Evolutionary Biology - Grading & Exams

Bios 334, Fall 2008, Rice University





Grading & Exams



Exams will cover both readings and lecture material.

Grades will be curved.

A male frigate bird trying to make the grade


Exam 1: Sept. 29
Exam 2: Nov 5
Final exam: comprehensive. but 100 or more points on material since exam 2
100 Project
Class participation

The exam dates are fixed.   They will cover whatever lectures and readings we've gotten through by that point.  The fixed exam dates allow you to plan. Check NOW to see if you have clusters of exams at the same time during the semester, and plan accordingly.  I'm not very sympathetic to requests for changes in exams dates because:

 1. Other exams might keep you from studying the night before the Evolution exam, but I'm more interested in your long-term learning than in what you crammed in the night before.
 2. It's not fair to other students.  Everyone gets clusters of exams sometimes, and it isn't right to penalize those who plan for it.

Hourly Exams:  In class, 55 minutes, closed book and notes.  Some material will be strictly factual, from the book or lectures, but some will emphasize integrating the information you have learned, and in applying it in new contexts.  Exams may include multiple choice, problem solving, short essay.  They are cumulative in the sense that you might need to remember something from earlier in the course, but each is designed to test the material since the last exam.

Final exam.  The final is cumulative, but with considerable emphasis on the material following the second exam. 
Homework:  Homework will be primarily of two kinds. For certain topics, small problem sets will help you get the concepts. Other homeworks might be short essay questions.   Not doing the homework can be very bad for your grade; a zero on a 20-point homework is the same as missing 20 points on an exam.  Homeworks will be announced in class and on owlspace (don't throw out those emails).

Project: This will be a short paper and poster on one particular kind of evidence for evolution. Details to be announced.