BIO 301C Biology for Citizens (K. Kalthoff)

Discussion Sections


Discussion sections are mandatory. Each student attends all lectures of this course but only one of the four discussion sections announced in the course schedule. Discussion sections are different from freshmen interest groups (FIGs); the two cannot substitute for each other.

Discussion sections will be run by the teaching assistant. The TA will focus on items that are of particular importance and/or have been difficult in the past. In particular, the TA will discuss the journal article that was assigned to one of the topics covered during the preceding week. You will be expected to have read this article before discussion section, for two reasons. First, the assigned readings figure prominently in midterm and final exams, and they are just too much for cramming. Second, you can get any difficult parts of an assigned reading clarified in discussion section, but only if you know what to ask. As time permits, the TA will also field questions from students on current lecture material, recent quizzes and exams, etc. Again, those who come with their questions prepared receive the greatest benefit.

The meeting times and places for the discussion sections are listed under Technical Information for the ongoing semester. You may switch from a high-enrollment section to a low-enrollment section, but not vice versa. Consult with your teaching assistant before using the add-and-drop procedure. You are required to attend the section you are registered for.

The first discussion sections will be on 30 August and 1 September, with the De Waal (1995) paper as the assigned reading. There will be no discussion sections during Labor Day week. Discussion sections will resume on 13/15 September, with the Tattersall (2004) paper as the assigned reading. Thereafter, the reading assigned to the third week will come up in the discussion sections of the fourth week, and so on.

Your TA will give a very short quiz at the beginning of each discussion section. The TA will also keep records on your contributions to discussion. Based on these records and the quiz results, your TA will assign the total number points (maximum 20 points, corresponding to one letter grade) that you earned in discussion section, which will be entered in the computation of your final grade.


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Last modified: 19 August 2010