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PSY 496 / 498: Interactive Measurement Group


Syllabus for PSY 498 with Dr. Kimberly A. Barchard

Kimberly A. Barchard

Director of the Interactive Measurement Group
Office phone: 702-895-0758
Office location: CBC B346
Lab location: CDC 520
My website: Kimberly A. Barchard Website

Talk to me about course registration and grades, your workload, and your professional development.

Lab Manager

Lab phone: 702-895-3093 or 702-895-2809
Lab location: CDC 520
Lab website: Interactive Measurement Group website

Talk to the lab manager about lab meetings, workshops you have completed, and all your general lab work.

Mission Statement

The Interactive Measurement Group will

  • Prepare students for post-baccalaureate education and careers, by helping them
    • identify career and educational goals
    • develop their leadership and teamwork skills
    • develop their communication (oral and written) and computer skills
    • develop their research skills
  • Conduct research on climate change and psychometrics
    • reviewing and integrating published research
    • collecting, scoring, and analyzing data
    • presenting results in professional forums (e.g., conferences, publications)

Course Objectives

New lab members — regardless of whether they choose to become permanent lab members later — are expected to

  • start to clarify their career and educational objectives
  • start to create a plan for achieving those objectives
  • increase their computer skills, writing skills, and teamwork skills

Permanent lab members are expected to commit to at least three semesters. During their time in the lab, I expect permanent lab members to

  • clarify their career and educational objectives
  • create a detailed plan for achieving those objectives
  • substantially increase their computer skills, writing skills, and teamwork skills
  • publish at least two articles in the lab newsletter
  • create and present at least two professional conference posters

In addition, I will work with interested students to help them

  • conduct original research as part of an Honors Thesis or McNair Summer Research Project
  • apply for graduate school, law school, or medical school

Required Readings

American Psychological Association (2020).  APA Publication Manual, 7th Edition.  Available from the UNLV bookstore, APA website, and Amazon. (By the way, the least expensive option seems to be an electronic version from the APA website: Vital Source or RedShelf).

APA offers tutorials at and the UNLV library provides a guide to APA on the UNLV Library Psychology website.

Purdue University has a helpful online writing lab. It includes essential information about APA format.  It is located here:
Purdue Owl

Some semesters, some lab members learn R using DataCamp. They will sign up for a one-month membership at the DataCamp website. This will cost $25. Do not sign up before we tell you to.

Most semesters, you will also be required to read additional books. The lab manager will announce those books a few weeks in advance. Recently required books include

  • Field, A. (2013 or 2018). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS (4th or 5th edition). Sage.
  • Clear, J. (2018). Atomic habits: An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones. Penguin.
  • Wilbers, S. (2016). Keys to great writing. Peguin.


To register for PSY 496 Independent Study or PSY 498 Independent Research, you need to fill out a special form. I will submit it to the Psychology Department for approval. Once it is approved, the Psychology Department will email you to tell you that they have unblocked your registration. You should then email me to confirm you have successfully registered.

Each semester, you can enroll in 1-6 credits of PSY 496 or PSY 498. Most students sign up for 3 credits in the fall and spring and for 2 credits in the summer.  If you cannot afford that many credits, you can sign up for as little as 1 credit or just volunteer. However, we will usually expect you to do the same amount of work as other students; this is a research lab and we are counting on you to contribute.

You can register for a total of 6 credits of PSY 496 and 6 credits of PSY 498. After you have completed 12 credits, you may volunteer without signing up for credit or you may register for another course (e.g., PSY 439 Supervised Field Research in Teaching, or PSY 766 Graduate Independent Study). For example, some students may want to register so they can maintain full time student status without increasing their workload. To sign up for any of these courses, you need to fill out another special form so that the department can approve the course. Talk to me if you are thinking you want to sign up for one of these courses.

Lab Hours

The more time you spend on research, the more you will get out of it. Most students spent 12 – 25 per week on lab work. How much time you spend on your lab work is up to you.

Minimum Requirements

If you sign up for credit, each credit requires 60 lab hours. If you are taking 3 credits for 180 hours, this works out to 12 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, and 22.5 hours per week during the 8-week summer lab, which starts at the beginning of summer term 2. As part of those hours, you must commit to at least 4-8 hours to each project and poster you are working on. 

