Karen Bernd's Grading Rubrics for Bio111
(Adapted from rubric developed ’07 by A.M.Campbell)

There are three main ways that scientists share their findings; through presentations and posters at conferences and through articles published in scientific journals. In Bio111 you gain practice in two of these presentations skills== oral presentations and article writing.

Oral Presentations: You will give 10min group oral presentations to share your findings from the group investigations in lab. The presentation will be divided into four major sections; Introduction, Experimental Procedures, Results, and Discussion (contents are explained in the lab manual and in the rubric below). One person will present each of the four sections. A signed copy of the Powerpoint will be turned in at the beginning of the lab period (print 6 slides/page to save paper). Your signatures indicated that the assignment is pledged and that each member of the group participated in the presentation's preparation. See ORAL RUBRIC Refer to Pechenik for additional aid preparing your presentations.

Articles: Each group will prepare and turn in a single written assignment. The sections written vary with the unit. Be sure to consult the syllabus for specific assignments. Assignments must be turned in immediately following the completion of oral presentations. There is one exception to this deadline; if during the presentations you realize that you made a serious error in your writing you may request a 24-hour extension for your written report. You will still turn in your current version in lab but you will write on the top of it 'Extension activated'. Your revised article will be turned in at my office within 24hr of the end time of your lab sections (ex. lab ends 4:20pm R--extended to 4:20pm F). The extension is to allow you additional time to fix major problems in numerical analysis or interpretation that became apparent during the presentations. It is not for minor proofreading problems or to refine what was obviously an unfinished work the day befor. See ARTICLE RUBRIC Refer to Pechenik for additional aid preparing your.

A note on references Lab presentations and written reports involve working in groups. Be certain that you understand the rules and boundaries of group work and source citation. If you have any questions ASK BEFORE HANDING ANYTHING IN since plagiarism is wrong and has severe consequences.  The Davidson College Biology Department’s statement on plagiarism is found at: http://www.bio.davidson.edu/dept/plagiarism.html and is the guide for this course. You are responsible for reading and following the guide. The course follows the citation style seen in the journal Cell. You must follow both the 'in text' and bibliographic citation style described here http://www.cell.com/authors .

Bibliographic Information taken from The Cell Journal Website (http://www.cell.com/authors ) with comments added in greenNOTE nothing is indented and pages of entire article are given not just the page where the information was. Look at a print copy (Library basement stacks or BioCenter) to see the rules in action.

References should include only articles that are published or in press. Unpublished data, submitted manuscripts, abstracts, and personal communications should be cited within the text only. Personal communication should be documented by a letter of permission. Submitted articles should be cited as unpublished data, data not shown, or personal communication. Note: "et al." should only be used after 10 authors. Please use the following style for references:

Sondheimer, N., and Lindquist, S. (2000). Rnq1: an epigenetic modifier of protein function in yeast. Mol. Cell 5, 163-172. This is the style for an article in a journal whether you accessed it as a pdf file online or held the paper in your hands

King, S.M. (2003). Dynein motors: Structure, mechanochemistry and regulation. In Molecular Motors, M. Schliwa, ed. (Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH), pp. 45–78. This is the style for an article found within a larger book where different people wrote different chapters and the listed editors compiled and have their names on the cover

Cowan, W.M., Jessell, T.M., and Zipursky, S.L. (1997). Molecular and Cellular Approaches to Neural Development (New York: Oxford University Press). This is the style for an entire book where the names on the cover wrote the whole thing (ex. your Sadava et al. textbook)

Bibliographic information taken from Online Website ( http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/online/cite8.html ) with comments added in green Note that still nothing is indented. An 'author' might be an organization or a company-- it is the group putting the information out there. Date of internet publication might require looking at additional pages within the website. The UrL must go directly to the place where the incformation is rather than an 'intro page' with many links

Author's name (last name, first and any middle initials). Date of Internet publication. Document title. <URL> or other retrieval information. Date of access.
ONLY use this style for government, company and laboratory website that cannot be found in paper form, are not peer reviewed. Do Not use this style to refer to scientific articles that you just chose to access online (ie. pdf from journal that is peer reviewed and may also exist in paper format) The key difference is the peer review aspect. If you are not sure-- ask before turning in.

Do not use Wikipedia as a source-- it is considered to be more like a dictionary. You might start there to look up an unfamiliar word but you would not go to get the meat of the research.
======================

Oral Presentation Grading Rubric: ALL presentations contain ALL parts
Note that Average means just that -- the middle range equaling 5-7 of 10 points. Shoot for Excellent!

Category Excellent Average Poor

Introduction (10 pts)

The research question or problem is well-defined, connected to a ‘big picture’/field or research area and there is a clear overview of current understanding in the field. Connection between experiment and lecture material is clear

The question or problem is defined, but lacks connection with a larger field or issue or there is little connection to knowledge in the field as a whole. Connection between the experiment and lecture is present but vague. May include factual errors in the background material.

