Policies & Marks

How to contact your lab instructor

Contact information

Items to bring to the lab

  • protocol book and weekly guides
  • lab notebook (see “How to keep a notebook” for details)
  • calculator
  • pen and pencil

We will supply eye protection and lab coats when needed.

Preparing for the lab

  • I have listed the experiments you will do, the protocols you will use, and any extra miscellaneous information under the tab Weekly Guides (at the top of this window). Please review this information before coming to the lab.
  • Some weeks there will be a short assignment to be completed before the lab.
  • Some weeks you will need to come to the lab outside your lab time - please see the lab schedule or calendar for more info.
  • Pre-labs will be short and are intended to clarify lab activities – not to replace your personal preparation for the lab. Please see Preparing for the lab for more information.

Lab mark

Your lab mark will have 4 components:

  • weekly lab notebook mark
  • assignments
  • project research report
  • lab final

Notebook marks

Lab notebooks will be evaluated each week. Details are available on the notebook page.


Assignments must be completed in your own words and properly referenced. You may use the citation-order system or the author-year system for assignments – see the References page on the Biology Department's Lab Report Help Site .

Project report

Each student will be independently writing a formal lab report. Details will be provided.

Final lab exam

The final lab exam will be comprehensive. The questions will focus on the stated learning objectives for this laboratory. My lab exams emphasize understanding rather than rote memory.

Laboratory policies

In a perfect world, students would attend all lectures and labs, never get sick, never have any personal or family difficulties that interfere with their learning and would never be dissatisfied with the marks they receive on their graded materials. Until this utopia is attained, we have developed the following policies to deal with issues that occasionally arise. Please note that these policies have been carefully crafted over the years to keep make sure that any issues that arise are dealt with as fairly as possible for all those involved, i.e. you, your classmates and your instructors.

Our goal is to deal with attendance issues, missed deadlines and marking disputes as fairly as possible for all those affected, i.e. you, your classmates and your instructor

Attendance policy

Attendance is required at all laboratory sessions. A good biologist must develop many skills that cannot be learned in lectures. Laboratory sessions are carefully designed to help students learn not only some basic laboratory skills but also to learn how biologists study living systems. Because it is impossible to adequately replace the experiential learning provided in the laboratory, you are required to attend all laboratory sessions. Additionally, it is essential that you be on time for your labs and that you attend the section in which you are registered. Time, equipment and space are all limiting factors for biology labs.

Due to the project nature of this laboratory, if you do miss a lab, your instructor will attempt to find a way for you to make-up the lab, but this requires extra work on the part of your instructors. Thus, missing a lab for any reason other than the valid reasons listed below will result in a grade penalty. This penalty will range from losing participation marks to not being allowed to hand in a lab report. Additionally, habitual lateness, which is disruptive to your classmates and your instructor, will also result in a grade penalty. If you miss multiple labs you may also not be allowed to write the lab exam.

If you miss a lab, please contact your lab instructor as soon as possible (ahead of time if possible).

If you have a valid reason as listed below (with documentation) you will not be penalized and your lab instructor will attempt to find a way for you to make up the lab.

Valid reasons (and required documentation) for missing a lab or for submitting late assignments

  • personal illness (doctor's note on official stationary)
  • death of family member or person close to you (death notice or documentation from funeral home)
  • family emergency (doctor's or councilor's note on official stationary)
  • team absences (coach's letter)

Work or vacations are not valid reasons to miss labs. Please note that attendance includes showing up on time and staying in the lab until you have completed your experiments and cleaned up your workspace. Some labs may not take the full laboratory time, however, do not count on being able to leave early. Please schedule your activities to allow you to stay in lab until the end of the scheduled lab time plus an additional 15 min in case you have a set back during the lab.

Policy on late assignments and reports

Assignments and reports are due as stated in your lab schedule. Late assignments may not be accepted or may be accepted with a penalty. The late penalty is 10% per day unless you have a valid reason as listed above (and the required documentation).

Once a marking guide has been posted, or reports have been handed back, late assignments and reports will be evaluated but will receive a grade of zero.

Additional feedback or clarification

The feedback we give you takes a considerable amount of time and effort and we strive to give feedback that will not only help you determine if you are meeting the learning objectives we have set out but will also help you improve your future work. If you find the feedback unclear or you wish to get some additional feedback on how to improve your work or if after going through the feedback you still don’t fully understand the material, please see Lauri outside of your lab session ASAP (stop by or make an appointment).

Mark appeal policy

We make every effort to evaluate your assignments and lab reports in a fair, accurate, consistent and transparent manner. However, errors do happen. If you simply need clarification about the marking please meet with Lauri (see above) but if you believe there is an error in the marking, please follow the guidelines below to appeal.
Addition errors: If assignments are given back in lab, please check the addition before you leave the lab. If you find an addition error, bring it to the instructor’s attention before you leave the lab. If the addition error was on material submitted electronically please notify email your instructor by email within one week of your assignment being returned.
Evaluation appeals: If you believe your assignment/notebook/report/test received a lower mark than it deserved, you may appeal the evaluation in writing within one week of the evaluated material being released. The appeal must be submitted directly to Lauri in writing, with references as appropriate (electronic submissions are acceptable). In your appeal, you must clearly explain why you think your answer deserved more marks. For example, if your material was marked using a rubric you must clearly explain how your work met the higher-level requirements on the rubric. Your appeal must include the original item unless we still have it.
Your assignment/report may be re-evaluated in its entirety. Any mark adjustments will be made within one week of the appeal. Changes on exam marks will appear on the final grade sheet for the laboratory. Changes to assignments or reports will be indicated on the original, which will be returned to you.
Your mark could remain the same, go up, or go down.

Policy on plagiarism and cheating

Unless otherwise indicated, all materials you hand in for evaluation are expected to be your own original work. Plagiarism is the most common form of cheating that we see so we have assembled some resources to help students recognize and avoid plagiarism. In particular, we expect that you will carefully read "Avoiding plagiarism – guidelines for students in the Biology Department at the University of Regina".


I would like to thank all former Biology 305 students who provided helpful comments concerning the laboratory.

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