NEU 841 Medical Neuroscience

Spring 2019

Part 1: Course Information

Online from September 2 through December 18

Course content located on Microsoft Class Teams, Flipgrid, and Desire 2 Learn (D2L).

3 credits

This course is an asynchronous online offering. Students can meet all course expectations and goals without participating in synchronous events.

Course Description

NEU 841 will allow you to explore how the mammalian nervous system functions. Focus will be on the human nervous system and clinical applications of the content. To understand nervous system disorders, the underlying neuroanatomical and physiological mechanisms must first be understood. The course will use a systems approach to understand the healthy nervous system and begin to dive into the dysfunction that occurs in disease.

Required Textbook

Neuroscience. Sixth Edition. Editors: Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, Hall, LaMantia, White. Sinauer Associates, Inc. 2018.

Required Technology

Students will need access to a laptop or tablet (laptop recommended for exams) and access to reliable internet. A phone and/or webcam is recommended for video discussions.

Learning Technologies

We will use three technologies for learning in NEU 841: on Microsoft Class Teams, Flipgrid, and Desire 2 Learn (D2L).

Disclaimer

As you read through the syllabus, you will encounter a number of tech terms that may not (yet) be familiar to you. Words like Channel and Tab refer to specific places in the Class Team. Don’t get concerned if this seems like a lot to take in right off the bat! We will use the beginning of the semester to get used to navigating the course. There are How To documents once you get into the class. You can start by reviewing the Technology Terminology page on the digital syllabus. No one is going to lose points because they are struggling with the technology. I am very excited about the Class Teams setup, and I think it provides an active and engaging learning space for our course!

Microsoft Class Teams

Microsoft Class Teams is a tool that is a part of the Office 365 suite of apps made available to all MSU students, staff, and faculty.

Class Teams will be used for the following course components:

  • Scheduling and organizing of assignments (Problem Sets, Synthesis Questions, Learning Reflections)
  • Distribution of all handouts (Checklists, Learning Objectives, Case Studies)
  • Flipgrid discussions
  • Review videos
  • Informal collaborative chat space with classmates
  • Private chat with me

All announcements, updates, and other information will be shared through the Class Teams. It is recommended that students review their notification settings to make sure announcements are not missed. The mobile app does a great job of alerting when there are new posts! For assignments, each student gets their own copy of the document.

Flipgrid

Flipgrid is a video sharing site that we will use for weekly discussion forums. Students will be required to record at minimum audio, but preferably video as well. The main reason for a video discussion software is to help with building a Learning Community within the course. It’s too easy to never get to know your fellow students in an online course. This app will help prevent that!

Flipgrid discussions will be accessed through the Class Team.

Desire 2 Learn (D2L)

D2L will be used for the following course components:

  • Gradebook
  • Exams

Technical Assistance

The first week will be learning how to navigate. I do not expect anyone to be an expert in these technologies! You will learn and succeed in the course!

If you need technical assistance at any time during the course or to report a problem, you can:

Part 2: Instructor Information

Instructor: Dr. Casey Henley (Dr. Henley or Dr. H)

Office: 207 Giltner Hall (in person) or Class Team video chat (online)

About Me

My name is Dr. Henley (or Dr. H), and I am the Director of Online Programs in the Neuroscience Program!

Pronouns: she/her

Contact Information

Instead of communicating by email, I ask all students to ask me questions via the Chat tool in the Class Teams. Only you and I can see the content in a private chat. To improve our communication, I ask that at the beginning of your message, you use one (or more, as appropriate) of the following keywords:

  • Content – for questions on course material
  • Grading – for grading questions or concerns
  • Emergency – for any circumstance that affects your ability to proceed with course material
  • General – for topics such as D2L issues (contact tech support first), team issues, or other miscellaneous things that might pop up

IMPORTANT: Please review your notification settings within the Class Team, so you receive notifications when I reply.

Response Time

I will do my best to answer questions posted within the private discussion forum within the following timeframes:

  • For Emergency topics: as soon as possible
  • For Content, Grading, and General topics: within 48 hours

Announcements

Updates and information will often be posted on the Class Team. Please make sure you check the weekly channel each time you enter the course.

