Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to get into your lecture (or lab) section?

Unfortunately the only thing you can do is to wait for someone else to drop and then quickly add yourself to the section. I absolutely cannot add students to a full section.

A good idea is to check for the dates when payment is due in
MyCSN. If students miss the payment they will be purged from the course, allowing you to register in the open seat.

Am I allowed to 'sit-in' on the class until a seat becomes available?

No. It is CSN policy that only registered students may attend classes. Please note that CSN no longer allows any additional registration after the first day of classes.

What are your office hours? I'd like to talk to you.

The office hours *should* be in the footer of this webpage. If not, just look on the syllabus for your course (also on this website) for the time I'm sure to be in my office. If you can't come at those times send me a message or talk to me after class; I'm sure we can find a time to meet.

I sent you a message and you didn't reply. What the heck?

Did you send it via CSN's Canvas? That can sometimes be a little flakey.

Please just use my email or the
contact form here.

What will be on the exam? (i.e. what chapters will it cover)

All exams cover the material from where we left off at the last exam up to how ever far we get during the lecture day before the next exam. Since I cannot gauge exactly how fast the course will move, the only way to know for sure is to come to class the day before the exam. (Of course, if you value your grade you should come every class!)

When will we get the results of the exam/quiz?

I rarely have time to grade during the school week. Grades are usually added to the website over the weekend.

Can I makeup the exam/quiz?

 As outlined in the syllabus, you are allowed to drop an exam and a quiz. That is your makeup.

If for some extremely unfortunate reason you have to miss TWO exams or quizzes I may make arrangements for you to take a single makeup (usually all-essay). If you know you will be missing an exam for an
important reason (e.g. military service, funeral, job interview, etc.) and you let me know at least a few days before the date I will make arrangements for you to take the exam early.

iClicker quizzes are a part of lecture and participation and are not available to makeup in any way.

I can't access an area of the website because it asks for a password. What should I use?

The password was given during class. Send me a message or ask after lecture.

I can't open the lecture notes, can you help me?

Maybe. If you are having any type of difficulty with your computer at home, office, friend's computer, etc. my first suggestion will be to use the computers at the college. There are two reasons for this:

1) I troubleshoot this site using the computers there. I know documents on this site work on the PCs and Macs on campus

2) There are staff available at the CSN computer centers that are paid to help you.

If you are still having trouble, then please
send me a message and I will do my best to help you get it straightened out.

Why can't you just post the lecture notes before lecture?

Two reasons:

1. The lecture notes change every semester and I'm sorry but I do not create them far in advance. I have no way of really knowing how quickly we will get through the material and many times the notes are made right before lecture begins.

2. I've tried posting the previous years' lecture notes in advance but it came with problems and liabilities. Because they were slightly different than the ones used in class it caused confusion. But, even more importantly, many students stopped taking notes altogether and the grades were significantly lower.

I have an older edition of the textbook. Can I use that instead of buying the new one?

You definitely "can", but it isn't recommended for a couple of important reasons.

1. While I do not create the exams directly from the textbook, if there are discrepancies in information from an old textbook you will still be responsible for the current information.

2. The old textbooks do not allow you to access the publisher's website that comes with loads of sample quizzes, exams, vocabulary, movies, etc. Depending on your class you may also need access to this site for required homework assignments.

Will you write me a letter of recommendation?

Certainly! Assuming a couple of things:

  1. You must have completed one of my courses in good standing. If I haven't even given you a grade yet I'm not sure what I could write about you, right?
  2. If you did not receive a good grade (A or B) you might want to reconsider anyway, since my letter will be primarily about your academic performance in my class.

Can you tell me how to study for your class?

On the first day of class I gave you the best advice I know of, but if you come by my office I will certainly try to help you. In the meantime make sure you check out the download on biology study habits, found here.

I can't make it to my lab section (BIOL 196) this week. What can I do?

Read this.

Can you tell me what I need to get on this exam to get a ______ grade?

I am sorry, but I do not have time to figure out your potential future grades for you. I spend a lot of time figuring out your current grades. However, if you check your syllabus you'll see it is just a simple point system. Count up all the points you have and you'll see how many you need to accrue to achieve that grade.

Do you have a "study guide"?

Sorta, not really...

Here's why. In my experience a "study guide" attempts to take all the information and shrink it down to the minimum amount of material needed to study for an exam. If I could shrink the material down by a significant amount and still feel like you are learning all the important information in the curriculum I would. I feel that
everything we cover in class is important or I wouldn't cover it.

For Biology 196 you should be using the MasteringBiology web resource (accessed via Canvas), which has many more study tools than I could ever provide for you anyway.

Can you please offer extra credit? Pretty please?

No. It is departmental policy that we cannot offer extra credit under any circumstances.

As a biologist, what is your favorite animal?

That's easy.
© Rhett Michelson -
This site is not directly affiliated with the College of Southern Nevada. The site owner is directly responsible for its content.