Each student will have a unique combination of general lab work and project/poster work. Some students (e.g., many new lab members and summer lab members) will spend all their lab hours on general lab work: for example, completing and teaching workshops, reading and discussing books, preparing for post-baccalaureate programs. Some students will focus their time on one project and spend 12 or more hours per week on it: for example, being the lab manager or a teaching assistant for PSY 210. Some students may be working on a poster and a project (each for at least 4 hours per week): for example, being a poster team member as well as a newsletter editor. Finally, some students will work on two projects (each for at least 4 hours per week): for example, being a PSY 210 teaching assistant and a newsletter editor.

If you feel like you have too little or too much work, or if you feel like you aren’t being challenged enough or are being overwhelmed, you should email the lab manager and me. We will work with you to adjust your tasks appropriately.

Recording Lab Hours

Regardless of whether you sign up for credit or not, you need to record the hours you spend on general lab work and on each project you are working on, using the lab hours GoogleDocs spreadsheet.  It is important that you record your hours every week, because I use these records to determine if any students are falling behind or are being overwhelmed. 

It is also important that you update your planned hours for future weeks.  Sometimes, students get sick or have family emergencies.  Sometimes students have three exams on the same day.  So if you get ahead or behind on your hours, make sure you update your planned hours for future weeks to get back on track.  There are two ways to do this.  For example, if you are ahead on your hours, you may either DECREASE your planned hours for NEXT week so that your cumulative planned hours are correct, or you may plan to work the same number of hours as usual and INCREASE your CUMULATIVE planned hours.

You should divide your lab hours into several categories. This will help you estimate your workload for each week and ensure that you spend sufficient time on large projects. This also helps ensure that everyone contributes to on-going lab work and that no one lets their project team members down.

You may find it helpful to provide separate records of how much time you spend on activities such as:

  • management roles (lab manager, poster supervisor, conference coordinator, IMP coordinator, etc.)
  • newsletter editor
  • creating your poster
  • teaching assistant for PSY 210
  • any other role or task that regularly takes up more than 2 or 3 hours per week

If you find you are uncertain about how to categorize your lab hours, ask the lab manager or the lab hours coordinator for help.

Spending Time in the Lab

You are encouraged to spend time in the lab, even when you are not doing lab work.  However, time in the lab only counts as lab hours if you are working on tasks relevant to the lab.  As well, during the lab hours from 4:00 to 7:00pm on Monday and from 4:00 to 7:00pm on Wednesday, you should spend almost all of your time actually doing lab work (not doing homework for another class, for example). Monday and Wednesday lab meetings are the only times when we all get together, and so you need to use this time to learn as much as you can with your fellow lab members. 

General Lab Work

General lab work is everything that is not directly related to a project that you are working on.  All of the time spent on any of these will count as lab hours.  Most students will do at least 4 hours of general lab work each week.


Build your professional and research skills:
  • create, give, and attend workshops on computer programs, statistics, writing, and other research skills
  • create, give, and attend workshops on time management, goal setting, picking graduate programs, etc.
  • write your CV and statement of purpose
  • give an end-of-semester presentation during which you answer three or four interview day questions
  • complete mock interviews during lab meetings or through UNLV Career Services
  • write newsletter articles

Mentor other students:
  • give orientations to new lab members
  • train other students
  • help other students with their research tasks
  • mentor other students on time management, career goals, etc.

Help lab members publish their research:
  • proof-read a study website
  • enter data
  • score tests
  • find materials through GoogleScholar and the library
  • proof-read SPSS syntax files and Excel programs
  • problem-solve in R to complete analyses or draw graphs
  • provide feedback on posters and manuscripts

Help keep the lab running:
  • discuss plans for the lab during Collaborative Vision Meetings
  • provide feedback on workshops, assignments, and the syllabus

Help maintain our virtual lab:
  • maintian our lab website
  • set up materials in WebCampus
  • provide feedback on our website and WebCampus materials

Help maintain our physical lab:
  • keep the lab orderly
  • arrange recycling pickup
  • keep the computers running by performing virus scans and critical updates

GRE Study Groups

Some students meet once or twice a week to study for the GRE together. Being in a study group can increase motivation and help keep you on track. You may count up to one hour per week towards general lab hours.

