Textbook Readings Quizzes

Unless you are a "trial-and-error-student" who doesn't read instructions (another method to approach this class), PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS (all of them -- and more than one time.)

Students:  Welcome to the instruction page for the Textbook "Readings Quizzes" assignment.  The first "reading quiz" will be visible and available on Blackboard after the "introduction period" set aside for you to learn the class set-up and to read the textbook and/or online learning resources.   SEE THE SEMESTER CALENDAR FOR THE EXACT DATE. Then you have until the date at the end of the semester (see the Semester Calendar) to finish all reading quizzes -- with the exception of one quiz.  Reading quiz 05 has a deadline just near the last day to withdraw (to make sure that students are progressing through class in a manner conducive to quality learning) -- which means that you also must have finished quiz 1, 2, 3, and 4 before that date. (Clarification: There are no other Reading Quiz deadlines in the Semester Calendar -- with the exception of the quizzes noted above, you work at your own speed as long as you have finished all reading quizzes on or before the end of the due date noted in the calendar near the end of the semester.)

Did you read carefully what was just written in the paragraph above? Some students (from previous semester observations) appear to have problem understanding so I have here another copy of the key sentences -- using bigger font and bright colors colors (for the student who doesn't read this page the bigger font and brigth colors are of course not going to help -- but I cannot do anything about that):

For the first Textbook Reading Quiz to be available in the "Readings Quiz folder" two release criteria must be fulfilled:

(1)  The date indicated in the Semester Calendar as the start date for quiz taking.

(2) a score of minimum 90 percent on a previous quiz. For "Readings Quiz 01" the prerequisite is the the Start Quiz.  Readings Quiz 2 will become available when you have scored a minimum 90 on Quiz 1, and so on...

   When a prerequisite has been fulfilled you will see a link to the "next" quiz with an icon like one the three below. The number and color depends on which quiz you are about to take and which class you are in (blue is for environmental biology, light red for general biology I and green for general biology II).  I this particular Blackboard platform the icons does not function as links -- you must click on the underlined text next to it instead (just as a web link)...

There are 15 Reading Quizzes to submit (roughly corresponding to the textbook chapters -- the numbers might vary depending on semesters and what class you are in, and there may be some overlap between chapters; for more details, see the course outline in the syllabus).  You may take a quiz as many times as needed to earn minimum 90 or higher.  Each time you repeat a quiz, the questions may or may not appear in a random order (depends on which quiz it is).  A score below 90 will earn you a zero.  A score 90 and above will earn you a 100.  (You may be tempted to stop taking the quiz when you earn a 90 -- that is fine, the next quiz in the sequence will now open up for you -- just remember that questions you have answered incorrectly may show up on the Endterm (final) Exam.)  To encourage students to attempt the quiz until you earn a 100, "excellence points" will be given to students who finish ALL reading quizzes with 98 or above -- see the Grading Criteria.  (However, I recommend that you continue on to the next quiz as soon as you earn 90 and the come back later -- if you wish and have time -- to attempt a higher grade...)

Before you start a quiz read the short instructions next to the "begin quiz" button, because some quizzes may have slightly different settings.  When you start a quiz each question will open one at a time. The number of questions in the quiz is displayed on the navigation bar to the right (quizzes have between 10 and 40 questions -- most are between 15 - 20).  To change an answer you may in some quizzes visit a question as many times as you wish -- within the time limit, but in most quizzes you can only change the answer before you move to the next question. (If you have not earned a 90 in the first attempt -- take the quiz again and use a different answer, or come back later after studying the material some more.)

You have 4 hours for each quiz attempt. (You don't need anywhere near that time to finish a quiz, but the time is given to you to reduce stress and allow you to read your textbook or use the Internet in a climate conducive to satisfactory academic learning.)

