BI101 Biological Concepts

for S1B 2013

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


BI 101 Biological Concepts


S1B 2013 BLA


Erickson, Carl D.


Adjunct Faculty


Master of Arts - Botany
Bachelor of Science - Bacteriology

Office Location

El Paso, Texas

Office Hours

Available at student request before and after class

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

14 January 2013 - 10 March 2013

Class Days


Class Time

4:00 - 10:00 PM

Credit Hours



Campbell Essential Biology, 4th Edition
Simon, Reece, and Dickey
Pearson Publishing
Cummings Publisher

1.  The students are required to purchase the text book.

2.  eScience Lab Kit:  * * * ORDER IMMEDIATELY * * *

The password that you get when you order the Lab Kit is needed to have eScience ship you the kit.  In order to receive the Lab Kit in time, you may need to request the Book Store to EMAIL YOU THE PASSWORD!  You will NOT receive your Lab Kit until YOU contact eScience.  It is up to you to ensure your Lab Kit arrives in time for the start of the term!

The Password you get when you order your Lab Kit THROUGH THE MBS BOOKS BOOKSTORE is needed.

Labs begin week 1 of the semester.  It is possible to complete the first lab without the kit.  Review the available information concerning the lab for week 1.  If you have additional questions, contact the instructor by email.

Labs are a requirement of this course.  You may work on your labs (required to be completed at home) with one other student - which means you could share access to a kit.   (There is more information about this later in this syllabus.)

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
BI101: Biological Concepts: Biological Concepts offers an overview of the fundamental facts and principles of modern biology. The course is designed for the non-science student who wishes to gain an understanding of current biological concepts and their relevance to problems of human society. Emphasis will be on life, its origin, chemistry,energy transformations, reproduction, genetics, evolution, and ecology. At home laboratory activities are included. 3:3:4.

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's philosophy is to teach core scientific concepts and give students the ability to apply those concepts to real-world problems.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the scientific method and be able to evaluate experiments using procedures and terminology of the scientific method.
  2. Explain the basic chemistry of biological systems and how chemistry is used in the maintenance of living organisms.
  3. Compare and contrast the processes of mitosis and meiosis with reference to the movement of chromosomes and their significance in the transmission of genetic information.
  4. Discuss the theory of evolution and the many different mechanisms which are involved in evolutionary processes. Describe the various biomes and their placement and characteristics.
  5. Describe the structure of DNA and illustrate its significance in determining the composition, characteristics, reproduction, and behavior of an organism
  6. Describe the structure and function of a cell and its various parts; compare the structures of bacterial, plant and animal cells

Core Assessment:

Comprehensive Departmental Final Exam

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
Labs:  The lab work for this course is to be completed at home and will require extra time during the week (1-2 hours extra on average).  Some labs may involve several days of observation, so please take the time to understand the weekly time commitment.  

A lab kit is required in order to complete the labs, however, you are encouraged to share a lab kit with one other student in the class to help alleviate some of the costs that are associated with this course.  However, if you decide that you would like to purchase your own lab kit, please feel free to do so.  Instructions for purchasing the lab kits is dealt with in detail (above.)   
The class requires a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.  Microsoft Word is required.

You are expected to participate in the class discussions about the subject matter in the readings.  Up to fifteen participation points are granted each week - to acknowledge your efforts to participate in the class session.  Do not expect to receive points because you are present.  It is your involvement in the class that is being rewarded.   

1. Comprehensive Final Exam  200 pts

2. Comprehensive Quiz #1 (Chapters 1-7) Week 3 and Comprehensive Quiz #2 (Chapters 8-12) Week 6  200 pts
3. Homework assignment #1 due Week 2  100 pts
4. Homework assignment #2 due Week 4  100 pts
5. Discussions and Participation points  120 pts
6. Weekly Lab Reports (8) 280 pts

Total = 1000 pts.


100% -90%   1000-900 = A
89%-80%        899-800 = B
79%-70%        799-700 = C
69%-60%        699-600 = D
59%-below      599-below = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Items must be submitted on the due date as indicated under Course Topics, Dates and Assignments below.  Late work is not accepted except under emergency circumstances and at the discretion of the instructor.  Notification in advance is required. Two unexcused absences will lower your grade one letter grade.  Example:  if you are earning an "A" it will be lowered to a "B" grade.

Note:  You will receive an unexcused absence if you arrive 30 or more minutes late, or leave 30 or more minutes early.  The instructor, upon advance notice, may extended the tardy period - or may allow early departure, if said time lapse notifications  include planning with the instructor for exactly how the student may make up time and material missed.