Suggestions

  • If you have questions about the problem set content, please post in the Unit Channel Posts Tab first. Work collaboratively with your classmates. If you feel your question is not answered sufficiently there, please ask me in your private chat.
  • If you have questions or concerns about grades, please create a message in your private chat with the keyword “Grading.”
  • If you are having issues with D2L or Teams, please contact MSU Tech Support

Part 3: Course Structure

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 9-10 hours each week on course material. This should look like 1-2 hours to complete the prep material, 3 hours to complete the problem set, 3 hours to write your discussion posts and interact with your teammates, and 1-2 hours to review the material. 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.

Commercialized Lecture Notes

Students may not post recordings or other course materials online or distribute them to anyone not enrolled in the class without the advance written permission of the course instructor and, if applicable, any students whose voice or image is included in the recordings. Please see Part 5: Course Policies for more information

The Unit

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

A unit consists of

  • Learning objectives
  • Checklist
  • Reading assignment
  • Problem set
  • Team discussion
  • Learning Reflection
  • Review videos
  • Help forum

Learning Objectives

Location: Learning Objective Tab in each Unit Channel

The learning objectives outline the tasks you should be able to complete in preparation for the exam. They are not part of the assignments. There is nothing to submit for a grade, but it is highly recommended that you use the learning objectives to test your knowledge as you study. Each exam question will test a learning objective skill.

Checklist

Location: Checklist Tab in each Unit Channel

Use the checklists to make sure you are completing all the required work for the unit. You can download the document to check off each item. 

Reading

Location: Textbook

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

Problem Set Assignments

Location: Assignment Tab in the General Channel

The problem set assignments will be accessed through the Problem Set Tab in each Unit Channel within Class Teams. However, these are NOT assignments that must be submitted for a grade. The problem sets will allow you to engage with the science and develop an understanding of the material; the problem sets will lead you in the right direction for answering the discussion prompts.

Use the problem sets to help you form answers for the discussion forum. Exams will cover the problem set material

Team Discussion

Location: Flipgrid Tab in each Unit Channel

Questions related to the problem set material will be posted as prompts for each weekly discussion. Each student will generate a response to the prompt questions. Acceptable responses will require that you have gone through the entire problem set. After posting the initial response, you will be able to view responses posted by teammates, and you will then post replies to at least two teammates. 

The discussion grade is going to be based on a rubric that measures both content – correct information, citations, grammar, conciseness, clarity – and teamwork – positive attitude, good listening, reliability. Your posts need to reflect that you have thought about the topic in order to receive points.

Initial posts are due by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Tuesday of each week (excluding exam weeks). Replies to at least two teammates are due by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Thursday of each week. Replies should be original viewpoints. 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. Review the “Discussion Forum Expectations” document in the Start Here Channel for more detailed information.

One Flipgrid post and one pair of Flipgrid replies will be dropped from the final grade.

Learning Reflections

Location: Assignment Tab in the General Channel

One of the best study techniques to learn is metacognition, or the practice of being aware and reflecting on your own thinking and learning. The Unit Reflections will ask you to evaluate your work and answers on the Synthesis Questions in comparison to the answers discussed in the review video. The Exam Reflections will ask you to evaluate your performance on the exams. They will also help me understand where students are having trouble with the content. Please complete the unit reflections after you have watched the Discussion Review Video. Please complete the exam reflections after you have completed the exam and reviewed your responses.

Two Learning Reflections will be dropped from the final grade.  

Reviews

The review videos will go over the answers to the problem sets and synthesis questions. 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. The exam covers problem set and synthesis question material.  

Help Forum

Each unit will also have a help forum for students to ask (and answer!) questions about the problem set questions directly. This will be located in the Posts Tab of the Unit channels in the Class Teams. If you have a question about the material, most likely someone else does too, so the help forum is there to provide assistance to everyone. Post your questions, but make sure you are specific:

  • What problem set question are you referring to?
  • What do you understand about the question?
  • Where do you need help?

Students are highly encouraged to jump in and answer questions in the help forum. Although participation in the help forum is not required, by answering questions posted by others you are

  • Solidifying the content for your own learning
  • Helping to build our learning community
  • Earning yourself “good neighbor” points

What are good neighbor points? Well, they are not extra points or extra credit for the course. But they are special incentives that could boost your grade at the end of the semester if you are on the border of two grades!

