graphic representation of SARS-2 virus

COVID-19 ***Special BIOZ395 option***

*****Due to the COVID-19 situation we are still experiencing reduced capacity for undergraduate research opportunities. Therefore, we will be offering an alternative BIOZ395 option for Fall 2020 only. Please see details below describing this special class****

This class will be offered as a LATE session class.
L03 will be Sept 14-Nov 24
Add/Drop deadline for this class will be Sept 15

Directed Study Bulletin Description
Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 2 credits per semester not repeatable; a maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses will count towards Biology Major (Directed Study BIOL395, Independent Study BIOL492 and/or Research and Thesis BIOL495). A minimum of 2 credits is required for the course to count as a laboratory experience. Graded Pass/Fail

NOTE: students can only use one research class to fulfill the Biology major lab requirements. Therefore, if students have already received a lab credit for BIOZ395, BIOL492 or BIOL495 this special class will not count as an additional lab.

Course Expectations for Students: Directed study in the Biological sciences will provide introductory exposure to discipline-specific research procedures. Students will begin to explore a biological problem through directed readings, and literature searches.

*****For Fall 2020 Registration for BIOZ395 is by direct enrollment (no override is needed). Registration will continue through add/drop. Additional seats will be granted on request
Please email segolding@vcu.edu

Learning outcomes:
Upon completing this course students will be able to:

  • Search the literature relevant to the topic
  • Differentiate between primary, secondary and tertiary sources of information
  • Produce a critical review of the literature relevant to the topic to being studied

Instructor:  Sarah Golding                    email: segolding@vcu.edu

Virtual Office hours:           book via Dr. Golding’s google calendar

Enrollment: Direct enrollment via eservices.

Prerequisites: Prerequisite a minimum grade of C in BIOZ151, BIOZ152.

Textbook:           No textbook is used in the class

Class format:    Online, Asyncornous (no class meeting time), Self-directed

Grading:              Pass/Fail/Incomplete

To receive a passing grade in this class students must complete the required assignments for this class in a timely manner.

A grade of “incomplete” will only be given on the students request and after consultation with Dr. Golding. All incomplete work must be completed within 30 days of the next semester.

Responsible Conduct of Research Requirement: All students registering for this class must complete the responsible conduct of research training (RCR). BIOL392 completes this requirement. Students who have not completed BIOL392 must take an online course hosted by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) and can be found at www.citiprogram.org. At this site, select “Register”, enter your organization (VCU), create an account or log in with SSO (VCU eID), and then select ‘general RCR training’. Training is free but requires a vcu.edu account.  Students must take a screenshot to confirm they have completed this requirement and upload to the Bb page for this class.

Assignments:

Annotated Bibliography: Due date Oct 10th.
Example Annotated Bibliography

Students will submit an annotated bibliography of 10 research articles. At least 7 must primary scientific sources or scientific review articles, the remainder can be government web materials or well-respected newspapers (eg. New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian) and science commentaries (Nature News, Science News, Science Daily).

Dr. Golding offers an automatic 5-day grace period for the submission of assignments.

Final Assignment: Due date Nov 15th.

In 2500 words answer the following essay prompt.

In 2019, a rare animal virus mutated to gain the ability to infect humans leading to the COVID-19 pandemic, Discuss.

You may discuss some or all of the following: What we currently know about the virus (family, structure (DNA/RNA/Strands, mutations), How it infects, how it spreads, how long it remains infectious (in air/on surfaces), what disease state it is causing, why has it caused such fear? What treatment options do we have (or are we trialing), What is “flattening the curve”, What do we know from other epi/pandemic’s that helps us understand how to respond to this? What have some countries done right/wrong? What could we have done better? What might be some unintended consequences (both good and bad) of this pandemic?

You must cite at least 20 sources. At least 15 must primary scientific sources or scientific review articles, the remainder can be government web materials or well-respected newspapers (eg. New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian) and science commentaries (Nature News, Science News, Science Daily). Use the citation guidelines outlined for the class under course materials.

This essay should be written in the style of a scientific review article (https://youtu.be/uEsAKqXSfbY).

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