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Computers and software:
You may use your home computer as long as you have a good Internet connection. We recommend Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari as your browser.

If you wish to participate orally in virtual office hours or study groups, you will need a microphone or headset. You may use any University computer in the dormitories or the campus work stations to view the course website, but if using a computer at a campus work station, you must bring headphones to listen to the audio.

For laboratory assignments you will often need to capture images from your computer screen and/or label images. If you do not have software to easily do these things, you can download these free applications.

1. For Windows, use Irfanview or Skitch or

To do a screen shot, go to the options menu and select "capture screen shot". Be sure to crop your captured image and save it as .jpg or .png. You can label your image using the paint tools in Irfanviw.
You can use the built-in screen capture and Paint application in Windows, but more steps are involved.

2. For Macs, use Skitch

Skitch will do screen shots, labeling, and more. Use is intuitive. NOTE: If you have an older MAC OS (less than 10.7.4), download Skitch 1.0 instead of the newest version.
You can quickly capture images on your screen by holding down the shift-Apple (command) and 4 keys, then dragging the mouse over the part of the screen you wish to capture. When you release the mouse button, your image will be saved on the desk top as a .png file.

Viewing Multimedia on the web site:
The weekly on-line lessons in this course utilize audio, video, animations, and a few simulations. It is essential that you listen to the audio, since much information is presented in this format.
Click on each icon below to see if your computer has all required software and plugins installed:

You should see an image with interactive features. Click on the green text "levels" and images should appera. If not, you should enable Java Script in your browser: see for instructions.

acrobat A pdf document should download to your computer. If it does not, you should download the Adobe Reader.

How to use the course web site:
Be sure to read the syllabus before beginning the course. For each week of the course, you will find one or two "on-line lessons" listed on the Course Schedule page. Clicking a lesson topic for the appropriate week will take you to an outline of the topic's content. The outline contains some factual information, but is most important as a guide to the material contained within the text links. Be sure to click on each link as you come to it. Each text link will open a new page containing a large illustration with interactive features or a smaller popup window with an image and audio. A few seconds after the popup window appears, audio should begin to play. If it does not, use the play bar to start the audio. Observe the image as you listen to the audio which describes it. You may stop or replay the audio at any time by using the play bar below the image. If you prefer to read text iwhile listening to the audio, view the scrollng text beneath the image.
Hint: When the first popup window opens, move it to a convenient place on your screen and leave it open. All subsequent popups will then open in the same window at this spot.

You will find "Concept Checks" at the end of each section of a topic. You are strongly advised to fill out the work sheets for each concept check. Quizzes and exams will be based on this material. If you want to view and print the concept work sheets as PDF documents, you will need the Adobe reader.

How to use icons on the course web pages:
reading Use to access list of reading assignments for the topic. (required--there may be quiz or exam questions related to these readings)
news Use to see list of interesting items related to the topic. (optional reading if you want more information on the topic)
dictionary Use to see list of definitions for terms used in the topic. (a quick way to get help with words in the topic that you do not understand)
interactive Use to see list of interactive learning objects. (another way to access the linked interactive pages--good for a quick review)
popup text Use to see a list of scripts for all of the popup windows. (another way to access text in the popups--good if you want to see the text from all popups on one page or want to read a specific text again, but do not remember where to find it's link)

concepts Use to access a list of concepts that you must know to do well in the course. The list can be downloaded as a MS document (to fill out by computer) or as a PDF file (to print and fill out by hand). These concept checks should be completed each week. They will not be graded, but if you fill out all of the sheets, you can use them as your main study source when preparing for quizzes and exams. You may also use them as aids while taking the on-line quizzes and exams.

How to submit weekly quizzes:
You will find the dates for each quiz listed on the course schedule page. Note that there is a quiz most weeks of the course. Clicking on the "quiz" link takes you to WebAssign where you can log in and access the quiz. Each quiz will become active the on first day of the week that it may be taken. You will have 7 days during which the quiz may be submitted. All quizzes are due before midnight on the indicated due date (Sunday). The quizzes are timed. A 30-min time period will begin when you access the first quiz question. After answering all quiz questions, submit the quiz by clicking the "submit" button. You can view your score for each question and a "key" to the correct answers in WebAssign after the quiz due date. Quizzes must be submitted before the indicated due date. Late quizzes will receive a "0" score. You are expected to take the quizzes alone (no help from other students during the quiz). You may use notes or books during the quiz, but be careful not to exceed the time limit or your score will be "0". There is a large pool of questions and question variations that WebAssign accesses randomly, so every student will have a different version of the quiz.

How to join Virtual Office hours
Use the Zoom link on the homepage (in the navigation bar) to access the meeting.The password is bio183.
If you want to communicate orally, you will need a microphone or a headset. Otherwise you will need to communicate by text, but should be able to hear others talking through your computer speakers.