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BOT 440/540 Field Methods in Vegetation Science

About the course


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Guaranteed grades. Following university guidelines, the grading system consists of twelve basic grades, A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–, D+, D, D–, and F. Getting 94% or more of the possible points guarantees an A , 88% an A-, 85% a B+, 82% a B, 79% a B-, 76% a C+, 73% a C, and 70% a C-. So if you have 95% of the possible points at the end of the course, you know you will get an A. This is true even if everyone has over 90%. That is, I will not curve grades down.

Curving up. But I might curve grades up. If at the end of the course the scores are generally low but A and B work is being done, then I must have been scoring too strictly. That means the standards for As, Bs, etc. should be adjusted to include lower point totals.

A special note on the quizzes. The quizzes are a way for you to get feedback on how you're understanding the material. You must get 100% to get any points, but you can take the quiz as many times as you wish.

Grading expectations of students enrolled in BOT 540

Just as you can expect to learn more if you are enrolled for graduate credit (BOT 540), I have additional expectations from your assignments. Your reports should reflect the broad perspective and astute insights of the professional ecologist. Your reports should include any advanced material for 540 students. Some assignments are only for 540 students (lucky you!).

Incompletes--don't go there

And in case you were wondering, there is no chance of a casual incomplete at the end of term.

Am I picky?

Many students consider me a picky grader. But I try to be picky about the important stuff. What might seem like an inconsequential detail often reflects a key underlying concept. Taking care of these details cements your understanding of the course material and helps you to succeed in the future, both in assignments and in your job.

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