computers, please keep them closed.
    • You will probably want to take notes, so bring a note pad and a pen or pencil!
  • Reading and reacting to the text before class: It is important that you come to class prepared to engage in a discussion of the materials presented (that means to raise, answer, or respond to questions), particularly since I tend to wander around the classroom, and may tap on the shoulder and ask for your opinion.
  • For this reason, we use an interactive web-based text.
    • Before class starts we will assign you to a group of up to 8 other students. You will receive an e-mail (to your official university e-mail address) from nota bene; sign up to establish an account.
    • We will go over how to use NB in class. If, by the second week of class, you find your group to be dysfunction, let me know and I will assign you to another group.
    • Please note: 10% of your grade is based on your using NB to interact with the text and your fellow students before class. I will be using your comments to structure in class discussions, so they are both important and valuable.
  • Footnotes within the text are not required reading.
  • Office hours:
    • I have office hours from 3 to 4 every Thursday, feel free to drop in. You can also e-mail to arrange an appointment. My office is 425 Porter BioSciences (in the back of the lab).
    • There is also the MCDB Learning Lounge (Porter B0054) where students from a number of different classes often hang out [map], feel free to use it, since it is for you.
  • Syllabus: The syllabus may change depending on our learning rates. Please check it if you have questions about your study/travel plans.
  • Exams: This course builds from one concept to the other -- therefore all exams are cumulative, but primarily focused on the topic of the section leading up to the exam. There are three midterms and a final (dates can be found on the syllabus).

EVALUATION (GRADES) : Your grade is determined by three independent measures.

  1. Interacting with the text (through NB) and beSocratic activities (10%): The course text is interactive. You will be placed into a group with up to 8 other students. You will be expected to comment on, answer, or help answer the questions in the text. Your responses are captured by the system. At the end of the semester, you will be awarded full points if you engage the text and your group in an active and substantial manner. Similarly there is a beSocratic activity due prior to (almost) each class period).
  2. Classroom participation will be used to resolve letter grade boundaries if necessary.
  3. Exams: (90%) Your exam score will account for 90% of your grade. Exams are not curved.
  4. I know it now exams: These will be offered with the final, and your score will be added to your midterm scores (for midterms 1, 2 and 3).

Summary: A > 90%, B > 80%, C >60% D>50%. F>40%