The Biol 207 Genetics Newsgroup

Over the course of the semester you will be expected to participate in the Biol 207 Bulletin Board. The purpose of the bulletin board is to discuss controversial issues in genetics and to help keep you up-to-date with current events in genetics. Over the course of the semester you can get 25 points for participating in the newsgroup discussions. From the Biol 207 Homepage, or most any page on the site, you can reach the newsgroup by clicking on the thumbtack icon (bulletin). this will take you to a page with a list of messages in the newsgroup that you haven't read yet (older messages are still there, you just can't see them unless you choose "All messages"). You click on a message to open a window for reading that message. After reading the message you can read other messages in the same thread (comments on the same original message), move to the next thread or post a reply to the message. You reply by selecting either "Reply" or "Quote" from the menu bar above the message. "Reply" creates an empty message pane for you to type in your reply while "Quote" to include the text of the original message in your reply. This is useful if you want to respond to a particular statement in the earlier message. You should never quote the whole message, instead you delete the parts you are not commenting on, leaving only the relevant material. You can also start your own threads by clicking on "Compose Message" when you are in the main newsgroup window (where you can see the list of all of the messages).

Each week I will post at least one article as a topic for discussion, however your posts can be about anything having to do with genetics (responses to earlier messages, comments on items in the news, questions about homework problems, questions about strange relatives in your family, etc. &endash; however, comments on the instructors presumed ancestry will not be appreciated). You will not be graded on the content of your posts, only on your participation, except for one post or series of posts. You get one point for every week in which you write a post to the newsgroup, multiple posts in any one week do not count extra. Thus if you write at least one post every week you will earn 15 points (posts during finals week or Thanksgiving don't count). In addition, by December 8 you must email me your posts on any one topic which will be graded for content. This post, or series of posts if you were engaged in a discussion with me or other students, will be worth a maximum of 10 points. A ten point post will be at least a couple of paragraphs long and make a substantive contribution to the discussion by introducing new information and arguments along with a clear statement of your opinion on this issue. A good post will critically evaluate an issue, considering both the pros and cons and then arriving at a conclusion. Here is a sample of an old thread and how I would have graded the posts if the authors had chosen these posts as the their best examples, Sample Posts.

There are several computer labs on campus that you can use to access the class web site, including MLIB 116 (the best computers and also the hardest to get to during the day), PHSC 128 (old but usable and normally available), and THMA 131. Hours for the labs can be found at the Student Computing page. If you wish to use your own computer from home you need to either sign up for a campus computer account (free but unusable during regular hours) or sign up with an Internet Service Provider such as AOL, CompuServe, various local companies, etc. ($15 to $20 a month, but rarely busy) or one of the many free internet service providers. You can sign up for the free university account at the Help Desk in Meriam Library 116 (530 898-HELP).

Bell CSU Chico Library
This document is copyright of Jeff Bell
Last Update: Friday, January 19, 2000