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Viewing: BIO_SC 3260W summersg : Invertebrate Zoology - Writing Intensive

Last approved: Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:13:53 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:02:59 GMT

Proposal Type

Writing Intensive

Contact Information

summersg
Gerald
Summers
SummersG@missouri.edu
573/882-4369
Biological Science
Are you submitting this proposal on behalf of an instructor?

Instructor for whom you are submitting proposal:
summersg
Gerald
Summers
SummersG@missouri.edu
573/882-4369
Biological Science
Subject Area’s Department Chair/Director:
walkerj
John
Walker
WalkerJ@missouri.edu
573/882-8985
Biological Science

Term for Proposal

 
Spring 2018

Course Catalog Information

A&S
Biological Sciences (BIO_SC)
Biological Sciences
3260W
4
 
30
Invertebrate Zoology - Writing Intensive
Structure, ecology and phylogeny of the invertebrate phyla. Includes lab.
 
Lecture/Standard with Laboratory
A-F (allow student to choose S/U option)
BIO_SC 1100 or BIO_SC 1500.
 
 
Junior Standing.

Instructor Information

summersg
Gerald
Summers
SummersG@missouri.edu
573/882-4369
Biological Science
(numbers only)
Tenured Associate Professor
110 Lefevre
 
 

The Campus Writing Program conducts a two-day faculty workshop to assist with the design and implementation of your writing intensive course. Once your course proposal has been approved by the Campus Writing Program, you will receive information on time, date and location of the workshop.
Indicate below if additional instructors are planned, but specific individuals have not yet been chosen. Check all that apply
Graduate Student
Briefly describe the qualifications of the known graduate instructors, or planned qualifications if graduate instructors are still to be selected, bearing in mind that graduate students teaching honors courses should be advanced students with a record of excellent teaching.
 

Honors Course Information

 
 
Answer the questions below as they would apply to one section. For all other sections, provide similar information in the Additional Sections Information box below.
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Writing Intensive Course Information

This course is a survey of the Animal Kingdom, including detail on the morphology, physiology, and ecology characterizing major taxa. This information provides the basis for a comparative study of animal diversity and reveals several principles of systematics. The laboratory emphasizes study of morphology and taxonomy.
Choices for readings from primary literature will be updated. New article substituted for the "Abstract" assignment and extended orientation for use of tables and figures assignment.
Face-to-face
Self paced?

53
60
Should this course be considered for funding?
Yes
Large Enrollment Courses:
2 50-minute lectures per week + 2 2-hour laboratory sessions per week
Between writing assignments and examinations, there is some assigned work every week of the term. Instructor marks all student writing.
GTAs grade laboratory practical examinations, only.

Writing Intensive Assignments

Words
Assignment 1
1. 1-sentence summary, 2 points During the first laboratory session, students read a paragraph from a popular science text and write a 1-sentence summary. This is followed by class discussions on representative samples, with emphasis on clarity and how well the sentence reflects the source material.

Length of assignment:
25
Instructor
 
 
25

Assignment 2
2. Letter home, 12 points, 660 words. Students will write a letter to Mom or Dad or a friend at home and describe the first day's lecture. Since the reader of the letter is presumably not a college biology major, students must take care to accurately summarize the lecture and to define the technical terms that they use.
Length of assignment:
660
Instructor
 
 
660

Assignment 3
3. Huxley's "Fundamental Law of Nature," 12 points, 660 words. Students read an excerpt from a public lecture by T. H. Huxley, a 19th-century champion of the study of animal biology in public education. This famous essay deals with the lobster, but reveals important principles of comparative biology that students must discover and describe in modern language.
Length of assignment:
660
Instructor
 
 
660

Assignment 4
4. Worksheet on writing conventions in systematic biology, 20 points This is a take-home exercise which includes an introduction to the proper usage of taxonomic names, plus a brief review of select grammatical issues that have been a problem with students in this class in the past (e.g., active voice vrs passive voice, wordiness, subject-verb agreement).
Length of assignment:
25
Instructor
 
 
25

Assignment 5
5. Using a set of propositions to reach a conclusion, 21 points, 660 words, Subject to peer review and revision, 790 words Students are given a set of 10 propositions about coral and photosynthetic algae known as zooxanthellae. These facts provide the basis for a 2-page essay on the relationship between coral and zooxanthellae. Students have studied coral in lecture, so their task is to order the 10 facts in a way that makes sense, connect the facts with appropriate transitions based on their own knowledge and background reading, and arrive at a conclusion about the nature of the relationship. This paper is subject to peer review in a laboratory session and is then revised and re-submitted.
Length of assignment:
660
Peer
900
Instructor
1560

Assignment 6
6. Principles of ethical writing in science, 10 points. This is an in-class exercise in which students are reminded of the importance of properly citing the work of others. The exercise emphasizes both plagiarism and the need to recognize the source of ideas and conclusions when writing about scientific work.
Length of assignment:
25
Instructor
 
 
25

Assignment 7
7. Writing an abstract, 12 points, 330 words. Following a short lesson on the key features of an abstract of a scientific paper, students read a relatively short paper from a paper in Science magazine and write an abstract for the paper.
Length of assignment:
330
Instructor
 