Writing Groups

Some students meet once or twice a week to provide feedback on each other’s writing.  Knowing you have to bring writing to your group every week can be a strong motivator. Getting feedback is also great, because it tells you where to focus your efforts (which paragraphs need work and which ones are already good). If you join a writing group, you may count up to one hour per week towards general lab hours.

To learn about how to give effective feedback in writing groups, I recommend you complete the following workshops:

  • How to Give and Receive Feedback
  • Key Sentences and Writing Circles

Professional Development

The primary mission of the Interactive Measurement Group is to prepare students for post-baccalaureate education and careers. I therefore expect you to clarify your educational and career goals and to make concrete plans for how you will achieve them. We will offer multiple workshops on these topics each semester. All time spent on these workshops (and the assigned homework from them) counts directly as lab hours. In addition, I encourage you to spend 4-10 hours per week on your professional development, outside of lab hours.

Recommended Books

  • Graduate Admissions Essays by Donald Asher. It covers choosing a program, tricks for creating a strong application, writing your statement of purpose, getting letters of recommendation, and how to pay for graduate school.

Recommended Workshops

  • Careers in Psychology
  • Getting into Grad School
  • Choosing a Graduate Program, School, and Advisor
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Interview Day
  • Cover Letters and Resumes
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation Worker


I require each lab member to give PowerPoint presentations at the end of each semester. Your presentation will last between 3 and 10 minutes, and it will be followed by a question-and-answer session. You must give your presentation individually. You must practice your presentation in front of at least two separate audiences before presenting in front of the lab, so that you can talk fluently and only refer to your notes occasionally.

One person from each literature review, poster, and project team will present that research. For example, if three people are working on an empirical poster together, they will work together to design an end-of-semester presentation on that empirical study; however, only one person will present that work.

If you are not presenting your poster or project, you will present on a different topic: usually Interview Day Questions. We have a workshop on graduate school interviews. It includes a list of questions that you might be asked during an interview for graduate school. If you will not be presenting a project, then you should present your answers to 3-5 of these questions, in PowerPoint format. See the Interview Day workshop. If you want to present on a different topic, discuss your topic ideas with the lab manager.

Recommended Resources

  • PowerPoint workshop
  • Interview Day workshop


We publish a newsletter called, Connections: Word from the Interactive Measurement Group. The purpose of our newsletter is to create a supportive community connecting current and former lab members. Our newsletter is a tool to help lab members network: reuniting people who used to work together and introducing people whose time in the lab did not overlap but who nonetheless have much in common.  Each issue will include personal stories of successes and mishaps, as well as advice and insights that you can apply to your professional and personal life. 

To assist lab members in building their writing skills, I expect permanent lab members to publish at least two newsletter articles during their time in our lab. Their articles might be based upon personal experience or upon books or websites they have read. Lab members should talk to the current newsletter editors about their ideas.

To help authors with their writing, I expect both new and permanent lab members to provide authors with feedback on their draft articles.

Purpose of Lab Meetings

Lab meetings will be held every Monday and Wednesday from 4:00 to 7:00pm (unless the university is closed).

On Mondays, lab members will be taught useful research skills (such as how to present research, improve writing skills, and use various computer programs). All new lab members are required to attend the Monday lab meetings. Permanent lab members are required to attend these lab meetings whenever they are participating in that training (either as a learner or a mentor). Permanent members are also encouraged to attend these meetings when they are not participating in specific activities: They can help out, answer questions, and work on other projects with other lab members. Additionally, permanent lab members may be required to attend separate meetings during these Monday lab hours, such as meeting with their newsletter or poster teams.

On Wednesdays, the lab manager and assistant lab managers will provide specialized training (e.g., advanced statistical methods), lead discussions, and help students with posters and other tasks. Students will work on other projects during these lab hours if they are not participating in a particular activity during the meeting. All new and permanent lab members are required to attend the Wednesday lab meetings.


During lab meetings, permanent lab members will present workshops. The student leaders must practice their presentation in front of at least two separate audiences before presenting a workshop during the lab meetings so that they are able to talk fluently and only refer to their notes occasionally. Student leaders will be expected to read the workshop and complete the assignment before they give the presentation. Lab members will read the workshop as homework and then work on the assignment during lab hours. Ideally, workshops should be interactive, involving discussion, exercises, and personal examples. To minimize the lab’s impact on the climate, all handouts associated with the workshop should be emailed to all lab members (or else made available on WebCampus) before the presentation starts. All leaders must complete the Workshop on Giving Workshops at least 2 weeks before their presentation date.

