09 December 2020 C.E.

I have made available a Life Sciences Assessment. It is a standardized assessment that all students in all sections complete for statistical purposes. It's in the Canvas menu (near the top). Please complete it by 13 December. Thanks.

02 December 2020 C.E.

For any of you needing to schedule an appointment to use a Lockdown Browser enabled computer to take any of the upcoming examinations, this is just a reminder to check the dates of the examinations and the laboratory practicum. I'm not sure what dates and times the campus facility will be open at the end of the term, so I highly recommend calling to ensure that you're set up. The link for scheduling is:

If you're set up to use Lockdown Browser at home, then you may ignore this.

02 December 2020 C.E.

Shannon Manuelito is requesting that you complete this syllabus survey:

Thanks for participating in datum collection.

26 November 2020 C.E.

Examination 3 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 58.5
Historic High Mean: 66.2
Historic Overall Mean: 63.6
Current Term Mean: 58.5
Current Term Low Score: 30.0
Current Term High Score: 84.0

Be sure to click on the Option to Retake button on the non-Canvas site.

22 October 2020 C.E.

Your examination score has now been incorporated into your total current score. Now that two examinations have been completed, it becomes more important to keep an eye on the Summary & Forecast numbers on Canvas.

Examination 2 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 57.2
Historic High Mean: 67.8
Historic Overall Mean: 63
Current Term Mean: 57.2
Current Term Low Score: 24.0
Current Term High Score: 92.0

22 October 2020 C.E.

I'll update the grades on Canvas as soon as the website finishes processing the videos. That can sometimes take a while.

20 October 2020 C.E.

For Wednesday's examination, please keep in mind that your Lockdown video MUST show both sides of your summary sheet (one of which must be blank), and it MUST show your entire desk surface, which should be empty except for your summary sheet. Thanks, and I hope it goes well.

26 September 2020 C.E.

I've been asked to post this. It could be important to many of you.

Allied Health and Nursing Pathway

Virtual Advising Session and Q&A

Led by Health Science Advisors: Kristi Meador and Vanessa Piper


• Come and meet your Health Sciences Advising Team
• Meet the new Nursing Advisor.
• Get current information on health science programs.
• Get your questions answered.


Wednesday, October 7th  9:30-10:30am 

(For students in Bio 160/156/181/201)

WebEx Link: (Links to an external site.)

24 September 2020 C.E.

There is a Cox outage in my area, so my responses, grading, etc. will be delayed.

23 September 2020 C.E.

Examination 1 Statistics %
Historic Low Mean: 63.8
Historic High Mean: 70.0
Historic Overall Mean: 66.9
Current Term Mean: 63.8
Current Term Low Score: 36.0
Current Term High Score: 88.0

The rows marked as Historic are computed for all three sections that I have taught (back to Spring 2020); the rows marked Current are for this class. The mean is pretty close to what I expected. Now that the videos have been processed, the examination scores have been incorporated into your total score. I encourage you to have a fresh look at your Total Current Score as well as all the numbers described on the Summary & Forecast page of Canvas, especially because examinations have a larger effect than any other type of assignment.

23 September 2020 C.E.

Although you can see your examination score on Canvas, your Total Current Score has not yet been updated, because several videos are still being processed by the website, so I am not yet able to see them. When the processing is finished, I will post another update here.

22 September 2020 C.E.

Please consider this:
STEM Drop-In Counseling

22 September 2020 C.E.

The course syllabus (and Canvas) have been updated to reflect the cancellation of Plasticity in Sensory Motor Systems.

22 September 2020 C.E.

Please remember that today's video for the examination must show both sides of your summary sheet, and one of those sides must be blank. I hope it goes well.

11 September 2020 C.E.

This weekend (starting Saturday), I will be camping in the middle of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. I will not have connectivity, so I will not receive or be able to respond to any messages from you. As always, if you have any technical problem, then you should immediately contact technical support using the Help link on Canvas. Enjoy the weekend.

10 September 2020 C.E.

Some of you have had difficulty making a satisfactory Lockdown video of your environment, because your camera is difficult to manipulate. An excellent solution (or just an easy way for everyone) is to keep the computer in place and use a mirror. Manipulate the mirror slowly and carefully back and forth, up and down, to show the work surface thoroughly. You won't be able to do this with a tiny mirror, but it should be easy with a mirror that's designed for wall hanging (or similar size). Just take your time during the video; jerky motion does not allow me to see well enough.

Also, it's a bit surprising to me that with the examination coming up so soon, there are still some students who have not even bothered to do the Lockdown Practice. I'll say this again and bluntly: if you make an unsatisfactory video on the day of the examination, then I will simply reject your examination, and there will be no allowable excuse. That is a big deal, because it can cause damage to your score from which you might not be able to recover. Please ask yourself, therefore, whether it's worth taking that risk. Thanks, and enjoy the upcoming weekend.