The quizzes will be available for Endterm (Final) Exam study, however, they will disappear (quizzes will no longer be available) as per the date when "all assignments" are due near the end of the semester, as noted in the semester calendar.  Quiz 05 is a "critical deadline quiz", and it will disappear a little bit earlier just before the last day to withdraw from the class. Make sure you note these dates if you plan to study for the Endterm (Final) Exam using the quizzes. Most successful students make sure they have submitted all required quizzes before the deadline with enough time for Endterm (Final) Exam study. 


To take a quiz you must use the password provided on the page linked to from the Grading Criteria call "password locator".  All quizzes have the same password.  To find the password navigate to the Grading Criteria (link located on the Environmental Biology Hub), scroll to the Chapter Quizzes information in the Assignment Overview.  Find the link to the "Password locater".  (Pink button.)  Click on it.  The password page also gives information about the lockdown browser, but to take a quiz you are this semester NOT required to use  Respondus Lockdown Browser.  It is apparently not working properly with the new Blackboard platform. A direct link -- bypassing the Grading Criteria -- is also located on the Environmental Biology hub, to the password locator page. The intent with the password is -- however -- to get the students to read the Grading Criteria page...

If you have not submitted reading quiz 05 with the minimum required grade by this secondary deadline you are not participating in class as can be expected, and will be removed from the class roster...  (Truly, as a serious student in class you will finish Reading Quiz 5 MUCH EARLIER in the semester -- you will not be able to finish all assignment if you don't -- this date is just a "filter" for the instructor so he can drop nonparticipating students from the class...)  (Since a few students have misunderstood previous semesters -- this also means that you must have submitted quiz 1-4 to remain on the roster -- NOT JUST QUIZ 5 -- since all quizzes must be taken in order -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...)

HOW TO APPROACH EACH READING QUIZ: The goal of the Reading Quizzes is to use both the Internet and the textbook, but become independent of a specific textbook used by the STC Biology Department, especially since every semester several different editions and/or autors are often used by students.

To help you find the answers to the quiz questions you have several resources, such as your  Textbook, Learning Resources located on the Hub page on Dr. Nilsson's CyberClassroom, and the  Internet.

To assist you to find facts and figures to answer the questions in the Reading Quizzes, you may use the KEY TERMS listed under each quiz link on this page.  Search the Internet or your textbook index to find the textbook pages discussinng the topic (each textbook is different so all key terms may not be indexed or may be indexed under a variation of the term).

Another method is to use each quiz as a learning tool, with help of the quiz figures and/or your given (incorrect or correct) answer.  After each attempt study the submitted quiz attempt.  Repeat the quiz until you get the answer correct.

To check your score and answers, click on the quiz again, instead of retaking the quiz click on the "OK" button at the bottom right corner on the quiz entry page.

Finally a note on figures in the reading quizzes:  Due to transfer damage when the test was moved from the old platform, and depending on which browser was used, there were some problems during some earlier semesters for some students to see the quiz figures -- and the problem keep popping up now and then.

 It was discovered that some students could always see the figures with no problems, other students could not see any figures, and some students could see SOME of the figures.  This should no longer be a problem.  In fact, some of you may see TWO  identical figures...  (Unnecessary, but better than not see any picture.)

However, in the rare event you cannot see at least one of the figures, you should still be able to answer the question.  If you wish to see the figure you can use your textbook to locate the figure or a similar figure on the same concept/topic.

You don't really need the pictures, since they are in your textbook -- which is required that you have -- and they were mostly included to make the quiz a little more interesting and colorful (and perhaps helpful). There is nothing more boring than a quiz with white backbround and black text... The instructor is working on setting up backup pages on the Hostgator website, so eventually there will be backup pictures to look at if this happens again. That is, however, time consuming work and will take a long time to complete...

If you can see one figure but also an empty box -- maybe with a question mark -- don't worry, the empty box is just an identical copy of the picture YOU CAN SEE, but does not display for some reason.

If you haven't already, I now suggest that you login to Blackboard and take a look in the Reading Quiz folder. If you think need more information there are some more information if you click on the link below...


Dr. Nilsson