In addition, students are required to complete Library Workshops every semester they are in the lab. Lately, we have been arranging custom-designed workshops for our lab members. The lab manager will let you know what workshops we are covering this semester.

Finally, students are encouraged to attend Writing Workshops, offered through the UNLV Writing Center, and review resources on the Writing Center website. All time that is spent reviewing Writing Center resources or attending Writing Center workshops counts towards lab hours. See UNLV’s Writing Center website.

Recommended Resources

  • Workshop on Giving Workshops

Literature Reviews

During some semesters, some students create literature reviews.

Working in a group of two or three students, you will co-author a literature review of one of the research topics that I study. Your literature review will be at least 20 pages long and will contain at least 20 references. Writing a literature review will help you become an expert in this area, while developing your writing and teamwork skills.

You should meet with your co-authors at least twice a week. In addition, our lab’s Writing Supervisor will meet with you most weeks to provide guidance and answer questions. We will provide you with feedback on your literature review at key points during the semester.


  • I will give you a list of possible topics from which to choose. Choose one of these topics with your team. Be sure to pick the topic you are most interested in.
  • Read at least 20 journal articles.  For each, create an annotated bibliography. Save your annotated bibliographies onto the server in your team folder.
  • Write a 20-page APA-format paper on the topic you have chosen, using the 20+ articles. This is not just a summary of each article. You will review all the articles and compose a thesis around it. Save this first draft and all following drafts onto the server in your team folder.
  • Obtain feedback on your literature review from two lab members. Incorporate their feedback.
  • Obtain feedback on your literature review from the Writing Supervisor and me. Incorporate our feedback.
  • Save your final paper onto the server.  Email the Writing Supervisor and me to tell us your paper is finished and you are ready for our feedback. Incorporate our final feedback.

To create your APA-style document, you will need to use the following features of Word:

  • Running head
  • Double-spacing
  • Remove extra space between paragraphs
  • Page breaks before the abstract, introduction, figure, table, and references
  • First line indents of each paragraph
  • Hanging indents on each reference

Recommended Resources


  • UNLV library website
  • Google Scholar
  • Forward Searches workshop
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab
  • APA publication manual
  • CrossRef to find doi address
  • Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Williams and Bizup
  • Punctuation workshop
  • Writing Circles workshop
  • How to Give and Receive Feedback workshop


  • Word workshop


  • Effective Email workshop
  • Leadership workshop
  • Communication workshop (including handout on Tough Discussion)
  • Assertiveness workshop
  • Meeting minutes workshop


  • Goal Setting and Time Management workshop
  • Stress Management workshop
  • Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg


During the fall and spring semesters, many lab members create conference posters, which are later presented at professional conferences. Poster teams consist of both permanent lab members and new lab members.

I expect permanent lab members to present their research at two or more professional conferences during their time in our lab. Ideally, they will present two separate projects, one at an online conference, one at an in-person conference.

Many professional conferences occur online. Presenters upload their completed materials and interact with attendees in an online environment. Virtual conferences give students the ability to present their work in local, regional, and national venues for just the cost of membership and registration — a tremendous savings compared to in-person out-of-town conventions.

Going to an out-of-town conference does not have to be really expensive. Sometimes the conference is within driving distance, and you can carpool with other students. Often you can share a hotel room with other students and sometimes you’ll be able to stay with friends or family. These steps all make out-of-town conferences much more affordable. Out-of-town conferences will help you meet people from across the country, who are interested in the same research topics as you are. You will also get to meet faculty and students from the places you are considering going to graduate school.

If you cannot afford an out-of-town conference even after taking those steps, you can go to conferences here in Las Vegas. I recommend the American Association for Behavioral and Social Sciences, which is a national conference that is held in Las Vegas every year. It covers all of the social sciences, which is great if you are thinking of going into an area besides psychology, but doesn’t look as good on your CV if you want to go to graduate school in psychology. You can also go to the Psi Chi and other UNLV-sponsored conferences. I recommend you aim for at least one out-of-town conference if you can afford it, as many in-town conferences as possible, and at least one virtual conference.

Students will create three types of posters:

  • Posters based on their literature reviews
  • Posters that analyze existing data
  • Posters that describe the results of one or more new studies

Literature Review Posters

I expect all students to present their literature reviews at professional conferences. The following national conferences allow literature reviews as presentations: the American Association for Behavioral and Social Sciences, Western Psychological Association, and Society for Personality and Social Psychology.


