Course Structure

Spend 1 to 2 hours reading, 4 to 5 hours on the problem set, 1 hour participating in discussion, 2 hours reviewing.

Overview

Medical Neuroscience is a fully online course. Each week you will be expected to complete a reading assignment prior to completing a problem set and participating in a discussion forum on that week’s topic. As a 3-credit, 15-week course, you should plan to spend about 9 hours each week on course material. This should look like 1-2 hours to complete the prep material, an hour to interact with your teammates, 2 hours to review the material, and the rest of the time (4-5 hours) completing the problem sets. Problem set questions are often complex, requiring you to analyze data or find information outside of the text. Despite this, you should not spend significantly more time than outlined above on the assignment. If you get stuck, give it your best shot.

Important Information

The problem sets are difficult, but educational research shows that when students generate answers to novel problems (like those seen in the problem set), it requires higher-order thinking about previously learned material (e.g. from the textbook). Recalling learned information strengthens the memory of that content and increases the ability to remember it later. By creating answers, you are actively engaging with the material and not simply received knowledge passively, which is often forgotten.

It is also important to know that even if you get the problem set answers incorrect on your initial try, you have still retrieved important knowledge, making connections between old and new information. Additionally, when errors are made initially, if those errors are corrected through feedback (from the video reviews), the errors are not learned. Learning should not be effortless and errorless, but corrective feedback is a necessary step. Embrace the difficulties in the class knowing that they are solidifying your neuroscience knowledge.

Each student will be assigned to a team of approximately 7-8 students.

The Unit

A unit consists of the following material (click on each heading to learn more):

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives outline the tasks you should be able to complete in preparation for the exam. They are not part of the problem set assignment. There is nothing to submit for a grade, but it is highly recommended that students use the learning objectives to test their knowledge as they study.

Checklists

Use the D2L checklists to make sure you are completing all the required work for the unit.

Reading

Each unit will have a reading assignment from the textbook that gives background information needed for completing the problem set assignments.

Problem Sets

The problem set will be accessed through the Google Classroom. Complete your answers directly on the Google Doc, and when you are finished, submit it by using the “Turn In” button on the assignment page in Google Classroom.

Google Classroom Information

Do not submit the doc until you are completely finished. Once you turn it in, you will no longer have editing access for the document. If you turn it in early on accident, the Turn In button will change so you can un-submit it.

Grading

A random number of questions will be selected for grading for each problem set. Grading is based on a serious attempt at answering the question. The answer does not need to be correct to receive points, but if it is determined that the given answers do not show an adequate attempt at a response, points will be lost.

Team Discussion

Team discussionEach team will have a discussion for each Unit. The function of the discussion is to provide you with the ability to collaborate with your team on the content. The problem sets were created with the idea that students would work together. Discuss the material. See what others think on topics. If you are having trouble with a question on the problem set, post an inquiry. Respond to inquiries made by other team members.

Your discussion grade is going to be based on weekly participation in your team’s discussion forum. By 11:59 pm EDT on Thursday of each week, you should have posted at least three times, one of which must be a reply to a teammate. These posts could be original questions or replies to other teammates. Posts should be original questions or viewpoints on an answer. Posts such as, “Yeah, I had that question, too,” “I agree with the last post,” or posts not about the problem set content will not earn you points. Additionally, posts should not simply copy the question from the problem set. If you have a question, explain your thought process. Your posts need to reflect that you have thought about the topic to receive points. Review the “Discussion Forum Expectations” document in D2L for more detailed information.

Discussion posts are due the day before the problem set is due. This is to make sure everyone has time to benefit from the discussion. This setup avoids the situation where students are trying to post 3 times while also trying to finish their problem set assignment right before the deadline. I found that if posts are made at the last minute, no one has time to respond, and that information cannot be integrated into answers on the assignment. This also gives me an opportunity to clear up any confusion prior to the problem set deadline.

Reviews

Review your workThe review videos will go over the answers to the problem sets. Make sure to follow along and use the feedback in the review videos to correct your answers.

IMPORTANT: Correcting your misunderstandings is crucial to succeed in the course. This is your opportunity to correct your problem set answers to prepare for the exam.

Muddiest Point

These one question quizzes help me understand where students are having trouble with the content. Please complete these quizzes after you have watched the problem set review video. If you would like to list more than one confusing item, please do.

Exams

Exams will cover the content found in the problem sets, the reading assignments, and the lectures. They will be multiple choice and short answers and will be available for a 24-hour period on the date listed from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm EDT. Once the exam has been started, it will be timed. There will be one question per page. Everyone will be able to take the exams regardless of the content that has been submitted prior.Avoid computer errors. Start your exam early.

It is possible to start the exam as late as 11:58 pm and still have the entire time limit to complete the exam. However, if any error within D2L occurs that could normally be solved with a simple browser refresh, you will not be able to reenter the exam due to the end time having passed. Therefore, I highly suggest starting the exam before 10:30 pm on exam days to fully complete the exam prior to 11:59 pm.

Exams will be on Tuesdays.

Exam Corrections

For each exam, I will allow corrections to be submitted if the exam was attempted. For each question you get incorrect,

  1. Explain why you chose the answer you did. What was your thought process? This is important for me to know, so I can figure out where/how/why misconceptions are occurring. If you didn’t understand something about the question, tell me here. It would help me most if you answered this prior to moving on to steps 2 and 3, to get the most accurate answer without the correct answer affecting your recollection.
  2. Give the correct answer.
  3. Explain why that answer is right instead of the one you chose. Cite course materials (not Google searches) in addition to your explanation. Writing “Unit 2 Question 6” is not a sufficient explanation. Explain why “Unit 2 Question 6” proves your new answer to be correct. This is your opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the concept. If the explanation is not sufficient, points will not be awarded.

For each question you correct properly and give explanations for, you will get back 1/3 of the points you lost. If you do not provide the 3 required pieces of information, you will not receive credit for the question. All course materials can be used during corrections. This assignment is optional.   

Suggested Weekly Schedule

Each unit will open on Saturday. The discussion posts are due on the following Thursday. The problem sets are due on Friday. My suggestion is to spend Saturday and Sunday reading for the current unit and watching the video reviews of the previous unit. Attempt the problem set on Monday and Tuesday, communicate with your team on Wednesday and Thursday, and then finish the unit on Friday.

Exams will be on Tuesdays. Muddiest Points are due on the same day as the exam. Exam corrections are due on Thursdays.