Assignments and Grades:
Student Code of Conduct
Grading System and Assignment of Grades
- Doing Course Assignments at Home
- For each of the topics to be covered, you are asked to first read through
related materials elsewhere on our Web server. Then, in many cases, you will
be asked to use Web and/or library resources to gain more background
information on a given topic. For a number of the assignments, you will be
asked to do something (flushing the toilet, baking bread. . .), and most of
these activities are things that would be suitable as “family activities.”
If you have children of your own, they would probably enjoy helping mom or
dad with homework.
Contacting the Instructor:
- Contact Information
- Faculty Info Here...
- E-Mail Guidelines
- Please observe the following “rules” when sending me e-mail messages:
- Make sure your name and e-mail address are properly configured in
the e-mail software you’re using.
- Make sure you include a subject line (title) and make sure that
clearly makes it obvious that you are a Human Biol. student and
that the message relates to this course.
- Please say whatever you need to say directly in the body
of your message.
- Please do not include any attachments! This includes
background images, which crash my e-mail software. Due to the
prevalence of VB macro viruses embedded in Word and Excel files as
well as other e-mail viruses, I do not open e-mail
- Assignments for this course should be submitted online from the
corresponding Web pages.
- Reporting Pages That Don’t Work Right
- I have tried to create these pages so they will work with as many Web
browsers as possible. That can be really tough, though, because it seems
like just when I get things working and invent work-arounds for the latest
generation of quirky, “broken” browser features, somebody comes out with a
new version of a browser that can’t do something that every previous browser
I have tested these Web pages using SeaMonkey (so should probably work
OK in FireFox, too) and Internet Explorer.
The Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) information works best in non-IE browsers.
does’t understand CSS as well, and thus some things might not line up as
intended, all the links, etc. should be functional. I do not have Opera, Safari, etc.,
installed to test, but from what I’ve read, those tend to do OK with CSS.
Thus, if you find something that’s not working right for you, please let me
know, and let’s work together to see if we can figure it out.
If you encounter a problem, please be very observant. Observe and note
exactly what you tried and exactly what happened as a result.
When you contact me, please give me as much detail as possible: what browser
are you using (what version might also be helpful), what, specifically, did
you do or try to do, what did the Web page do. . . ?
The more information and the more detail you can give me, the better our
chances are of figuring out what’s going on and finding a solution. If all
you tell me is “It isn’t working,” that is not enough information to go on.
- Child Windows vs. Anti-Pop-Up Software
- One thing of which I am aware that might be a potential
problem for some people is a “conflict” between some kinds of
anti-pop-up software and the need to use child windows among these Web pages.
I do make frequent use of child windows. For example, I have created a
number of Web pages to allow you to submit your assignments online. Each
time you submit an assignment, I believe it is helpful to you to get a
confirmation message back from the server that your assignment has been
received. However, I think it’s a hassle to have the Web page you’re
viewing disappear and be replaced by a “one-liner” that requires you to
click the “back” button to go back to and reload the page you were viewing.
Thus, I have set things up to load the short confirmation
message in a small child window that can be viewed and then closed, all
without losing your place on the “main” page you are viewing. Based on
comments I’ve received from students in other courses, it sounds like some
types of anti-pop-up software are very good at distinguishing between these
sorts of “legitimate” child windows and the “bad” pop-ups, while other
anti-pop-up software does not make that distinction and just flatly disallows
all child windows unless told otherwise. I definitely understand the need
for anti-pop-up software these days! Thus, if you happen to find yourself
in the situation where the child windows are not opening for you, please
very carefully check the configuration settings for your anti-pop-up
software and make sure it is set to accept pop-up windows from
Other Relevant Information:
Glossary of Biological Terminology
Information on Submitting Newsnotes
- Required Plugins
- I have tried to keep the “different” file types, other than HTML, to a
reasonable number. I think, if you have Adobe Acrobat, Quicktime, and
possibly RealPlayer (all of which are fairly standard, I think) installed,
that should probably take care of most of what you’re likely to run across
among these Web pages. (Because of their smaller file size, many of the
RealPlayer files were created back when using a modem to dial into an ISP was
the norm. However, along with smaller file size, the quality of the resulting
video is not as good. Thus, now that most people are using high-speed
connections, I am slowly replacing those files with better-quality video
- Why I Don’t Use Blackboard
- I do not use Blackboard for a number of what I feel are very important
- I began creating course-related Web pages back in 1995 and have
been hosting those pages on my own Web server since 1996, long before
UC bought and installed their copy of the Blackboard software.
- I am just as human, just as fallible as anyone else, and while I
try not to, I do occasionally make mistakes. By placing my Web pages
online for everyone to see, they are, thereby, subjected to “peer
review” — if someone (faculty at other institutions, etc.) sees a
mistake or has a suggestion to offer, (s)he can send me e-mail. In
contrast, course materials placed in Blackboard are only visible to
the students who are officially enrolled in that class, so a faculty
member could be telling them anything – right or wrong – and never has
- According to US copyright law, everything on the Web is
automatically copyrighted, even if it doesn’t explicitly say so.
Based on a number of things I’ve heard and e-mail messages I’ve
received, it sounds like, in quite a number of cases, Blackboard users
tend to “surf the Web,” gathering other people’s work which they then,
often without asking for the author’s permission, squirrel away in
Blackboard where, once again, no one else ever sees that they have it
- Course materials put on Blackboard disappear at the end of the
quarter and must be reloaded or recreated each time the course is
taught. Course materials are only available to the professor of
record for a particular section of a course. In contrast, by placing
Web pages on a “regular” Web server, they’ll stay there as long as
desired, plus they’re available to be used by all professors and all
students in all sections of that particular course (as well as
students and faculty at other schools).
- By placing Web pages on a “regular” server, I have the freedom and
creativity to design course materials in the way I feel is best,
rather than using someone else’s format.
- By using a “regular” Web server, I have the freedom to not only
create my own cgi scripts, but also tailor them to the course and the
topic being covered. Also, I have the ability to edit the MIME-type
list if a new type is needed. In contrast, I doubt whether the folks
who run the Blackboard server would allow either of those. Additionally,
if something’s not working, I usually have immediate access to the
server to try to fix any problems, so we’re not dependent on waiting
for the techs in charge of Blackboard to troubleshoot problems.
- Because Blackboard is programmed to only allow officially-registered
students to access course materials, it is difficult to grant access
to students whose financial aid is messed up, etc. In contrast, pages
on a “regular” server can be viewed by anyone, anywhere, and in this
way students at many other schools may also benefit from them.
Copyright © 2006 by J. Stein Carter. All rights reserved.
This page has been accessed times since 5 July 2006.