  1. Incorporate all feedback from the Writing Supervisor and me, to finalize the content of your poster.
  2. Format your literature review as a conference handout using Word. Include ALL material.
  3. Format your literature review as a conference poster using Publisher. Include only as much material as needed to have a good discussion with other people at the conference.
  4. Obtain feedback on your formatted poster from two lab members. Incorporate their feedback.
  5. Obtain feedback on your formatted poster from the Writing Supervisor and me. Incorporate our feedback.
  6. Meet with me to polish your title and abstract. Email me one or two weeks in advance to set up this meeting.
  7. Submit your poster for possible presentation at a professional conference.

Recommended Resources

  • Publisher workshop
  • Conference Posters workshop

Existing Data Posters

Some semesters, you will create an empirically based poster by analyzing existing data. This might be data that I already have or it might be data we request from someone else (such as the author of a journal article we admire).

Your poster will include an introduction (possibly borrowing from your previous literature review), a description of how the data were collected, the results of your data analysis (conducted with SPSS, Jamovi, or R), and a discussion of your findings.

You will complete your poster in a series of weekly assignments to ensure that you make continuous progress and receive sufficient feedback. You will receive a lot of feedback on your poster: from poster team members, the poster supervisor, me, and others. This feedback will help you write more clearly and persuasively. Detailed instructions on how to create empirically based posters are given in weekly poster assignments.

Recommended Resources

  • SPSS workshops
  • Jamovi workshops
  • Learning R through DataCamp
  • Factor Analysis workshop
  • Publisher workshop
  • Conference Posters workshop

New Study Posters

Sometimes, we will not have access to any appropriate data for your project. In that case, you will need to design a new study to collect the data you need.


  1. Send me a 2- or 3-page study proposal, describing
    • the purpose of the study
    • the measures you will include
    • the type and number of participants (usually UNLV Subject Pool or mTurk)
    • the findings you expect
    • the practical implications of those findings
    • an explanation of why this research is important
  2. Set up meetings with me to complete the following steps
    • Finalize the study design
    • Create the study materials
    • Write the IRB proposal
    • Collect the data
    • Analyze the data
    • Write a journal article based upon your results
  3. Write your conference poster
    • As you are analyzing your data and writing your journal article, somewhere along the way you should create a conference poster. This poster will typically include only some of your empirical results, so that your final publication goes beyond your poster.
      1. Select the results to present in your poster. Describe them briefly.
      2. Shorten your method section so it fits on one or two single-spaced pages.
      3. Cut your literature review down to two single-spaced pages.
      4. Cut your discussion down to one or two single-spaced pages.
      5. Format your material as a conference handout in Word. Include all of the remaining material.
      6. Format your material as a conference poster in Publisher. Include only as much material as needed to have a good discussion with other people at the conference.
      7. Obtain feedback on your formatted poster from two lab members. Incorporate their feedback.
      8. Obtain feedback on your formatted poster from the Writing Supervisor and me. Incorporate our feedback.
      9. Meet with me to polish your title and abstract.
      10. Submit your poster for possible presentation at a professional conference.

Recommended Resources

  • Qualtrics workshop
  • Website Design workshop
  • Online Research workshop
  • Captivate workshop
  • SPSS workshops
  • Jamovi workshops
  • Learning R through DataCamp
  • Factor Analysis workshop
  • Barchard, K. A., & Williams, J. (2008).  Practical advice for conducting ethical online experiments and surveys for United States psychologists.  Behavior Research Methods, 40, 1111-1128.


At any one moment, about half of our lab members are working with me on projects. Most of the people working on projects are permanent lab members, but new lab members sometimes get involved, too.

Students work with me on a variety of projects besides literature reviews, posters, and journal articles. For example, students have worked with me to create

  • the lab website
  • the lab newsletter, Connections: Word from the Interactive Measurement Group
  • the Poka-Yoka Data Entry System
  • Program for Open-Ended Scoring
  • the Climate Change Action Inventory
  • workshops on how to use software (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, SPSS, Jamovi)
  • new studies

Students usually work on their projects in groups of 2 to 3 students. Most students find that working in groups makes it less time-consuming to complete their projects and that their projects are of better quality. In addition, working in teams makes it possible for students to join advanced projects, even if they do not yet have all the necessary skills.