Exams

Exams will cover the content found in the problem sets, the reading assignments, and the discussion prompts. They will be multiple choice and short answers and will be available for a 48-hour period on the dates listed from 12:00 am on day 1 to 11:59 pm on day 2 (Eastern Time Zone). 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.

I strongly encourage students to start the exam early enough to fully complete the test prior to the exam closing time at 11:59 pm. If you are working on the exam after 11:59 pm, and an 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.

Exams will be on Mondays and 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.   

End of Semester Reflection

The End of Semester Reflection is going to ask you to look back on your learning growth during the course. How did you improve on the skills we practiced? How has your neuroscience knowledge grown? How have your study techniques changed? What have you learned about yourself as a learner? How will all this help you as you move forward in your academic and professional career?

Due Dates

Assignments are due by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the date listed.

The Schedule

Content Weeks

Each unit starts on Saturday. The initial Flipgrid post is due on Tuesday, the Flipgrid replies are due on Thursday, and the unit learning reflection is due on Saturday.

Suggested Work Schedule

  • Saturday and Sunday: Read for the current unit while working on the problem set. Use problem set review video to clarify questions and check answers
  • Monday and Tuesday: Use background knowledge from readings and problem set to generate responses to the discussion prompts. Share those responses and questions that still exist with teammates in Flipgrid
  • Wednesday and Thursday: Reply to two classmates in Flipgrid
  • Friday and Saturday: Watch discussion prompt review video, and complete unit learning reflection
  • Every day: Use help forum located in Posts tab

 

Exam Weeks

Exams will be on Monday and Tuesday. Exam corrections and exam learning reflections are due on Friday.

Academic Responsibility

It is the responsibility of each student to generate original work for all assignments. This means all submitted work must be in your own words. Plagiarizing from any of, but not limited to, the internet, readings, videos, popular press articles, other students, and/or research articles is grounds for receiving a zero for that assignment. IMPORTANT: This means that even though you are working in teams, the work you submit must be in your own words. Please see Part 6: Course Policies for more information.

Part 4: Grading Policy

Graded Course Activities

Assignment

Points Possible

Total Points

Description

Introduction

20

20

Practice assignments to introduce you to the course structure

Flipgrid Post

16 on each

160

Top 10 scores from 11 discussion prompt posts

Flipgrid Replies (2)

12 each unit

120

Top 10 scores from 11 discussions replies

Learning Reflections

10 on each

120

Top 12 scores from 11 unit reflections and 3 exam reflections

Exams

160 on each

480

Multiple choice and short answer

End of Semester Reflection

100

100

Reflection on learning

Total

1000

Possible points

 

Grading Scale

Grade

Points

Percentage

Performance

4.0

900 to 1000

90 to 100%

Excellent Work

3.5  

840 to 899

84 to 89%

Nearly Excellent Work

3.0  

780 to 839

78 to 83%

Very Good Work

2.5

730 to 779

73 to 77%

Good Work

2.0

670 to 729

67 to 72%

Average Work

1.5

620 to 669

62 to 66%

Below Average Work

1.0

560 to 619

56 to 61%

Poor Work

0.0

0 to 559

0 to 55%

Failing Work

Viewing Grades

Grades will always be available on the D2L gradebook. Discussions and learning reflection grades are based on participation and will be posted as promptly as possible. Grading for these assignments is based on a serious attempt at answering the question. The answer does not need to be correct to receive points. Answers for the problem sets and synthesis questions will be given in the review videos. The multiple-choice portion of the exams will be automatically graded but will not be available to students until after the exam closes. Short answers will be graded by hand and will not be completed until the day after the exam.

Any grading questions or concerns should be addressed as soon as possible. At most, questions about grades should be submitted within one week of the grade being posted to D2L.

Work Submission Policy

The teamwork nature of this course requires that students keep up to date with their assignments and actively engage in the activities. Since the review videos open immediately after the assignment’s due date, late work cannot be accepted. One Flipgrid post, one pair of Flipgrid replies, and two learning reflections will be dropped to accommodate the occasional issue that arises.