08 September 2020 C.E.

Some of you received zeros for the Project Milestone 1 assignment. If you received a zero, it's because either you did not submit the assignment, or you did not properly share the document. Either way, there is no ability to make up Milestone 1. However, even though those points are no longer available if you received a zero, it it still important to complete Milestone 1, just to be sure that you are sharing properly. You don't want improper sharing settings to disqualify Milestone 2, because that will be worth a lot more points than Milestone 1. Therefore, if you received a zero for Milestone 1, be sure to carefully read the instructions for Milestone 1 and follow those instructions exactly.

All of you should keep checking the Project Milestones page on Canvas, because I will post instructions there soon about Milestone 2.

02 September 2020 C.E.

We are a week and a half into the term, and many of you have not completed the Lockdown Practice, which I urged everyone to complete weeks ago. Keep in mind that if you don't go through the Lockdown Practice, then you are putting yourself in danger of having your examination rejected, even if it seems as though nothing went wrong. In other words, if your video for Examination 1 is not acceptable (according to the standards I described in the Lockdown Practice exercise), and if you did not submit the Lockdown Practice, then there will be no allowable excuse, and your examination will simply be rejected. I won't count it, and you will be required to complete a version of the examination that is not multiple-choice. Don't let that happen. There is a second reason for submitting the Lockdown Practice. If you find that you do not have the required computer hardware to take the examinations, then you will be required to make other arrangements (like using a computer on campus). You don't want to find this out on the day of an examination, because each examination will be available only for the one day on which it is scheduled on the syllabus. The bottom line is that if you have not yet submitted the Lockdown Practice, then do so the first chance you get. Also, some of you who did submit the Lockdown Practice will be receiving a message from me (probably today) to indicate that you must redo it, because your video is not acceptable. There is no need to ask me whether yours is acceptable. If you don't receive a message from me (and you have submitted it), then you are good to go. Thanks.

01 September 2020 C.E.

Some of you are confused by the due dates for the Connect assignments and that is partially understandable. The Connect website is based on Eastern Daylight Time, and I am not able to change that. When assignments are due by midnight in Phoenix, that's actually 3 AM the next day in Eastern time, so that is what automatically shows up on the Canvas calendar. I also don't have control over that, which is one of the many things I hate about Canvas. As unfortunate as this confusion is, however, it points out that many of you are not following my advice given in the Overview video, which is to use the table of due dates on the last page of the syllabus as a checklist. That table lists all the official due dates, and that's why it's so important to keep referring to that table. The To Do list and the Calendar in Canvas are automatically generated "conveniences", but they can be wrong, as this example illustrates. So consider the syllabus to be the final word. It's the official document. Thanks.

31 August 2020 C.E.

Please see these two important tutoring documents, and also please keep in mind that you have already paid for tutoring, so choosing not to use it is a waste of money.

Tutoring FAQ

Tutoring Schedule

29 August 2020 C.E.

Now that you have submitted some assignments and some scores have been posted, it's a good time to notice how those assignments have affected your Summary and Forecast numbers. Keep in mind that the ones named "Minimum Required..." are hurdles, so you want those to get as low as possible. Each time you submit an assignment on which you score higher than that minimum, the minimum gets recalculated as a lower number, which means the hurdle has been lowered, and getting the corresponding final letter grade is getting easier. But the opposite is also true. If you score lower than that minimum, then the new minimum will be higher, and getting that final grade will be harder to achieve. If you're seeing your scores, you're all set, but if you see only zeros, then you'll need to submit the Rules Consent Form.

27 August 2020 C.E.

I added a link for Project Milestone 1. Look for it on the Project Milestones page of Canvas.

26 August 2020 C.E.

Keep in mind that all Connect work is open-book, and you have continuous access to the eText during quizzes, as shown in the shots below.



25 August 2020 C.E.

If anyone has had any problem getting the laboratory manual through the bookstore, please let me know. If you haven't even ordered it yet, you need to contact the bookstore immediately.