If you must be absent, please notify me via email.  The notification must be prior to the start of class.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students will conduct themselves in a respectful manner at all times.  Texting is not allowed in the classroom.  Cell phones must be turned off or left on "vibration".  If you must answer a call, please step outside with minimal disruption to other students.  Computers will be used for classroom purposes only.  You should not be surfing the web during class time.  Students are expected to be in class for the entire class period.  Students walking out of class without notification to the instructor will receive an unexcused absence.  Please notify the instructor if you have a work-related, family or emergency situation that requires you to leave the class early.  The instructor will work with you concerning these issues. Be prepared to work with the instructor, prior to your departure, to plan how you intend to make up any work missed.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1
Friday, January 18th, 2013

Topic: Introduction and Chemistry of Life
Readings:  Chapters 1, 2 and 3 (pages 2-53)

Week 1 Lab Activities and Report due by midnight on January 18th.  Students are urged to begin this lab a few days before the first class. It is possible to do the first lab even if the "kit" has not yet been received. Submit report via Dropbox.

Discussion and participation

Week 2
Friday, January 25th, 2013

Topic:  A Tour of the Cell - The Working Cell
Readings: Chapters 4 & 5 (pages 54 - 89)
Homework Assignment #1 due by midnight, January 25th.  Submit through Dropbox

Week 2 Lab Activities and Report due by midnight, January 25th.  Submit through Dropbox

Discussion and participation

Week 3
Friday, February 1st, 2013

Topic:  Cellular Energetics
Reading:  Chapters 6 & 7 (pages 90 - 118)

Week 3 Lab Activities and Report due by midnight, February 1st.  Submit through Dropbox
Quiz #1 will open at midnight on January 26th and close at midnight, February 1st

Discussion and participation

Week 4
Friday, February 8th, 2013

Topic:  Mitosis and Meiosis - the Patterns of Inheritance
Reading:  Chapters 8 and 9 (pages 119-171)

Homework Assignment #2 due by midnight of February 8th.  Submit through Dropbox
Week 4 Lab Activities and Report due by midnight of February 8th.  Submit through Dropbox

Discussion and participation

Week 5
Friday, February 15th, 2013

Topic: DNA Structure and Function
Readings:  Chapters 10 and 11 (pages 172-217)

Week 5 Lab Activities and Report due by midnight of February 15th.  Submit through Dropbox.

Discussion and participation

Week 6
Friday,  February 22nd, 2013

Topic:  Principles of Evolution
Readings:  Chapters 13 and 14 (pages 242-291)  

Week 6 Lab Activities and Report due by midnight of February 22nd.  Submit through Dropbox
Quiz #2 will open at midnight February 16th and close by midnight of February 22nd

Discussion and participation

Week 7
Friday, March 1st, 2013

Topic:  Ecology
Readings:  Chapters 18, 19 and 20 (pages 372-449)

Week 7 Lab Activities and Report due by midnight of March 1st.  Submit through Dropbox

Discussion and participation

Week 8
Friday, March 8th, 2013

Topic:  A Review Discussion - and the Final Exam
Readings:  Review 

Week 8 Lab Activities and Report due by midnight of March 8th.  Submit through Dropbox

Discussion and participation

Final Exam  [closed book, no notes or other materials (cell phones, etc) in use] will be administered between 6 PM and 10 PM on Friday, March 8th - no time extensions will be granted.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:

List of Labs - To Be Done At HomeBibliography:


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Exceptional analysis of knowledge gained through critical thinking based on analysis of experiments. Able to critically think in the analysis of experiments. Limited use of knowledge but no evidence of critical thinking based on analysis of experiments No evidence of critical thinking or use of knowledge gained 
2, 3, 4, 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Exceptional capability to explain and describe organizational levels of biology Analyzes processes involved in the genetics of organisms; evolution; cell division; and biological chemistry Limited knowledge of processes and their organizational importance No evidence of knowledge of processes and their organizational importance 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Exceptional ability to integrate the genetic, reproductive and evolutionary information to gain a deeper understanding of biological processes; evaluate functioning of ecosystems; critically evaluates the relationship of biology and chemistry Integrate the genetic, reproductive and evolutionary information to gain a deeper understanding of biological processes; evaluate functioning of ecosystems; critically evaluates the relationship of biology and chemistry Limited knowledge of information but lack of evidence of ability to integrate different areas No evidence of knowledge of information along with inability to integrate different areas 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Accurately answers 80% of the objective test items Accurately answers 60-79% of the objective test items Accurately answers 40-60% of the objective test items Accurately answers less than 40% of the objective test items 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Exceptional ability to describe the connections between different biological concepts Able to describe the biological concepts and their interconnections Some knowledge of concepts but lack of ability to describe connections Little knowledge of biological concepts or ability to make connections 
1, 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Able to create unique explorations of scientific problem and present results in a clear and concise manner Demonstrates mastery of scientific method usage and presentation of results. Can follow directions of exploration but limited ability to understand processes and the present the results No evidence of ability to follow directions or to understand processes involved. 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Scores more than 90% on assessment exam Scores between 70 and 90% on assessment exam Scores 40-69% on assessment exam Scores less than 40% on assessment exam 


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Last Updated:12/13/2012 3:41:33 PM