Sometimes, though, life gets complicated. In the case that one dropped assignment is not sufficient, please review the guidelines for excuses absences below.

Excused Absences

Illness or Injury

Email me if will be missing the exam/assignment prior to the start of the exam day/due date. Within 24 hours of the missed exam/assignment, provide me with a note from a medical provider that states your name, the name and address of the healthcare provider, the date you were seen, a statement excusing you from classwork for the date you missed for medical reasons, and a signature of the healthcare provider. Notes stating that you were seen but not excused will not be accepted. I recognize that it can sometimes be difficult to see a medical provider on short notice, but this policy is in place to create fairness for all students. If it is impossible for you to obtain documentation, please contact me via your private discussion forum.

Bereavement due to death in the family or similar tragedy

Email me if you will be missing the exam/assignment prior to the start of the exam day/due date. Within 48 hours of the missed exam/assignment, I should also receive an email notice from the Dean’s office that you have been approved for a grief absence. In order to request a grief absence, you must fill out the Grief Absence Request Form within 7 days of the event and provide the requested documentation.

Chronic health issues, physical disabilities, and learning disabilities

If you experience severe and chronic health issues, physical disabilities, or learning challenges that prevent you from completing assignments by the deadlines, we can attempt to devise a plan to help support you.

Please provide me with a VISA issued by the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD). I am extremely willing and able to provide accommodations for students with such conditions, but a VISA is required in order to do so. Information regarding a VISA is kept confidential, and you will not be asked to provide personal health information related to the diagnosis. Students eligible for a VISA are HIGHLY encouraged to obtain one and provide it to me as soon as possible. If you have applied for a VISA but it has not been issued, please inform me, and send me the name of your RCPD advisor.

Part 5: Course Schedule

The schedule is tentative and subject to change. Any changes to the schedule will be announced ahead of time. Unless otherwise noted, all assignments are due at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the due date.

Each unit will open on Saturday. The original Flipgrid post is due on Tuesday. The Flipgrid replies are due on Thursday. The reflections are due on Saturday.

Exams will be available for 48 hours on Monday through Tuesday. Exam reflections are due on Friday.

Welcome

Due Date

Assignment

Thurs, Sep 3

Intro Flipgrid post

Fri, Sep 4

Syllabus quiz, Flipgrid reply, Team assignment, Reflection assignment, Private chat to Casey

Exam 1 Content

Unit 1: Organization of the Nervous System

Read Chapter 1 and the Appendix

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Sep 8

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Sep 10

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Sep 12

Unit Learning Reflection

Unit 2 Neuronal Signaling

Read Chapters 2-4

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Sep 15

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Sep 17

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Sep 19

Unit Learning Reflection

Unit 3 Synaptic Transmission – TWO WEEKS TO COMPLETE

Read Chapters 5-7

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Sep 29

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Oct 1

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Oct 3

Unit Learning Reflection

Exam 1: Units 1-3

Due Date

Assignment

Mon, Oct 5 – Tues, Oct 6

Exam 1

Fri, Oct 9

Exam Reflection 1

Fri, Oct 9

Exam Corrections (Optional)

Exam 2 Content

Unit 4 Somatosensory & Pain

Read Chapters 9-10

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Oct 13

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Oct 15

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Oct 17

Unit Learning Reflection

Unit 5 Vision

Read Chapters 11-12

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Oct 20

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Oct 22

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Oct 24

Unit Learning Reflection

Unit 6 Auditory & Vestibular

Read Chapters 13-14; Actions and Innervations of Extraocular muscles pg. 448-450; Clinical Applications pg. 453-454

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Oct 27

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Oct 29

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Oct 31

Unit Learning Reflection

Unit 7 Chemical Senses

Read Chapter 15

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Nov 3

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Nov 5

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Nov 7

Unit Learning Reflection

Exam 2: Units 4-7

Due Date

Assignment

Mon, Nov 9 – Tues, Nov 10

Exam 2

Fri, Nov 13

Exam Reflection 2

Fri, Nov 13

Exam Corrections (Optional)

Exam 3 Content

Unit 8 Motor

Read Chapters 16-17

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Nov 17

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Nov 19

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Nov 21

Unit Learning Reflection

Unit 9 Basal Ganglia & Cerebellum (Due along with Unit 10 because of Thanksgiving)