Student team members usually meet amongst themselves once or twice weekly. Additionally, most teams meet once per week with me; if they cannot meet with me, they provide detailed written progress reports by email. Finally, teams may email me with questions or requests for additional appointments. Most of these meetings occur virtually.

Project Products

All project teams will create one or more product(s).  Often this will be a written document, website, or program.  Discuss the end-products with me during our meetings.  Make sure the product(s) are listed among our semester goals, and that you clarify the exact specifications for our product(s) during our meetings.

The product(s) MUST be saved on the server.  If the files are not on the cluster server, they are not complete.  Just as you wouldn’t be given credit for a take-home exam unless you handed it to the instructor, teams receive no credit for work that is not on the server, where all lab members (including me) can access it. If you are unable to save your work to the server for some reason (sometimes Rebelfiles does not cooperate), email the files to all team members and we will put them on the server for you.

Project Presentations

At the end of the semester, one team member will discuss the project during the end-of-semester presentations.  Talk with each other and decide who will give that presentation.  That person should prepare a PowerPoint presentation that explains the purpose of your project, what you accomplished, and what the next steps in this research are.  Check with lab manager for your specific presentation time.

Team Meetings

If you are working on a literature review, poster, publication, or study, you will meet with your team members at least two times a week for a minimum of 2 hours per week, at regularly scheduled times.  These meetings count as part of your project hours.  Because of the importance of meeting regularly, attendance at these meetings is required. 

The day and time of a meeting can be changed (either temporarily or permanently) with the agreement of ALL team members.  It is important to note, however, that team members are under no obligation to acquiesce to someone’s request to change the meeting time.  When you agree to meet with your team at a certain time each week, it is your responsibility to do so. 

At the end of each meeting, you should create a concrete plan about what each person will do before the next meeting. This plan MUST NEVER include having a person who has been on the team for only a few weeks working on something by themselves; the entire point of having a TEAM is to mentor new students.  There is one exception: when you are writing annotated bibliographies, after the team has completed the literature search and has decided which person will read which papers, then each team member can work independently on the annotated bibliographies.  But never ask a person who has not completed an entire poster to draft or revise any part of a poster by themselves or to analyze any part of the data by themselves.

Recommended Resources

  • Effective Email workshop
  • Leadership workshop
  • Communication workshop (including handout on Tough Discussion)
  • Assertiveness workshop
  • Meeting minutes workshop

Grading Overview

Grades will be based upon two criteria: lab hours and quality of work. Each of these will be marked out of 50, and then these will be added to obtain your final grade.  In addition, penalties will be applied to the final course grade if students miss meetings or hand in poster assignments late.

Completing Required Lab Hours

You will receive a base grade of 50 for completing your required lab hours.  If you do not complete all of your required hours, you will receive a lower grade.  You will lose 1 point for each 1% of missing time.  For example, if you were taking a 3-credit course and were required to complete 180 hours but only completed 162 hours, this is a 10% loss, and so you would receive 40 points for your lab hours.  Although I will be grateful if you work additional hours beyond the minimum required for this course, there will be no extra points for additional hours worked.

Quality of Work

You will receive a grade out of 50 in terms of the quality of your research assistance.  If you performed poorly, you might get 20 or 25 out of 50.  If you performed well, you might get 40 or more out of 50.  Thus, someone who did a moderately good job and completed all of their required hours would get 30/50 plus 50/50 = 80/100.  The most important qualities in a research assistant are work quality (primarily accuracy, the ability to follow instructions, and problem-solving skills) and a good attitude (primarily cooperativeness, interest in the material and willingness to accept feedback).  Quality is much more important than speed.


Late Poster Assignments

To ensure that students make continuous progress on their posters and receive as much feedback as possible, teams will complete a series of assignments, each of which has specific requirements.  Unless there is a very good reason for missing one of these deadlines, late assignments will result in penalties of 1% per week, which will reduce students’ final course grade. For example, if an assignment is 1 – 7 days late, the final course grade is reduced by 1%; if the assignment is 8 – 14 days late, the final course grade is reduced by 2%.  Throughout the semester, there may be holidays during which the university is closed.  Students must plan ahead to ensure that assignments are still completed by the deadlines.

