Biology for Non-Science Majors I

Biology for Non-Science Majors I


Credit Spring 2021
01/19/2021 - 05/16/2021

Course Information

Section 003
Distance Learning
MW 12:00 - 13:20
Elizabeth Maxim

Section 003
M 13:30 - 16:20
Elizabeth Maxim

Office Hours

  • M
    4:30 - 6:30 pm
    Blackboard Collaborate
    For BIOL 1408
  • T
    3:00 - 4:30
    Blackboard Collaborate
    For BIOL 1409
  • T
    4:30 - 6:30 pm
    Blackboard Collaborate
    For BIOL 2306
  • W
    1:30 - 3:00 pm
    Blackboard Collaborate
    For BIOL 1408
  • Th
    3:00 - 5:00 pm
    Blackboard Collaborate
    For BIOL 1309

Course Requirements

Your grade will be based on the following assessments:

(1) Lecture Exams (500 points total):

There will be five lecture exams worth 100 points each. All lecture exams will be given in Blackboard using Respondus Lockdown Browser with Respondus Monitor on the dates given in the lecture schedule. Lecture exams will be approximately 2/3rds multiple choice, true/false, and matching (and graded by scantron), and 1/3rd written: short answer, essay and problems. You must have a computer that can run Respondus Monitor, a working microphone and a working webcam to take the exams.  If you have a Chromebook, it will not run Respondus Monitor, but you can take exams with an ACC Online Proctor instead. You will still need a camera and microphone.

(2) Optional Comprehensive Final Exam: The comprehensive final exam is optional. You may use the comprehensive final to replace your lowest lecture exam score. If you score lower on the final than you did on your lowest lecture exam, the final will not count. You may not use the optional final exam to replace a missing exam.                       

(3) Lab Reports (210 points total):

Each week of lab is worth 15 points. Lab reports will be due on the Monday of the week following the lab. The lowest lab grade will be dropped.  Lab reports are "turned in" by completing open-book online quizzes over the lab.

(4) Group Activities (140 points total):

You will be assigned to a discussion group. Each week, your group will complete an activity and discuss it by making posts to your group's discussion board. There will be 15 group activities, each worth 10 points. Your lowest group activity grade will be dropped at the end of the semester. 

Extra Credit: There will be extra credit questions on the lecture exams. Five extra credit assignments will also be available, each worth five points.


Grading Scale:

Your points for all of the course activities are totaled at the end of the course and a percentage score is determined. The following scale is used to determine your final course grade:

                                    Percentage Score                           Grade

                                    90% or above                                      A

                                    80-89%                                                B

                                    70-79%                                                C

                                    60-69%                                                D

                                    below 60%                                           F


Percentage scores are rounded to the nearest whole number before determining the letter grade.



Lecture: Campbell Biology Concepts and Connections, 10th ed., by Taylor, Simon, Dickey, Hogan & Reece. Boston: Pearson. Or equivalent. Recommended

Other Materials: Unit study guides, lecture Powerpoints, group activity and lab instructions will be available on the course Blackboard site for you to print out or view online. Required. Lecture recordings are available in Blackboard Collaborate and on YouTube.


Course Subjects

Nature of Life: Characteristics of life, hierarchy of organization, energy flow and nutrient cycling in food webs

Nature of Science: Science as a way of knowing, types of scientific inquiry, scientific method

Basic Chemistry 1: Atomic structure, chemical bonds, molecules Basic

Chemistry 2: Properties of water, acids, bases, salts, pH, buffers

Biomolecules 1: General properties of biomolecules, carbohydrates, lipids

Biomolecules 2: Proteins, nucleic acids

Cells 1: Cell theory, prokaryotic cell structure and function, introduction to eukaryotic cells

Cells 2: Eukaryotic cell structure and function, types of eukaryotic cells

Membrane transport: Plasma membrane structure, simple and facilitated diffusion, osmosis, active transport, vesicular transport

Cell Signaling

Energy & Enzymes: Energy and energy transformations, laws of thermodynamics, ATP and its role as an energy shuttle, enzymes and their function

Harvesting Energy: Cellular respiration, aerobic and anaerobic respiration, fermentation

Photosynthesis: Light energy, pigments, photosynthesis

Cell Division 1: Asexual vs sexual reproduction, binary fission in prokaryotes, mitosis in eukaryotes, cell cycle and its control, cancer

Cell Division 2: Sexual reproduction, meiosis, chromosomal abnormalities in humans

Inheritance 1: Mendelian inheritance, monohybrid, dihybrid and test-crosses, human genetic traits

Inheritance 2: Exceptions to Mendelian rules: incomplete dominance, co-dominance, pleiotropy, polygenic inheritance, linkage, sex-linked genes, gene-environment interactions

DNA and Genes: Structure and function of DNA, DNA replication

Protein Synthesis: Transcription, translation, point mutations

Gene Expression 1: Control of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes

Gene Expression 2: Stem cells and cloning

Genetic Technology 1: Genetic engineering

Genetic Technology 2: DNA profiling and genomics

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

This course is one of two introductory non-science major classes. This one focuses on the cellular and molecular bases of life and the similarities found among all living things. The course is intended to foster an understanding of biological issues and provide students with the tools to critically analyze biological data and intelligently relate these data to issues in our society such as cloning, genetic engineering, etc.

Specific skills and competencies expected of students who complete this course include:

• Describe the scientific process as applied in biology

• Describe the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and viruses

• Describe evolution and its mechanisms

• Describe basic inorganic and organic chemistry concepts that underlie the structure and function of cells

• Describe energy transformations in organisms including photosynthesis and cellular respiration

• Describe the structure and function of DNA in reproduction and protein synthesis, and how DNA underlies the major patterns seen in the study of heredity

• Describe various applications of genetics to technology

As a Core Curriculum course, students completing this course will demonstrate competence in:

• Critical Thinking - Gathering, analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating and applying information.

• Interpersonal Skills - Interacting collaboratively to achieve common goals.

• Quantitative and Empirical Reasoning - Applying mathematical, logical and scientific principles and methods.

• Written, Oral and Visual Communication - Communicating effectively, adapting to purpose, structure, audience, and medium.