Advanced Biology:
Behavioral Neuroscience

Advanced Biology: Behavioral Neuroscience
Homework Assignments

The homework in this class is meant for the following:
1. To help you gain a fuller understanding of what was discussed in class,
2. To supplement what was discussed in class to give a broader overview of the topic, and/or
3. To help you gain an insight into other points of view on the topic.

I understand that life and other classes can get in the way of you always completing your homework; therefore, I do not deduct points from incorrect or incomplete answers. Each of your homework assignments will earn you a perfect score. How many points you earn will depend on how many questions you answer correctly. So, you canNOT lose points on homework. You can, however, lose points on tests. As an example, let's say you have a homework assignment that has the potential to earn you 14 points but you only answer 11 of the questions correctly. The assignment will go into my gradebook as an 11 out of 11. Someone else may have earned all 14 points and in that case it will go into my gradebook for them as a 14 out of 14. The more homework points you accumulate the more it will offset the points you lose on tests. So it also pays to earn as many homework points as possible!

Here's how your grade will be determined in the first semester with your final exam counting as 20% of your overall grade:

Grade = 0.8 x ((Homework points earned + Test points earned) / (Homework points earned + Test points possible)) + 0.2 x (Final Exam points earned / Final Exam points possible)

We will have four tests in the first semester worth 125 points each. Last year students had the potential to earn about 450 points in homework. Let's say you earn 425 of those homework points, you earn an 80% on each of your four tests and you earn an 80% on your final exam. Your grade would be determined with the following equation:

Grade = 0.8 x ((425 + 400) / (425 + 500)) + 0.2 (160 / 200) = 87.4% (B+)

Say in the same scenerio you only earn 75 points in homework...

Grade = 0.8 x ((75 + 400) / (75 + 500)) + 0.2 (160 / 200) = 82.1 % (B-)

What students have found is that homework will not only help you earn more points to boost your overall grade but it will also boost your test grades because anything on the homework is fair game for the tests and the homework does all of the things mentioned in the three items at the top of this description.

My hope is also by grading homework in this way that it deincentivizes copying answers from someone else.

I do NOT grade late homework assignments unless you missed class because of an excused absence (you were sick, you were on a school trip, you were on a college visit).



Advanced Biology:  Behavioral Neuroscience
(Grade 12; Prerequisites:  Biology and Chemistry; 5 periods per week; full year; 1 unit)

This course examines the relationship between both human and animal behavior and the nervous system.  The course begins by exploring the basic physiology of the neuron, the brain, and the endocrine system.  This basic introduction is followed by investigations of the interactions of the nervous system with other body systems to understand the mental processes and behavior of human and non-human animals. Students spend one double period per week in the laboratory performing neurophysiology experiments, exploring neuroanatomy, performing experiments in animal behavior (such as conditioning rats and evaluating habitat preferences in select animals); and observing animal behavior at the zoo. During the second semester, students must devote portions of two or more free periods per week to rat training.