25 August 2020 C.E.

A couple items:

1. As you begin submitting assignments, whether they are Reading Quizzes on Connect, Study Activities using the manual, or any other category of graded assignment, you will naturally be checking the Grades page on Canvas. It is important to realize that you will not see a score for any assignment until that assignment has been graded and I have posted the score. Relatedly, I want to make it clear that there is a big difference between a dash (-) and a zero (0) on the Grades page of Canvas. A dash simply means that I have not yet submitted the score for that assignment, even though you might have already submitted the assignment. So please don't freak out if you see a dash. It does not mean that I did not receive your assignment. I typically grade assignments after the due date, so I can grade them all at once for maximum fairness. A zero, on the other hand, means that there is a problem (except for the First-Day Attendance, which was worth 0). It means either that you did not successfully submit the assignment or that you did not yet submit the Rules Consent Form (which should have been done on the first day). Further, if you see a dash for an assignment that you have submitted, that's an indication that your Total Current Score does not yet include the score for that assignment. On the other hand, when you do see a score for an assignment (whatever percentage it is), you can be assured that the assignment's score has already been calculated into you Total Current Score (and, for that matter, into all of the other Summary & Forecast scores, as well).

2. I want you to think of me as effectively always available, especially since the vast majority of you will primarily use email to contact me. However, I have set aside the hour from 10:00 to 11:00 each Friday as a sort of office hour. That doesn't mean that you should wait until then to contact me. It just means that you could connect with me via Zoom during that time, if you need to. You many use this URL during that office hour:

This is not a scheduled meeting for the class. It's simply an available slot for an office-hour discussion with me. Please keep in mind that the link will not work at other days and times unless you and I make arrangements ahead of time.

25 August 2020 C.E.

Thanks for your participation yesterday, and I'm glad that some students on the wait list were allowed in. That first day is the only day for attendance. For the rest of term, you may be online at whatever days and times work for you. Just be sure to obey all deadlines (listed in the table on the last page of the syllabus). I'm sorry for the confusion some of you had about the seven numbered items in the To Do list (Total Current Score, etc.). One thing that infuriates me about Canvas is that Canvas is incapable of making those important calculation, but if I make those calculations myself, the only way Canvas will allow me to post them in your grade book is to define them as assignments. Rest assured that the only true assignments are the ones listed in that table on the syllabus. So now it's a matter of keeping up to date and using the correct page on Canvas for each assignment type. The Lectures page is where you review my lectures. That's like attending face-to-face meetings. Under that Lectures link, though, is where you find links to the pages that correspond to the different assignment categories (Study Activities, Laboratory Activities, etc). The name of each assignment listed in the table on the syllabus indicates which Canvas page you should use for each assignment. Hopefully, things are making more sense now that you've had a look around. Never be afraid to email me if anything is unclear, whether it's about navigating the course, someting specific about a biological topic, or anything else. There were hundreds of things I had to do yesterday, so I was much busier than usual. I hope I didn't miss any of your messages. Things will be settling down now, thankfully. Enjoy the first week.

24 August 2020 C.E.

First-day attendance word: oozleplaf

21 August 2020 C.E.

I have added more Canvas menu items, including Dissection Activities, Summary Sheets, Examinations, Contact Instructor, and Overview. Now there are menu items for each of the categories of graded items. Be sure to watch the Overview at your earliest convenience (and before beginning any work in the course). Enjoy the weekend.

20 August 2020 C.E.

I added a Laboratory Activities item to the Canvas menu. Also, I want to say that I recommend completing the Lockdown Practice before Monday. I say this, because if you don't have the required computer hardware, then I want you to realize that before it's too late to get a refund for the course.

18 August 2020 C.E.

I added a Lectures link to the Canvas menu (left side of Canvas). As I add other materials to Canvas, I'll announce those changes here.

15 August 2020 C.E.

I made two cosmetic changes to the syllabus to avoid confusion. The names of the Reading Quizzes (requiring the Connect website) now match their names on the Connect site, and the category name (Reading Quizzes) was updated under the Scoring section. To further clarify, all of the Reading Quizzes will be completed on (and submitted through) the required Connect website (so please register as soon as possible). All other graded items will be submitted through Canvas. Scores for ALL items (regardless of how they are submitted) will appear on Canvas.

13 August 2020 C.E.

I uploaded a revised syllabus. It now includes a breakdown of the types of graded items and their comparative values. It also includes due dates for examinations and all other graded items. I'll be adding assignments to Canvas, which means that you might receive messages from Canvas, depending on how you have your notifications set. Please rest assured that nothing is due before the first day of class, regardless of what a Canvas notification might tell you. However, the things that are important to complete BEFORE the first day are registration in Connect, completion of the Rules Consent Form, and completion of Lockdown Practice. As always, keep your eye on this Announcements page.

20 July 2020 C.E.

I can give you a bit more information today. I have updated the syllabus to include the Supporting Materials section. The syllabus still is incomplete, but I'll announce changes as they're made. I've also made the Textbooks link active. Please read the Supporting Materials section of the syllabus very carefully. You should take care of purchasing the BIO160 Laboratory Manual as soon as possible from the campus bookstore, especially because I have no idea how long shipping will take, and you should have your hard copy in hand by the first day of classes. The other purchase is access to my Connect course. I will be posting a Canvas page called Connect Registration Video & FAQ. It has information about the purchase and registration processes.