Overlying question or problem is not evident. The introduction focuses on details of experiment rather than informing the audience what the field is, why it is interesting and how the experiment at hand fits into investigations that have already been conducted. No connection is made to lecture material. Factual errors are present.

Experimental Procedure (10 pts)

Summarizes major steps and key variations from standard lab protocol in lab manual. Provides details that allow audience to understand why experiment was designed as it was. Does not include list of common materials. Uses appropriate units for substances.

Summarizes some steps and variations from the protocol given in lab manual. Some details provided to understand variables and experimental design. Contains details from lab manual.

Restates lab manual focusing on details rather than major steps and variations that make your experiment unique.  Not enough explanation is provided for the audience to understand experimental design. Contains list of common scientific tools such as pipetmen or microfuge tubes. Spends time explaining things such as what labels were put on tubes or which rows of microtiter plate were used.

Experimental Design  (10 pts)

The experiment is appropriate for testing the question; it is efficient, workable, and repeatable. It contains appropriate controls and, as required by the approach, important variables are identified and contrasted to the standard conditions. The design inculdes a sufficient number of replicates/comparisons so that the data is meaningful and representative of the system being studied.

The design is appropriate to the question or problem, but fails to identify an important variable or to include appropriate control conditions. The design lacks sufficient replicates/comparisons to support that the conclusions are representative of the system.

There may be some evidence of an experimental design, but it may be inappropriate, not used well or included because ‘we did it that way before’. The design fails to account for an important variable(s) or a major control condition rendering the data less interpretable. Or design is so convoluted that it is unlikely that another researcher could reproduce it. 

Results  (15 pts)

The data are analyzed and expressed in an accurate way. Presentation format (graph/table)conveys information clearly. Statistical analysis of data is present.

Most data are analyzed thoroughly and presented accurately, but with minor flaws. There may be no evident use of statistical analysis.

Raw data is presented instead of analyzed results, analysis and presentation may be inaccurate or incomplete.

Figures and Tables (15 pts)  (links with general suggestions and considerations for colorblind in audience

The figures and/or tables are appropriately chosen and well-organized; data trends are illuminated.  Figure labels are informative and complete. Titles resemble headlines that present the ‘message’ of the figure.

 General trends in the data are readily seen from the figures and tables; in some cases, tables and figures may provide redundant information or data. Figure labels lack clarity and are incomplete. Titles restate axes rather than informing audience

 Data may be represented inaccurately or in an inappropriate format.  Raw, unanalyzed data is presented. Figure labels are missing or incorrect.

Discussion  (15 pts)

Ties results to background and ‘big picture' and background research. Conclusions are supported by the data. 

Conclusions are supported by the data, but connections with broader goals and topic are not directly made

Conclusions are not supported by the data. Focus on minutiae rather than how the trends fit with current findings/theories in the field.

Clarity of Presentation  (15 pts)

 The presentation is visually appealing, well organized and easy to follow. It draws in the audience and keeps their attention. The presentation does not include distracting backgrounds, slide changes or sounds. All members of the group look interested and engaged throughout the presentation.

The presentation is visually appealing, but may contain unclear information, use font sizes or colors that are difficult to read. There is an attempt to connect with the audience and keep their attention. visual and audio distractions are kept to a minimum. Group members are non-distracting backdrop.

The slides are text heavy and the presentation is read from the slides. Or the slides are all ‘flash’ and no ‘substance’ where information/images included have little connection to the topic. Slide transitions, backgrounds, sounds are distracting. Presenters appear to be unfamiliar with division of presentations/ overlapping each other. Presenters are difficult to hear or primarily face board while speaking. Other group members are distracting when not speaking.

References (5pt)

Adequate citation and correct format (see 'a note on references' above) so that references look like reference section for an article in the scientific journal 'Cell'.  All images that were not created by the authors are properly cited.

Incomplete citation and irregular format. (see 'a note on references' above)

Wrong format for citations. (see 'a note on references' above)

Plagiarism=Images from print or web sources that were not created by the authors represent someone else's work and must be given credit. It is plagiarism if images are used and not cited below the image on the slide and on the Bibliography slide

Answer Questions (10 pts)

Responses to the questions exhibit sound knowledge of the study and the underlying science concepts; the presenters exhibits poise,  confidence, and enthusiasm.

Responses to the questions show familiarity with the study design and conduct, but may lack clear or accurate connections to  basic science concepts. The presenter exhibits enthusiasm, but shows signs of discomfort with some of the questions.

 The presenters show difficulty in responding correctly to questions or responses lack insight  or scientific creativity. Evident that presenter is only familiar with the section that s/he presented.