Read Chapters 18-19

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Dec 1

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Dec 3

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Dec 5

Unit Learning Reflection

Unit 10 Plasticity and Repair

Read Chapters 8, 26

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Dec 1

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Dec 3

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Dec 5

Unit Learning Reflection

Unit 11 Emotion & Addiction

Read Chapters 31

Due Date

Assignment

Tues, Dec 8

Flipgrid Post

Thurs, Dec 10

Flipgrid Replies (2)

Sat, Dec 12

Unit Learning Reflection

Exam 3: Units 8-11

Due Date

Assignment

Mon, Dec 14 – Tues, Dec 15

Exam 3

THURS, DEC 17 (Not Friday!)

Exam Reflection 3

THURS, DEC 17 (Not Friday!)

Exam Corrections (Optional)

 

End of Semester Reflection

Due Date

Assignment

Thurs, Dec 17

End of semester reflection

 

Part 6: Course Policies

Learner Support

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

From the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD): Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities may be made by contacting the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities at 517-884-RCPD or on the web at rcpd.msu.edu. Once your eligibility for an accommodation has been determined, you will be issued a Verified Individual Services Accommodation (“VISA”) form. Please present this form to me at the start of the term and/or two weeks prior to the accommodation date (test, project, etc.). Requests received after this date may not be honored.

Resource Persons with Disabilities (RCPD)

Student Resources

Academic Honesty

The Spartan Code of Honor states, “As a Spartan, I will strive to uphold values of the highest ethical standard. I will practice honesty in my work, foster honesty in my peers, and take pride in knowing that honor is worth more than grades. I will carry these values beyond my time as a student at Michigan State University, continuing the endeavor to build personal integrity in all that I do.” In addition, Article 2.III.B.2 of the Student Rights and Responsibilities states that “The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards.” The Neuroscience Program adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations.

Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, lab work, quizzes, tests and exams, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, you may not submit course work you completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course. Also, you are not authorized to use sites like www.allmsu.com or www.koofers.com to complete any course work in this course. Students who violate MSU academic integrity rules may receive a penalty grade, including a failing grade on the assignment or in the course. Contact your instructor if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your course work. (See also the Academic Integrity webpage.)

Faculty are required to report all instances in which a penalty grade is given for academic dishonesty.  Students reported for academic dishonesty are required to take an online course about the integrity of scholarship and grades.  A hold will be placed on the student’s account until such time as the student completes the course. This course is overseen by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.

Resources

Course Climate

We are all working together toward the same goals in this course! By building a strong learning community from the start, we all benefit.

Please review the information posted in the Course Climate Tab in the General Channel in the Class Team.

Student-student interactions

Get to know your team members. You will spend the next 15 weeks discussing the material and helping each other learn. It is critical that all behavior in the class is respectful. Part of being a strong teammate is being a good listener (or reader in our case), being motivating and empathetic, and providing constructive feedback. We will focus on these characteristics throughout the semester.

Student-teacher interactions

If you find that you have any trouble keeping up with assignments or other aspects of the course, make sure you let me know as early as possible. As you will find, building rapport and effective relationships are key to becoming an effective professional. Make sure that you are proactive in informing me when difficulties arise during the semester so that I can help you find a solution.

Appropriate Netiquette

  • Be professional. Interact with your fellow classmates and instructor as you would in your professional life. Use appropriate language and grammar. Be clear and concise.
  • Have opinions but be respectful of disagreement.
  • Be cautious with humor or sarcasm. It’s not that we want to create a dull environment devoid of fun, but it is very easy for these tones to be lost in text. If you want to make jokes or be sarcastic, indicate your intent with emoticons or a sarcasm tag “/s”.
  • Read all posts within a thread before replying. Avoid repeating what others have already said.
  • Be kind. Be respectful.

