1. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS! Read the directions carefully on all study guides, web pages, exams, etc. Students often end up losing points because they did not follow the directions. You are in a self-paced, self-directed course that requires you to read a lot of directions. Do not skim or you will make mistakes and lose points.
2. STAY ON TRACK! Most students who are unsuccessful in self-paced classes fail or withdraw because they allowed themselves to get too far behind, leading to last minute "cramming". Remember our advice -- complete about 1 unit a week (2 units a week in the summer). This will help you to spread out the workload.
3. It is best to not complete the units out of order. Although we will not prevent you from doing your course units out of order, this is a very bad practice. Each unit prepares you for the next. If you skip ahead, you may miss important background information, potentially causing you to lose points.
4. Many students find that the most difficult material of this course occurs in the first half of BIO 100. This is because the foundation of BIO 100 begins with cell and molecular biology, which include concepts that are difficult for many students to grasp. Later in the course you will encounter evolution and ecology, which most students find easier to understand.
5. Ask for help when you need it! Email your instructor. Ask a staff member in the Biology Learning Center to help you. Do not be afraid to ask questions. You are NEVER bothering us and we are always eager to help.
6. Make good use of your time outside of the learning center. You can be reading the textbook chapter and study guide at home. Also, some of the labs can be done at home.
7. Do not wait until the very end of a deadline to come in and do your required work. You will find that it gets very busy in the learning center around deadlines, which are typically every Friday during the fall and spring semesters for at least one set of classes or another. It is best to avoid working in the learning center late on Thursdays, and to avoid the learning center entirely on Fridays, if you can (during the regular fall and spring semesters). Those are typically the busiest times in the center. If you plan to do a lab on a Friday, you might want to consider printing the lab directions or bringing in your own laptop computer in case all of the BLC computer stations are occupied by other students. You may also want to print your study guide if you will be taking an exam on a Friday. We cannot guarantee that there will be a computer available for studying.
Get your work done well ahead of the deadlines, and you will save yourself a lot of stress and grief! (If you are taking this class during the summer, you may find this warning to be irrelevant because it tends to be somewhat slower in the learning center during the summer)
8. SEE #1 AND #2 (ABOVE) AGAIN! YOU MUST FOLLOW DIRECTIONS AND STAY ON TRACK IN YOUR COURSE!