 

Lab Article Grading Rubric : Some assignments do not include all sections. Refer to syllabus
Note that average means just that -- the middle range equaling ~5-7 of 10 points. Shoot for Excellent!

Category Excellent Average Poor

Title/names/pledge (5 pts)

Title is concise and informative. Names are spelled correctly and everyone who worked on the project is included. It is pledged.

Title is overly wordy or too vague. Some names missing or incorrectly spelled. It is pledged.

Cannot determine the main point of content from the title. Title is more cute than content. No names; no pledge.

Abstract (10 pts)

The research question or problem is well-defined and connected to prior knowledge in the chosen area of study. Methods are described adequately and the conclusions are clear and succinct. Follows the guideline questions provided in the lab manual.

The question or problem is defined adequately, but may lack a clear rationale or purpose that stems from prior knowledge. Methods are alluded to. Results are enumerated pt by point rather than stating trends. The conclusions are not well stated.

The study is poorly summarized and lacks overlying question; there may be little or no stated connection  to prior knowledge. Methods and conclusions are unclear or not stated.

Introduction (10 pts)

The research question or problem is well-defined, connected to a ‘big picture’/field or research area and there is a clear overview of current understanding in the field. Connection between experiment and lecture material is clear

The question or problem is defined, but lacks connection with a larger field or issue or there is little connection to knowledge in the field as a whole. Connection between the experiment and lecture is present but vague. May include factual errors in the background material.

Overlying question or problem is not evident. The introduction focuses on details of experiment rather than informing the audience what the field is, why it is interesting and how the experiment at hand fits into investigations that have already been conducted. No connection is made to lecture material. Factual errors are present.

Experimental Procedure (10 pts)

Summarizes major steps and key variations from standard lab protocol in lab manual. More detail is included than an oral presentation would include. Details explaining experimental design or reasoning are not included. Does not include list of materials. Uses appropriate units for substances, reporting final concentrations (not volumes).

Summarizes some steps and variations from the protocol given in lab manual. Some details provided to understand variables and experimental design. Contains details from lab manual that are not necessary (ex. where stocks are found in the lab)

Restates lab manual focusing on details rather than major steps and variations that make your experiment unique.  Not enough explanation is provided for the audience to understand experimental design. Contains list of common scientific tools such as pipetmen or microfuge tubes. Spends time explaining things such as what labels were put on tubes or which rows of microtiter plate were used.

Results  (15 pts)

The data are analyzed and expressed in an accurate way. Statistical analysis of data is present. The question(s) and logic behind progression of experiments are stated (To examine___, ___ was done). All figures are referred to in the text. Text summarizes trends of figures. The text can stand alone without the figures.

Most data are analyzed thoroughly and presented accurately, but with minor flaws. There may be no evident use of statistical analysis. The trends of some figures are not included. The rationale and logic connecting the experiments to the overall question is not clear.

Raw data is presented instead of analyzed results, analysis and presentation may be inaccurate or incomplete. Data trends not stated, text only states ‘see figure X’. Text does not refer to every figure. The rationale and logic connecting the experiments to the overall question is incorrect or absent. Section includes discussion of what the data means rather than a description of what was seen.

Figures and Tables (15 pts)  (links with general suggestions and considerations for colorblind readers

The figures and/or tables are appropriately chosen and well-organized; data trends are illuminated.  Figure labels are informative and complete. Titles resemble headlines that present the ‘message’ of the figure. Figure legend is appropriately placed and includes overview of the experiment from which the data came, including sample size, number of replicates, and any statistical analyses performed. The figures can stand alone without the text.

General trends in the data are readily seen from the figures and tables. Tables and figures are included that provide redundant information (double dipping). Figure labels lack clarity and are incomplete. Titles restate axes rather than informing audience and are not in the correct location. Figure legend does not include experimental overview.

 Data may be represented inaccurately or in an inappropriate format.  Raw, unanalyzed data is presented. Figure labels are missing or incorrect. Figures need text to explain the trends and process, they cannot stand alone. One or more figures not mentioned in text.

Discussion  (15 pts)

 Ties results to background and ‘big picture’. Conclusions are supported by the data (and by referring in the text to the data presented in results).

Conclusions are supported by the data, but connections with broader goals and topic are not directly made.

Conclusions are not supported by the data. Focus on minutiae rather than how the trends fit with current findings/theories in the field.

Connections within course (10 pts)

Author connected the lab material to the lecture so that the relationships are clear and enlightening.

Some attempts are made to connect lecture and lab material, but obvious ones are missing or are unclear.

No connection between lab and lecture material included or connections that are made are incorrect.

References (5pt)

Adequate citation and correct format (see 'a note on references' above) so that references look like reference section for an article in the scientific journal 'Cell'.  All images that were not created by the authors are properly cited.

Incomplete citation and irregular format. (see 'a note on references' above)

Wrong format for citations. (see 'a note on references' above)