 
330

Assignment 8
8. Interpreting graphs and tables in scientific papers, 15 points, 660 words. This is a take-home exercise which requires students to briefly describe the information in a figure from a scientific paper. In particular, students must indicate what significant detail they can detect simply by examining the caption and form of the figure. Then, they are asked what significant piece of information is not apparent from an examination of the figure. This exercise emphasizes identification of results rather than interpretation of the results. A second, shorter exercise asks students to provide the text to summarize a table of numerical data.
Length of assignment:
660
Instructor
 
Instructor
660

Assignment 9
9. Summarizing a recent paper on an invertebrate, 18 points , 660 words, Subject to revision, 790 words After students have completed the previous Exercises 7 & 8, they are ready to read and summarize a recent paper. They choose from a list of papers published on an invertebrate within the recent past. The papers include organisms that have been discussed in class, so they are familiar to students. All papers are available on-line at the Ellis Library home page. Students are directed to summarize the paper, taking care to note the hypotheses and a brief description of the experimental design used to test the hypotheses. They must summarize the principal results and review the author's conclusions from these results. This paper is submitted for review (660 wrds) and returned for revision (790 wrds).
Length of assignment:
660
Instructor
900
Instructor
1560

Assignment 10
10. Critical review of a controversial topic, 18 points, 660 words, Subject to revision, 790 words Echinoderms have connective tissue that can change from a rigid mass to a plastic and pliable semi-solid substance. The selective advantages of this feature have been identified, but the mechanism by which the tissue changes its form is subject to some dispute. Students will read a recent experimental paper testing a specific hypothesis for the control of tissue mutability. In the summary of the paper, they will either defend or attack the author's conclusions on the basis of information in the paper or in additional reading that they have done on the subject. This paper is submitted for review and returned for revision.
Length of assignment:
660
Instructor
900
Instructor
1560

Assignment 11
11. How reliable are Web resources? 10 points, 330 words In this exercise, students research Web resources on a specific invertebrate. Animals are assigned by random drawing and include species that have been vetted for suitability for this exercise. Students must locate resources from the non-scientific and non-academic realm and provide a summary that includes two components. First, they must provide as much taxonomic detail as can be determined from the source. Typically, this includes phylum and class, but often includes subordinate taxa. Then, they must summarize the content of the Web site and identify any errors or misconceptions. This exercise is intended to develop a healthy sense of skepticism when viewing on-line sources of information.
Length of assignment:
330
Instructor
 
 
330

Total pages for all assignments:
First drafts:
14.23
Revisions:
8.18
22.41
USE OF REVISION IN ASSIGNMENTS Peers evaluate the first draft of Assignment #5; the instructor evaluates the first drafts of Assignments #9 and #10. Instructor assigns grades to all work.

Writing Intensive Teaching

Instructor provided feedback
Other
Peer review
Peer review provided for Assignment #5, following a brief, in-class discussion of how to provide useful feedback to authors. Students are marked on the feedback they provide in the peer review in order to minimize superficial or unhelpful reviews. Revision on Assignments #9 and #10 involve prompts provided by the instructor, focusing on completeness and clarity: did students meet assignment objectives? did they clearly express their thoughts? Papers are not line-edited, but students with problems in grammar or spelling receive direction to attend to these errors.
 
Assignment #10 (described above and copied here) gives the best example of fostering critical thinking through offering opportunities for students to interpret information. "10. Critical review of a controversial topic, 18 points, 500 words, Subject to revision, 750 words Echinoderms have connective tissue that can change from a rigid mass to a plastic and pliable semi-solid substance. The selective advantages of this feature have been identified, but the mechanism by which the tissue changes its form is subject to some dispute. Students will read a recent experimental paper testing a specific hypothesis for the control of tissue mutability. In the summary of the paper, they will either defend or attack the author's conclusions on the basis of information in the paper or in additional reading that they have done on the subject. This paper is submitted for review and returned for revision."
#1 - due in first lab session #2 - due in first lecture of second week #3 - due in second lecture of second week #4 - due at end of second week #5 - due in first lecture of third week; peer review occurs in second lab of this week; revision due in first lecture of following week. 5th and 6th week taken up by examinations #6 - completed in first laboratory of 7th week #7 - due in first lecture of 8th week #8 - due in first lecture of 9th week. 10th and 11th weeks taken up by examinations #9 - due in first lecture of 12th week; revision due in first lecture of following week #10 - due in first lecture of 14th week; revision due in first lecture of following week #11 -- due on last day of semester
33
%
3 lecture examinations and 4 laboratory practical examinations; minor contribution from lab work (dissections and cladogram construction)
2
TAs will most likely be returning, "veteran" TAs from previous offerings of the course

Course Syllabus

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Administrative Information

Natural and Applied Sciences
 
 

Acknowledgement

I have read and reviewed the updated proposal

Additional Comments

 
Patricia Luckenotte (luckenottep) (Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:02:59 GMT): This course is listed as BIO_SC 3260W, 01 with labs 01A-01D for the Spring 2018 semester.
Key: 65