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Athabasca University

Ecology Lab Exemptions

Lab exemptions for BIOL 345* Field Ecology Workshop may be granted if:

  1. an equivalent ecology lab course has been taken at a recognized institution.
  2. the course has been taken within the last 5 years.
  3. the student achieved greater than 50% on the lab component and lab exam.

If you meet these criteria, you may decide to arrange for a ‘Lab Exemption Request Letter’ to be sent to me from the college or university you previously attended.

Please note that the ecology course and labs you have previously taken may not yet have been evaluated and determined to be equivalent to the AU BIOL 345 FEW. Therefore, in the ‘Lab Exemption Request Letter’, we may also need to see a complete list of the experiments performed in the lab, and a description of the evaluation system used in the lab, in order to determine equivalence.

Important: you will not be exempted from doing the home labs, many of which are parts of the assignments! A FEW exemption means you are only exempt from the 4 day workshop and lab report associated with it.

Please see below for the detailed steps towards obtaining an exemption. If you have any further questions, please ask the Lab Coordinator.

BIOL 345 FEW Exemption Instructions

The quickest/cheapest way to obtain a ‘Lab Exemption Request Letter’, is to contact the Ecology Lab Coordinator/Course Professor at the college/university you previously attended and ask her/him to forward the necessary information to me via e-mail (see web page above).

Please be aware that we do not need to receive the ‘Lab Exemption Request Letter’ from your current/previously attended college or university before you register or start in the course, but only before your course contract end date.

Step 1. Obtaining the ‘Lab Exemption Request Letter’

The ‘Lab Exemption Request Letter’ sent by the Coordinator/Professor to AU needs to contain the following information:

  1. Your full name.
  2. The course number you took at the sending institution.
  3. The lab mark you obtained in the above course (lab report and lab exam marks separate).
  4. The year you took the course (must have been within the last 5 years).
  5. Please note the lab component of the course you have taken and BIOL 345 must be deemed equivalent (at xU, Biol/Ecol xxxx labs have not yet been evaluated and determined to be equivalent to AU BIOL 345 FEW). Therefore, we may also need to see a complete list of the experiments performed in the lab, and a description of the evaluation system used in the lab, in order to determine equivalence.
  6. The information should be directly sent to the AU Science Lab Coordinator.

Step 2. Lab Equivalence Determination

Once your letter is sent to us, it will be forwarded to the Course Professor for BIOL 345 for his review and consideration.

Step 3. Lab Marks Redistribution for a FEW Exempt Student

We will use the average lab grade for the lab portion of the student's AU grade, so if the student has 50% in their lab reports and 70% in their lab exam, they would get a mark of 60% entered for their lab grade at AU and this will count 20% towards the student's final grade.

BIOL 345 FEW Exemption Instructions 2010

Normal Marks
Distribution(%)
Lab Exempted Student
Imported Average Lab Grade (%)*
Assignments 40 Assignments 40
Final Exam 40 Final Exam 40
Lab Report 20 Average of imported marks 20
Total 100 Total 100

*There is no difference between the exams given to FEW exempted and non-FEW exempted students and when a student is FEW exempt, no mention of this appears on your course transcript. Instead, it will look like you completed a course that has a compulsory supervised lab component.

Important: A student will NOT be exempt from doing the home labs, many of which are parts of the assignments!

Please note that the lab exemption mark will be entered into our system last, after all other components of the course.

Ref: BIOL 345 Course Syllabus

Updated September 19 2016 by Student & Academic Services

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