It is essential to recognize that there is a penalty if your poster assignment is late, but there is NO penalty if the assignment is done poorly.  If you are having trouble with the poster, the goal is to give you feedback and assistance.  Therefore, you MUST hand in your assignments on time, so we can get you the feedback you need.

Missed Lab Meetings

All lab members are required to attend Wednesday lab meetings. New lab members (and the people who are training them) are also required to attend Monday lab meetings. If students miss meetings or are more than 5 minutes late and do not have an extremely good reason, they will lose 1% off their final course grade. 

The following are considered compelling reasons for missing a meeting: being sick and being out of town to attend a professional conference. If you are sick, please do not come to the meeting (not even to tell someone that you are sick). Instead, let the lab manager know afterwards: No one in the lab wants to get sick. Moreover, if you are sick, we discourage you from coming to virtual meetings: When you are sick, it’s important that you rest.  If you really, really, really want to come to a virtual meeting when you are sick, we’ll let you, but please take it easy on yourself: consider taking long breaks or quitting early.

Students are not required to attend meetings that fall on a day when the university is closed: Students are welcome to meet that day or to schedule an extra meeting at a time when the university is open, but this is not required.

The following are not considered compelling reasons for missing a meeting: going to work and being on holiday (but see the exception below for summer). These absences will result in reductions in your course grade. If a student is out of town, they can attend meetings virtually.

Many of our meetings are being held online. To be counted as attending a virtual meeting, students must be signed in for the Zoom call.  Ideally, students will have their video cameras on for most or all of the meeting.  However, students may need to turn off their video for part or all of the meeting (for example, because of a poor internet connection).  Students are expected to problem-solve and adapt as needed so that they can actively participate during the meetings.

In the summer, I expect students to go on holidays. These holidays might occur during summer term 1 (before lab meetings start) or at the end of summer (after lab meetings end), but they also might occur during the 8-week period when we have lab meetings. Therefore, during the summer, I will allow students to skip an entire week of meetings with no penalty. If you miss a lab meeting during the summer, let the meeting chair know if you want this to count as your summer holiday.

If you know in advance that you will be unable to attend a meeting, please notify the meeting chair as soon as possible, preferably by the end of the second week of the semester.

Also, if you do miss a lab meeting for any reason, you should make arrangements to complete the workshop or activities within 7 days of your return (e.g., if you are sick for two weeks, try to make up for this by the end of the third week). 

Missed Poster and Project Meetings

Attendance at poster meetings is required. A poster team cannot make adequate progress unless everyone is present.  If you miss one of those meetings (or are late), your course grade will go down by 1%. 

Attendance at project meetings is also required. However, your course grade will not be automatically reduced for failure to attend a meeting. If you are able to make a solid contribution to the project even though you missed a meeting, this will not reduce your course grade.

Artificial Intelligence and Generative AI

We recognize that generative AI (e.g., ChatGPT) is a rapidly changing environment that is creating both new opportunities and challenges for higher education. This page, ChatGPT: Helpful Information and Resources for Instructors, was produced by a university working group led by Vice Provost Laurel Pritchard as a guide for our campus community.

Instructors, should they choose, may integrate Generative AI thoughtfully into their teaching practices, assessments, and class discussions to foster an environment that promotes ethical and responsible use of this new technology and familiarization with its opportunities and challenges. When incorporating AI technologies into courses, instructors are encouraged to provide clear guidance to students on the proper application and limitations of these tools. Instructors may also actively engage students in discussions about the societal implications of AI, including potential biases, ethical considerations, and privacy concerns.

University anti-plagiarism resources, Turnitin and iThenticate, are evolving and adapting to help students, educators, and institutions address AI writing and challenges related to AI-generated text. Transparency and accountability are expected with the use of generative AI, just as we require appropriate citations and references for any sources used in classroom work, research, or academic writing. Improper use of generative AI is a form of academic dishonesty as outlined by the university Student Academic Misconduct Policy. We will offer workshops and share additional resources on this evolving topic in the coming academic year.

Additional UNLV Policies

Grading Scheme

The following grading scheme will be used:

Letter GradePercentage
A93 – 100
A-90 – 92
B+87 – 89
B83 – 86
B-80 – 82
C+77 – 79
C73 – 76
C-70 – 72
D+67 – 69
D63 – 66
D-60 – 62
FBelow 60