18 July 2020 C.E.

This section is full, and it might have a wait list on the scheduled first day (24 August). Since this is an online course, you will be required to demonstrate your attendance (for the first day only) by completing a quiz on Canvas that will ask you to enter a specific word. That word will appear on 24 August. It will appear on this Announcements page, because this course will require you to use this website in addition to Canvas throughout the term.

On 24 August, visit this site to find the word, then go to Canvas to complete the quiz, which will appear as a link in the Canvas menu for this course's Canvas. The link will appear as "First Day Attendance".

The quiz will be automatically graded, so you will be able to look at your grades on Canvas to verify that you have successfully submitted the quiz. If you fail to submit the First Day Attendance quiz, and if there is a wait list, then you will be withdrawn from the course.

If you are trying to get into this section, then you should immediately ensure that you are on the wait list by registering via the EMCC site. Do not wait until the first day of the term to do that; do it right now. Once you are on the wait list, you must also demonstrate your attendance the first day. However, you will not have Canvas access. Therefore, send me email (directly to and include your full name, your student ID, and the word revealed on 24 August). Only students on the wait list should demonstrate attendance by emailing me; all registered students must do so by submitting the Canvas quiz.

I will request that students on the wait list who have demonstrated attendance be added to the course, but the college will not allow me to exceed 24 students, so this can occur only if there are registered students who do not demonstrate attendance on the first day, and the order of names on the wait list will be used to determine the order of students to be added.

08 July 2020 C.E.

Several of the details for BIO160 are still being discussed by multiple instructors involved, which is the only reason why I have not yet revealed those details. As soon as those details are finalized, I will make them available to you. However, there is an important bit of information that I can give you right now, and that has to do with testing. Please read the following very carefully and thoroughly.

  • To maximize safety during the pandemic, I will be offering all of the lecture examinations through Canvas. However, to be eligible to take those online examinations, there are strict requirements that must be met, and you must convincingly demonstrate that you meet those requirements. Otherwise, you will be required to take the lecture examinations on campus in front of an in-person proctor. Whether taken online or on campus, the lecture examinations will be entirely multiple-choice. However, see exceptions below.

  • To be eligible for online lecture examinations, you must adhere to all of the following:
    1. You must use a computer that is equipped with a webcam and is compatible with the lockdown browser.
    2. You must download, install, and run the lockdown browser software.
    3. An iPad will work, but other mobile devices probably will not.
    4. A Chromebook WILL NOT WORK. If all you have is a Chromebook, then you will be required to take in-person lecture examinations on campus.
    5. Prior to the start of each lecture examination, you will be required to make a video recording of your surroundings to demonstrate that you have no papers, book, devices, etc. that are prohibited during the examination. This recording must be convincing, and it must clearly and completely show your desk space. This will require you to lift up your computer (if the webcam is incorporated into the computer), turn it around, and point it downward to clearly demonstrate that the surface is free of materials.
    6. If the video is not sufficient, then your examination will not count, and you will be required to take an alternative version that will NOT feature any multiple-choice questions.
    7. Each examination will be timed, and you will be required to finish it in one sitting. If you leave your chair, then your examination will not count, and you will be required to take an alternative version that will NOT feature any multiple-choice questions.
  • I would really like this to go smoothly for everyone, which is why I have made a practice test called Lockdown Practice. You will find it on the Canvas site for this course. It is not worth any points, but it is required, and it will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you have the hardware requirements in place for the real examinations. Please complete the Lockdown Practice at your earliest convenience. Pretend that it is a real test, so take the time to make a careful recording of your surroundings. That way, I can review your practice recording and tell you whether a similar recording on each test day will be sufficient.

  • 24 June 2020 C.E.

    I will be working on the gradebook intermittently until the course starts. Depending on how you have your Canvas preferences set, you might receive some notifications from Canvas about your scores for the upcoming term. Please rest assured that nothing is due before the first day of the term, and you may safely disregard those automated messages from Canvas.

    17 June 2020 C.E.

    A Quick Note

    Things are still being worked out for this online version of BIO160, so not everything on this site or on Canvas will work or be available yet. Until I announce that everything is up and running, there is no need to inform me about broken links. Please just interpret non-working links as a sign that I am working on the site. I wanted to get a skeleton site up and running, however, so you can glean as much information as possible about how things will operate this fall. Please have a look around, and realize that changes will be made gradually, so keep an eye on this site and on Canvas. I highly recommend signing up for automated notices of announcements that will be posted here. Ty