At the beginning of the semester of the senior seminar, before 4 p.m. on the Friday of the first full week of the semester, the student group must submit a Full Proposal to their adviser. Failure to meet this deadline may result in postponement of the BIOL 480 to a subsequent semester.
Full proposals must include a title, list of participants, faculty adviser, day and time of weekly meetings, meeting place, overview of course topic, detailed description of subtopics, revised preliminary bibliography for each subtopic (10 sources, including several within the past 1-3 years), other resources to be used (books, guest speakers, field trips, etc.), attendance policy, and other required assignments. An appointment day and time with the Science Librarian must be stated in the proposal. Each seminar is required to meet with the Science Librarian by the end of the third full week of the semester.
The adviser will review the Full Proposal and suggest modifications. The department must formally approve the proposal. Approval by the department should be completed by the end of the second full week of the semester.
All seminars are two credits, requiring a minimum of six hours of work per week, including the meeting time. A minimum of two hours each week should be spent together.
Grading is CR/NC; this is by college rule for student-initiated courses. At the end of the semester, student participants will evaluate each other, including the ultimate determination of CR or NC.
Attendance at all meetings is required. No more than two absences are allowed for successful completion of the course. This attendance policy must be spelled out in the Full Proposal.
The minimum enrollment for a Senior Seminar group is three students. The maximum enrollment is six students. The graduating class is responsible for seeing that all students are enrolled in at least one seminar. Please be inclusive! Also, it is each individual's personal responsibility to be an active part of a seminar group before the full proposal is completed.
Roles of the faculty adviser. The faculty adviser should be consulted before the initial and final proposals are submitted to the department. The adviser can be a helpful resource for the proposals and during the seminar. Advisers will not attend the seminar meetings unless specially invited. Each seminar group will meet with their adviser on three occasions during the semester.
The first adviser meeting must occur during the week before the Full Proposal is due. At this meeting the adviser will check the meeting schedule, will confirm that the group has scheduled a meeting with the science librarian, and will confirm the attendance policy.
The second meeting will occur around the mid-semester time so the faculty adviser can offer expectations for the written and oral component.
The third meeting will occur no later than one week before your colloquium presentation. Each seminar group must give a practice presentation to their faculty adviser plus one other faculty member chosen by the group. A hardcopy of the slides (4-6 slides per page) should be provided to the two faculty at the beginning of the practice presentation.
The Final Oral Component: The time slots for colloquium presentations will be reserved during the last month of the semester. The colloquium will be 40-45 minutes long with time left afterwards for questions. A seminar group of 5 or 6 persons should schedule two colloquium time slots.
After the colloquium, please send an electronic copy of your presentation slides to the Science Librarian for archival storage and program assessment.
The Final Written Component: The seminar group's final paper will start with a 1-2 page abstract that states the group's goals and summarizes each person's topic. Then each individual's paper will follow and should include an introduction stating the context of the topic and the goals for the paper, the body of the paper, and a finishing conclusion which includes an assessment of where the field is going. Subheadings are encouraged throughout the paper.
It is important that your voice be clear. Your words should both summarize information and show your ability to synthesize and combine information from multiple sources. You should provide your perspective on the information. Your paper should not just report the known; it should also critique the research that has been published in the field and describe experiments the field still needs.
Each individual's paper must be at least 10 double-spaced pages with 11-12 pt. font and normal margins. Each paper must have at least 20 cited sources. Literature sources must be cited parenthetically in the body of the paper and listed in the Literature Cited section at the end. Reliable websites can be primary sources. See BioCite (http://library.earlham.edu/scicitations).
The final paper, submitted to the faculty adviser, is due by 4 p.m. on the last day of class. The faculty adviser will determine if the final written paper is acceptable.
Together, the oral and written work must demonstrate that the seminar participants have investigated the topic in sufficient depth and have effectively synthesized the knowledge gained. If either of these is not sufficiently demonstrated, the faculty may ask for additional work.