Disruptive Behavior

Article 2.III.B.4 of the Student Rights and Responsibilities at Michigan State University states: “The student’s behavior in the classroom shall be conducive to the teaching and learning process for all concerned.” Article 2.III.B.10 states that “The student and the faculty share the responsibility for maintaining professional relationships based on mutual trust and civility.” General Student Regulation 5.02 states: “No student shall obstruct, disrupt, or interfere with the functions, services, or directives of the University, its offices, or its employees (e.g., classes, social, cultural, and athletic events, computing services, registration, housing and food services, governance meetings, and hearings).” Students whose conduct adversely affects the learning environment in this classroom may be subject to disciplinary action through the Student Judicial Affairs office.

Technology Resources

MSU Tech Support

Microsoft Software

Flipgrid

Desire 2 Learn

Other Policies

Limits to Confidentiality

Essays, journals, and other materials submitted for this class are generally considered confidential pursuant to the University’s student record policies. However, students should be aware that University employees, including instructors, may not be able to maintain confidentiality when it conflicts with their responsibility to report certain issues to protect the health and safety of MSU community members and others. As the instructor, I must report the following information to other University offices (including the Department of Police and Public Safety) if you share it with me:

  • Suspected child abuse/neglect, even if this maltreatment happened when you were a child,
  • Allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment when they involve MSU students, faculty, or staff, and
  • Credible threats of harm to oneself or to others.

These reports may trigger contact from a campus official who will want to talk with you about the incident that you have shared. In almost all cases, it will be your decision whether you wish to speak with that individual. If you would like to talk about these events in a more confidential setting you are encouraged to make an appointment with the MSU Counseling Center.

Drops and Adds

The last day to add this course is September 9 (8:00 pm). The last day to drop this course with a 100 percent refund and no grade reported is September 28 (8:00 pm). The last day to drop this course with no refund and no grade reported is October 21 (8:00 pm). You should immediately make a copy of your amended schedule to verify you have added or dropped this course.

Commercialized Lecture Notes

As members of a learning community, students are expected to respect the intellectual property of course instructors. All course materials presented to students are the copyrighted property of the course instructor and are subject to the following conditions of use:

Students may not post recordings or other course materials online or distribute them to anyone not enrolled in the class without the advance written permission of the course instructor and, if applicable, any students whose voice or image is included in the recordings.

Commercialization of lecture notes and university-provided course materials is not permitted in this course.

Any student violating the conditions described above may face academic disciplinary sanctions, including receiving a penalty grade in the course.

Part 7: Frequently Asked Questions

I have an RCPD VISA that allows me more time on an exam (or other accommodation). What do I do with it?

Have your RCPD Advisor send me (mcgove14@msu.edu) your VISA and accommodation as soon as possible, and we will work together to make sure the course runs smoothly for you.

Why do I have to work in a team?

Research shows that a team will outperform all of its members individual, even the top member. You will also be entering fields (medicine, research, technology) that frequently require co-workers to collaborate on projects. Additionally, the National Association of Colleges and Employers has ranked the ability to work in teams as one of the three most important skills employers look for in college graduates (the ability to think critically and the ability to communicate effectively are the other two). Practicing this skill in courses can help you succeed in future endeavors.

Why do I have to complete these problem sets? They are too hard.

The problem sets are difficult, but educational research shows that when students have to 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, as long as those are corrected through feedback (from the in class and online 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.  

Why aren’t there more lectures?

This course is structured differently than most traditional courses. Here, you do reading up front and try to work through the material yourself (with the help of your team) first. After that, review videos explain the questions in detail. Essentially, this course is set up backward from what you are probably used to. Instead of lecture, then assignment, then exam, we have reading, assignment, lecture, exam. The idea is to get you to be engaged with the content. Listening to a lecture is passive, but researching through the text to find the appropriate background information and then apply that information to a problem is active. That type of learning will help retain content longer.

Why is the exam set up to only have one question per page?

Although it does take longer for a student to proceed through the exam when it is structured this way, there are two main reasons for this decision. First, it helps students who need to use assistive technologies like screen readers to take the exam. When the entire exam is listed on one page, it makes it very difficult to navigate, and it is inaccessible to an entire population of learners. Secondly, it also deters unethical practices during the exam such as working with friends or looking up answers.

Why do you use private chat instead of email?

The private chat provides a space to keep all our communication together, unlike email. We could end up having dozens of email threads, possibly covering some of the same issues. In the private chat, our history is readily accessible at any time. It also allows me to have all student communication located in one place.