Welcome to your liquid syllabus!
This site is provided as a resource to prepare you for a successful start to our fully online asynchronous course. It's not intended to be a comprehensive syllabus – you'll find that hyperlinked below. These are just the highlights.
Watch a greeting from Ins. Poffenroth
“There is always light. If only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it.”
Amanda Gorman, Author of The Hill We Climb
What You Need to Know
How Our Course Operates
We will have weekly video updates posted to your announcements in Canvas, which are part of the required weekly work of the course. Biology 54 at San Jose State University is a 100% online course and is not self-paced (i.e. you will have weekly deadlines).
Our course is asynchronous, meaning that we do not have any in real time meetings and there are no zoom sessions to attend for lecture. You will not see the course appear in your Canvas page until the official first day of class.
Bio 54 will keep you engaged each and every week with readings, videos, discussions, and activities. Please note there are no late assignments or makeup work allowed (since you always have at least a week to submit anytime), so it is important you get the assignments submitted before their weekly deadlines.
How to Access Canvas
We will be using Canvas as our learning management system.
If you are new to using Canvas please take some time before the class begins to familiarize yourself here: https://www.sjsu.edu/ecampus/software-tools/teaching-tools/canvas/canvas-tips-tricks.php - once you are familiar with Canvas please make sure you can sign in.
If you need additional tips and tricks for using Canvas, check out the resources that SJSU has put together for students at https://www.sjsu.edu/ecampus/software-tools/teaching-tools/canvas/.
You will not see our course until the first official day of classes, <first day of class>.
Sign in at https://sjsu.instructure.com - if you have any enrollment issues for Canvas please contact https://www.sjsu.edu/ecampus/software-tools/teaching-tools/canvas/student-resources/index.php.
What to Know About Lab
There is a lab portion and a separate lecture portion. Each has a different instructor, but both have their homebase in the same Canvas course shell. I, Mary Poffenroth, am your lecture instructor. You will have a separate faculty member as your lab instructor. All future lab information, teachings, and updates will come directly from the lab instructor, while I will always communicate only on lecture.
Week 1 Path to Success
Sign into Canvas on our first day <first day of class> at https://sjsu.instructure.com/
Review our full syllabus
Complete our welcome module, Module 0, no later than <due date for module 0) which will include:
Welcome discussion thread
Bio 54 starter pack concept check
Next, read our Syllabus HERE This is the contract between you and I as we make our way through the quarter together. I will do everything in my power to make you successful, but it is you who must put in the hard work and focus. I love online learning and have been teaching online courses since 2008. It has many wonderful perks, like not having to park on campus and watching lectures in your pajamas! However, it has some pitfalls, including the need for you to be self-sufficient and keep active in the course. Time management and organizational skills are essential for the online student.
1 of 2: Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, George Marshall (Required). ISBN: 9781632861023 (either publication year is fine). Available at Spartan Bookstore and on Amazon @ https://amzn.to/30Vbnji
2 of 2: Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Bradberry & Greaves (Required). I have worked with the SJSU-MLK Library to secure FREE digital licenses for you for this title! If you wish a paper copy though, you will need to purchase. Access by signing into your SJSU student library account. ISBN: 1441842233. Available at Spartan Bookstore and on Amazon @ http://amzn.to/2rysKHe
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Canvas message
I preferred to be addressed as Instructor Poffenroth and use She/Her pronouns
I respond to email Monday through Friday, except holidays
Expect a response within 24 hours Monday through Friday and no later than 48 hours.
More questions? Check out our Q&A Discussion group in Canvas HERE
More... About Me
Ins. Mary Poffenroth, MSc.
It’s been over 20 years since I first began my science career at NASA, spending the last 14 years as STEM faculty. With innovation and engagement my top priorities, I’ve been able to bring science out of the academy and into the hands of people across the world ready to use evidence based information to transform their lives through keynote talks and immersive workshops. I’ve done public talks on such stages as TEDx London, Inbound, and SXSW and my work has been featured in legacy media outlets such as Time magazine, Forbes, Science, Entrepreneur, and National Geographic.
I have personally taught nearly 20,000 adults both in person and online since 2007 and am the author of Write Present Create: Science Communication for Undergraduates. Some of my proudest accomplishments include being a first generation college student that would go on to become a Salzburg Global Fellow, being able to graduate from Imperial College London to round out my three masters degrees (biology, psychology, science communications).
In 2021, I will complete a lifelong dream of finishing my PhD in Psychology through my continued research on the intersection of emotional intelligence and innovation for personal/organizational growth.
Let's Review Our Pact
Bio 54, our class, is a community.
You are not in this alone. To be a successful community, each member must be regularly show up, be curious, be willing to lean into discomfort (ah! Scary!), have a positive attitude, and a willingness to help one another.
Each member of this community is different and those differences will strengthen your learning by yielding unique insights drawn from diverse experiences. We acknowledge the tremendous amount of expertise in our community and encourage you to support and help one another as challenges and questions are shared.
Moving outside of your comfort zone is incredibly difficult sometimes, but necessary to learn and grow. Keep in mind that when you feel struggle, it is a sign that you are learning. We will celebrate that feeling. When mistakes happen (and they will!), we will recognize them as learning moments that contribute to our growth.
I am so excited to work along side you! Welcome to Bio 54!
My advice for success
Sign into Canvas at least two days a week, one of those should be a Monday for our updates
Put deadlines in your planner/calendar
Use a speech to text tool, this can help you with your writing and reading of instructions. My favorite is Spechify and VoiceDream
Know you're not alone. Reach out sooner than later...we're all human here.