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06 October 2023 C.E.

I didn't realize until today that the schedule of assignments had some items that were due during the Fall Intermission. I have changed that, because instructors are not allowed to have items due during the intermission. Please realize that this pushes those items into the following week, so that week will be busier than normal, and you should be sure to plan accordingly.

14 September 2023 C.E.

Now that you've taken an examination, it is very important to appreciate how much examinations affect your Total Current Score and all of your other Summary & Forecast numbers. This is because examinations are worth more than any other type of assignment, so your Summary & Forecast numbers will change more (either upwardly or downwardly) in response to examinations compared to anything else. The Summary & Forecast numbers are designed to let you know whether you'll be able to make it through this difficult course, so please have a careful look at all of those numbers (explained on the Summary & Forecast page of Canvas). If you see only zeroes, that's because you have ignored my messages about needing to submit the Rules Consent Form.

07 September 2023 C.E.

I'll be in the wilderness in northern Arizona from 08 September to 10 September, and my connectivity will be spotty, so responses from me to any messages you send might be delayed. I'll try to keep an eye on things as much as possible. Please keep in mind that technical problems should be addressed to the IT folks, so please do not wait on a response from me about computer problems, etc. For those concerns, submit a help ticket. Enjoy the weekend.

03 September 2023 C.E.

Those of you who wisely submitted a Lockdown Practice should have already received an email message from me telling you whether your way of making the video is acceptable. Those who have not submitted a Lockdown Practice are taking a great risk of Examination 1 not counting. It takes a while for videos to be processed by Canvas and made available to me to review. Therefore, this is your last chance to submit the Lockdown Practice in time for me to review it before the upcoming examination. Enjoy the holiday.

25 August 2023 C.E.

We're well into the course now, and some of you are still not earning any points because you failed to submit the required Rules Consent Form. There is an easy way to tell whether you've submitted it successfully. If you see a 0 for your Total Current Score (in Grades on Canvas), then you haven't submitted the form, and you are not earning any points in this course. If you see a positive number, then you're all set, so don't submit the form again. Enjoy the weekend.

17 August 2023 C.E.

This is the sixth day of the term so everyone should be well settled in by now. Unfortunately, I see that's not the case. This course is very demanding, and it is relentless, so it is troubling that so many of you have not yet done the things that should have been completed last Saturday. Specifically, I'm talking about carefully viewing the Overview Video, submitting the Rules Consent Form, and purchasing access to Mastering. I'd like this challenging course to go well for you, so if you haven't done one or more of those things, you need to do so immediately to stay afloat. Thanks, and enjoy the upcoming weekend.

12 August 2023 C.E.

The word for the First-Day Attendance was available only on 12 August.

11 August 2023 C.E.

Introductory Remarks

Welcome to BIO156. If you've never taken this course before, the most important thing you can do to help you succeed is to realize IMMEDIATELY what you are in for. BIO156 is a very demanding course that will require many hours outside of the classroom to learn the huge amount of information that will be presented. Please do yourself a favor and just believe me on this, regardless of how easy your other courses might have seemed.

Since BIO156 is going to consume so much of your time just to stay afloat, it is worth taking some time right now looking at the various items that are on this website. After the term starts, you will be very busy, and if by then you already know what's available here to help you, you'll be able to work as efficiently as possible.

Although this site and Canvas might not yet be complete at the time your are reading this, you should fully explore both sites to see what's there and to get a feel for how things are organized. Click on every menu item to explore the contents. This includes the Rules Consent Form, which is absolutely required. If you do not submit it, then you will receive no credit for your work, and you will not be able to see your total score.

You should also realize that checking the website FREQUENTLY is absolutely required. If you would like to receive automated email notifications of new announcements, then simply join the list.

Even if no announcements are posted for several days, you still need to check for new announcements, because announcements will be official (and therefore binding).

It's also important to be sure that you are enrolled in the correct course. BIO181 (which I also teach and which is very similar to BIO156) is for biology majors, whereas BIO156 is for allied health majors.

If I sound like I'm trying to scare you, that's because I'm trying to scare you. But I only want to scare you into believing me about how demanding this course will be, because I want you to succeed, and I want you to get a lot out of the course. I certainly don't want to imply that you cannot enjoy this course. It'll be a lot of work, but it's also a very good course, and I think you'll learn a lot and have some fun.

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 21 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 21 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 (i.e., if you are not already registered), then you should immediately ensure that you are on the wait list. 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 21 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.

Some Very Important Requirements:

  • 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.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 required lockdown browser software.
    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 MIGHT work. The Chromebook version of the lockdown browser software is in beta. Therefore, there is no guarantee that it will work. If all you have is a Chromebook, then please email me as soon as you know that.
    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 the desk space in front of you. 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. If it is not possible to move the camera in this way, then you must use a mirror to show the desk space.
    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 during the examination, or if you wear headphones during the examination, 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.

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