NS401 Natural Science Seminar

for SP 2013

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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 2013 HO


Claycomb, Gregory D.


Assistant Professor


Ph.D. Kansas State University
B.S. University of New Mexico

Office Location

SC 305

Office Hours

Monday -  Friday 9:00 - 11:00

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

January 14th - May 10th

Class Days


Class Time

12:00 - 1:15 PM

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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Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
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

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:
Assessment will be made according to the student's abitlity to design and present scientific oral presentations.  Grade calculations will be determined using the abstract, a short presentation, long presentation, attendance and participation.  Explanation of these requirements will be discussed in class as well as the presentation schedule.


Oral Presentations:
Each student will be required to give two oral presentations during the semester. 
1.  The first presentation will be a short presentation (15 min.) based on one research article (a paper from the primary literature on a topic of your choice).  We will discuss how to choose high-quality research articles published in peer-reviewed journals during class.  To provide the class with the appropriate background information regarding your topic, you should provide your classmates with appropriate literature or prepared notes.  Your presentation should include sufficient background information to introduce the topic, a discussion of the methods used in the study, a thorough review of the data presented in the study, a discussion of the authors' interpretation of the results, and your own critique and analysis of the study.
2.  The second presentation will be a long presentation (30-35 min.) and will be based on either a compilation of research articles or from your own research.
Each student in the audience should have read the articles provided by the presenters PRIOR to each class and should have at least 5 legitimate questions on the topic prepared.
You will be graded on both the content and the delivery of your presentations as well as the writing of an abstracts.  You will also be graded on classroom participation and attendance as well as how you rate the presentations of your peers (in other words be honest).
Presentation 1:
Points %
   Manner             50 8.3
   Content 100 16.7

Presentation 2:

  Manner 75 12.5
  Content 150 25
  Abstract 75 12.5
 Participation & Posting 90 15
 Attendance 60 10
  Total Points                                                        600

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Final article approval by the instructor is due two weeks before the presentation date.  Penalty for missing this deadline is a lowering of 10% of the overall presentation grade per each day the submission is late.
Final articles once approved must also be submitted to the instructor one week prior the presentation date for distribution to the class. Penalty for missing this deadline is a lowering of 10% of the overall presentation grade per each day the submission is late.
Rescheduling of presentations WILL NOT be allowed except under the most severe of extenuating circumstances.  Any such emergency must have provided documentation which will then be judged by the instructor as to its acceptability.  
Students missing class due to participation in athletic or other university-sponsored events must turn in all due assignments PRIOR to their expected absence.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

All students are expected to follow the common rules of acceptable and courteous behavior while in class, illustrating respect for each other and the instructor.  Any disruptive behavior will not be allowed.  Prompt attendance is required as a late arrival can be very disruptive to the entire class and especially to the presenter.
Cell phones and pagers must be turned off or put on silent mode prior to entering the classroom.  Text messaging during class will result in immediate dismissal.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
To be determinded the first week of class.

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 95-96

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 95

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 98

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:1/11/2013 2:14:43 PM