Learning Outcomes and Policies


These items were discussed and determined collaboratively with students in the class. A working draft of the outcomes proposed by K. Cangialosi, was reviewed, modified and approved by the students.

  1. Learning Outcomes
  2. Attendance
  3. Grading

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify several distinguishing characteristics of the major invertebrate phyla
  • Understand the criteria used to categorize invertebrates based on their body plans and developmental patterns
  • Review alternative phylogenetic schemes for organizing the major invertebrate phyla
  • Understand the principles used to create a cladogram or perform a cladistic analysis
  • Understand the evolution of cellular/ physiological systems such as digestion, circulation, respiration, excretion, osmoregulation, nervous/endocrine function across a range of some invertebrate phyla
  • Understand the important anatomical features of the major invertebrate phyla and selected classes, sub-classes, and orders
  • Review the systematic/cladistic organization of the major classes and orders within several invertebrate phyla
  • Understand the ecological roles, behavior, and life cycles of some invertebrate species
  • Understand the role of several important invertebrates used as research models leading to advances in medicine and/or understanding of fundamental biological principles
  • Identify, describe, photograph and/or draw diagrams of important external and internal morphological features of preserved invertebrates
  • Identify, describe, photograph and/or draw diagrams of  invertebrate cells, body sections or whole animals from viewing prepared microscope slides
  • Observe, photograph and/or draw representative live invertebrates. Describe their behavior. 
  • Identify issues germane to the conservation of many invertebrate groups 
  • Connect your learning about invertebrates to relevant social, political, environmental and economic issues; seek to discover impacts and injustices that may affect peoples of the world (locally and globally). 
  • Find ways, via communication tools, to provide information about invertebrates, and actively and positively have an influence on events, people or organizations. 


Students in this course have the ability to discern for themselves whether coming to class is helpful to their learning, there is no ‘policy’ for attendance. But students will keep in mind that lectures, discussions, group work, live organisms and lab material may only be available on specific class days.


Each student will work with the instructor to determine the methods of evaluating their learning for this class. Submit a grading proposal indicating the breakdown for how you would like to demonstrate your learning. Below are possible options; you can propose others or delete from this list so that we can work together to come up with a plan that is best for you. A total of 4 self-assessment forms based on the student-determined grading plan will be submitted for review.

? % twitter use

? % domain site appearance and functionality

? % domain posts for general content (including notes, research and labwork), some of which may be syndicated to the class textbook

? % domain posts for relevant social issues (choose 4-6 phyla)

? % written and practical exams

? % research paper