NS401 Natural Science Seminar

for FA 2007

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


NS 401 Natural Science Colloquium


FA 2007 HO


Williams, Donald L.


Associate Professor of Biology


Ed. D. July, 1998, Science (Biology) and cognate in Natural Resources and Environmental Mangt., Ball State University
M. A. August, 1978, Biology, Western State College, Gunnison, Colorado
B. A. May, 1970, Biology and Secondary Education, Kansas Wesleyan University,

Office Location

SC 114B

Office Hours

Tuesday 10-12 a.m.; Wednesday 2-4 p.m.

Daytime Phone


Other Phone




Web Page


Semester Dates

August 20-December 14, 2007

Class Days


Class Time

11:00 - 12:15 PM

Credit Hours



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Course Description:
A regularly scheduled seminar based on formal presentations of students, faculty, and guests. The presentations are based upon current periodical literature, and the presentation of an abstract and bibliography is required.Required of all senior students within the division as designated by the department. Maybe repeated for credit. 0:2:1

Educational Philosophy:

In this class, the instructor will attempt to create an interactive learning environment utilizing lectures, class discussions, and various technologies.  Critical thinking and skepticism are the cornerstones of science and the foundations to uncovering the truth about the natural world. Course topics will be presented and discussed with these foundations in mind. 

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Proficiently produce a scientific abstract and bibliography based upon research or literature review
  2. Compose, design, and organize a scientific presentation using PowerPoint
  3. Deliver an oral presentation in an orderly, concise, and scientific format that follows the fundamentals of good oral communication.
  4. Evaluate peer presentations for content and delivery

Core Assessment:

Create and deliver an oral presentation that lasts 18-22 minutes using PowerPoint that reviews the literature of a natural science topic approved by the instructor. The student should also provide an abstract of the presentation (1page, double spaced) and a bibliography of pertinent sources (10 peer-reviewed articles) to the class at least 1 week prior to making the presentation.

The abstract and bibliography should:

A1. Provide a bibliography that contains pertinent citations in CSE format.

A2. Provide a concise abstract that summarizes the main facts and concepts being presented.

A3. Be written with proper grammar, correct spelling, and in an organized and legible manner.

The presentation and/or presenter should:

P1. Deliver the presentation at a consistent, clear pace that is audible and understandable to the audience within the time allotted.

P2. Transition clearly from introduction to body to conclusion and from point to point within each section.

P3. Supply visual information such as text, tables, graphs, etc. that have good contrast and visibility with proper grammar, spelling, and labeling.

P4. Present at an educational level slightly above the audience (mostly bachelor’s students).

P5. Provide a review of scientific information pertinent to the topic in an orderly and logical progression.

P6. Answer questions from the audience effectively to extent possible at the college level.

P7. Avoid distracting habits common to oral presentations (e.g. excessive "umms", shifting weight, hand fiddling, reading, etc.).

P8. Dress and act appropriately for a scientific presentation to colleagues (e.g. eye contact, posture).

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Short Presentation
Abstract for long presentation
Long Presentation (Core Assessment)
Peer reviews of presentations


Short Presentation--250 pts. (25%)
Abstract for long presentation--150 pts. (15%)
Long Presentation (Core Assessment)--450 pts. (45%)
Peer reviews of presentations--150 pts. (15%)
Letter Grades:  A = 90-100%; B = 80-89%; C = 70-79%; D = 60-69%; F = 0-59%

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All assignments are due by the end of the class period on their due date. Assignments not received by this time will be given a grade of zero. Emergency situations that can be documented will be handled on a case by case basis with the instructor. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Cellular phones, beepers, and other communication devices are not allowed in class. Disruption of class by one of these devices is rude and not collegial, so please turn such items off during class.  Abuse of this request may result in a lowered letter grade for the course.  Students suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be reported to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and removed from the class. Disruptive behavior (as deemed by the instructor) such as loud talking, snoring, going to the bathroom/snack machine/soda machine during class time, etc. will result in removal of the student from the class for the day and the student will be considered absent. Multiple disruptions (loud talking, cell phone, etc.) over the semester will lead to withdrawal of the student from the class by the instructor.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week Topic
1 Introduction  
2 Topic Selection & Power Point training
3 Short Presentations
4 Short Presentations
5 Short Presentations
6 Short Presentations
7 Short Presentations
8 Short Presentations
9 Fall Break (10/14-21)
10 Long Presentations
11 Long Presentations
12 Long Presentations
13 Long Presentations
14 Long Presentations
15 Long Presentations
16 Long Presentations
17 Finals Week

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88
It is the opinion of this instructor that class performance directly relates to class attendance.  Regular attendance at lectures and labs, therefore, is imperative.  The attendance policy as printed, above, will be followed as a minimum requirement.  Attendance will be taken on a regular basis both in lab and lecture; unexcused and/or excessive absences (more than 5) will result in a lowered course grade of at least one letter grade.  For excused absences due to illness, emergencies, scheduled field trips, university sanctioned sports trips, etc. it is the student's responsibility to communicate such with the instructor well in advance of the absence for assignment makeup, etc.  
Since this is a seminar type course with each participant giving presentations,  it is imperative, as well as collegial, that each one be present to hear, question, dialogue with, and critique the others' presentations.  In addition, communication is the key to successful faculty/student relations.  Therefore, it is the student's responsibility to contact the professor well in advance when possible, via telephone or e-mail, for an absence.  It is also the student's responsibility to sign the attendance sheet each day in class.  

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Uses 12 or more peer-reviewed citations ¬†Uses 9-11 peer-reviewed citations Uses 6-8 peer-reviewed citations Uses lees than 6 peer-reviewed citations 
Demonstrates mastery of A2, P4, P5, and P6 assignment items Demonstrates mastery of 3 of A2, P4, P5, P6 assignment items, competent in remainder Demonstrates mastery of 1or 2 of A2, P4, P5, P6 assignment items Does not demonstrate mastery of A2, P4, P5, P6 assignment items 
Answered audience questions above college level. Answered audience questions at college level Answered audience questions below college level or provided incorrect answers Did not answer audience questions, provided incorrect answers, and answered question below college level 
No factual errors 1-2 factual errors 3-4 factual errors 5+ factual errors 
Demonstrates mastery of P7 &P8 assignment items. Demonstrated competence in P7 & P8 assignment items. Demonstrated competence in 1 of P7-P8 assignment items. Did not demonstrate competence in P7 or P8. 
Demonstrates mastery of P1-P3 assignment items. Demonstrates mastery of 2 of P1-P3 assignment items, competent in remainder. Demonstrates mastery of 1 of P1-P3 assignment items. Demonstrates mastery of 0 of P1-P3 assignment items. 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Demonstrate mastery of A1, A2, & A3 assignment items Demonstrate competency in  A1, A2, & A3 assignment items Demonstrates competency in 1 or 2 of assignment items A1, A2, or A3. Does not demonstrate competence in A1, A2, or A3 assignment items 
In abstract and bibliography, no errors in writing conventions. In abstract and bibliography, 1-3 errors in writing conventions. In abstract and bibliography, 4-6 errors in writing conventions. In abstract and bibliography, 7+ errors in writing conventions. 


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Last Updated:9/19/2007 4:32:57 PM