NS401 Natural Science Seminar

for SP 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


NS 401 Natural Science Seminar


SP 2012 HOZ


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

M-W-F, 11-12 a.m.; M--R-,1-5 pm; T-R, 9-12 am

Daytime Phone




Web Page


Semester Dates

January 16–May 13, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

1:00 p.m.



Credit Hours



Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
NS 401 Natural Science Colloquium: 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. May be 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


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%


Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • CD players, cellular phones, beepers, and other communication devices are not welcome where they may disrupt the learning process. Please be respectful of the professor and your peers by turning off such devices or not bringing them to the class. 
  • Students suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be removed from the class and reported to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Smokeless tobacco is not to be used during class or laboratory sessions.
  • Disruptive behavior (as deemed by the instructor) during class time will result in removal of the student from the class for the day and the student will be considered absent. Multiple disruptions over the semester may lead to dismissal of the student from the class and a subsequent failing grade being given for the course.
  • Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive. Students must recognize, though, that technology can also cause problems. Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash. Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology. Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week Topic
1 Introduction  
2 Topic Selection & Power Point training
3 As needed
4          "
5          "
6          "
7          "
8 The title and abstract for oral/poster presentation(s) to MAS must be received by March 1, 2012 (http://www.moacadsci.org/masmeeting/2012_mas_reg_form.rtf)
Spring Break (3/11/12-3/18/12)
Applications deadline for Park Univ. SRCAS on/before Friday, March 16th: (http://www.park.edu/symposium/application.html)
10 As needed
11          "
12          "
13 Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium
April 9-12, 2012 
2012 Missouri Academy of Science
University of Missouri-Colombia
April 13 - 14, 2012
15 As needed
16          "
17 Finals Week (5/7/'12-5/11/'12)

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. 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".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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:1/22/2012 6:33:04 PM