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BI 101 Biological Concepts
Ott, Lee W.

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


F2T 2012 DLA


Ott, Lee W.


Adjunct Faculty


PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Office Location


Office Hours

Evenings 8pm to 10pm ET

Daytime Phone



Class Days


Class Time




Credit Hours



Campbell Essential Biology

Campbell Essential Biology, Fourth Edition
Eric J. Simon, Jane B. Reece, Jean L. Dickey
Benjamin-Cummings Publishing Company (2009)
ISBN 0321602064

You can order the Textbook and Lab materials for this course through: 

You will also need access to a spreadsheet program like Excel that will allow you to construct graphs using the data that you obtain.  This is a requirement of the course.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
EXPERIMENT ACTIVITIES: * * * ORDER YOUR KIT IMMEDIATELY!!!!* * * The supplies for the experimental activities (labs) are primarily contained in the box labs from eScience. When you order your password from the Bookstore, you will then need to use that password to request eScience to send you the Lab Kit. Since this all takes 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 with your password! Labs will have very specific directions for completion and reporting. Answer Sheets will be provided for each Experiment in the Doc Sharing area of the course and MUST be used each week. Directions and requirements for both the activity and the report will be given each week. The reports of these activities will be due on Sunday of the week in which the activity is conducted. You should never leave these experiments until the end of the week; many require several days to complete.

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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

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, generics, evolution, and ecology. At home laboratory activies are included. 3:3:4.

Educational Philosophy:
"Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I learn."

-Attributed to Benjamin Franklin.  Also credited in a slightly different form as a Chinese proverb.

Science as Inquiry

Science teaching should emphasize understanding of concepts and the process of scientific inquiry.  Student conceptual understanding is best attained by applying the concepts and the process of inquiry to real world concerns and issues relating to science and technology that directly impact, interest or concern students.

“Understanding science is more than knowing facts.”

Quoted from How Students Learn Science in Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning published by the National Academy of Sciences.  Available online in its entirety at:

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 Final Exam

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

It is very important that you realize that this is a lab course and as such will take TWICE the amount of time as for a regular 3 credit 8-week course. The class requires a spreadsheet program such as Excel and a word processing document (Microsoft Word required). 


 General Information

Assessments in this class are worth the following points:

  256 pts  Final Exam
  160 pts  Discussion Threads
  160 pts  Quizzes
  300 pts  Lab Activity Reports
  224 pts  Homework
1100 pts  TOTAL
Grades will be awarded in this course based upon the following scale:
A = 90% and above
B = 80-89%  
C = 70-79% 
D = 60-69%
F = Below 60%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
 Late work will NOT be accepted unless under extreme circumstances (at the instructors discretion). If you know you are going to miss a deadline, please contact me PRIOR to the deadline so that we can try to make alternative arrangements.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

FORMAT: This course contains an experimental portion with descriptions and expectations supplied either online or provided by your instructor.  All answer sheets and other materials from these activities must be submitted in compliance with the instructor's wishes, whether by email, dropbox, or paper submission.  Several of these activities require an extended period of time to complete and should be scheduled accordingly.

All assignments must be submitted via dropbox, or through the discussion threads. Assignments emailed are NOT accepted unless specifically requested. There are two Discussion Threads in each week, so be sure to do both of them. An initial post in each one should be made by Wednesday midnight CST with at least one peer response (PR) by Sunday midnight CST. This is important. The interaction that you have in this class is by exchanging these posts and is a very important learning tool. Full value will not be awarded to an initial posting, no matter how complete, if it is done after Wednesday midnight CST.

TIME COMMITMENT: In many ways, online classes have an advantage over face-to-face classes in that you can choose your own time to complete the assignment. Students are expected to devote a minimum of FOUR hours per class week logged on to the classroom in online activities. Other activities such as completing assignments, sending/receiving email and conducting research over the web will require additional hours! 

This is not your typical introductory class and will require significant work on your part. Here is a quote from a previous student:

"Since this is a 4 credit hour course, students need to be aware that this class takes up a lot of time, and is a very difficult class if you are working full time and, are taking other courses."

The supplies for the experimental activities (labs) are primarily contained in the box labs from eScience.  Labs will have very specific directions for completion and reporting.  Answer Sheets will be provided for each Experiment. Directions and requirements for both the activity and the report will be given each week. 

COURSE HANDOUTS - DOC SHARING: There are a number of documents that you will be required to use throughout the term; many are part of your Experiment assignments. Please be sure to go to the Doc Sharing area of the course and download these files (click on the tab at the top of the screen).  NOTE: Unless directed otherwise, you MUST use the Experiment Answer Sheets to submit your reports!

EXTRA CREDIT: There is NO extra credit available in this course! If you want to attain an A in this class, then complete all the assignments at the A level.

: All students will participate in discussions through multiple responses. Spelling and grammar are very important in an online course. By using a word processing tool you have ready access to some type of spell check capability, please use it. Basic old-fashioned courtesy is expected from each of you at all times. Disruptive behavior (as deemed by the instructor) will not be allowed. There are two Discussion Threads in each week, so be sure to participate in them both. An initial post in each one should be made by Wednesday midnight CST with at least one peer response by Sunday midnight CST. The interaction that you have in this class is by exchanging these posts and is a very important learning tool. Full value will not be awarded to an initial posting, no matter how complete, if it is done after Wednesday midnight CST.

Be sure to read the Discussion grade rubric so that you understand what is expected of your posts. The interaction that you have in this class is by exchanging these posts and is a very important learning activity.
  • Initial responses must address the questions fully and contain references to any sources used (see Reference Formats in the Doc Sharing area)
  • Follow-up responses must be substantive and provide additional information or insight.
  • Full value will not be awarded to an initial posting, no matter how complete, if it is done after Wednesday.
Tips for success in the Discussions: 
  • Read ALL postings by both your instructor and your fellow students; you will learn a lot from these!
  • Answer any questions posed to you by your instructor (these do not count as follow-up responses).
  • Run your responses through the Plagiarism Checker BEFORE posting them!
  • Complete your textbook readings and lecture before posting any responses.
  • Conduct additional research if necessary and cite all of your sources (including your textbook).
  • Use the "What's New" feature at the bottom of the course homepage to determine when new postings have been made.  
MASTERY QUIZZES:  Each week you will need to complete a Mastery quiz that covers your readings. You can take this quiz as many times as necessary, but in order to receive credit (20 pts) for the quiz, you must attain an 80% or better. Your FINAL attempt is due no later than SUNDAY midnight CST of each week. The quizzes are graded automatically, BUT please note there are a number of fill-in the blank and short answer questions that your instructor will need to check; often your answer may be correct but the computer does not recognize it (e.g., misspelling, slightly different phrasing). Therefore, this is the procedure recommended for completing the Mastery quizzes:
  • After you have completed the readings and read the lectures, complete the quiz. Disregard the grade that comes back since the final grade may actually be higher.
  • Wait 12-24 hrs to allow for manual grading of your quiz and then check the GRADEBOOK. If you have not met the 80% cut-off, a zero will be entered. The 20 pts will then be entered when you have reached 80%.
  • Note that your instructor will often leave you general feedback as well as specific feedback for some of the short answer questions; this feedback is designed to assist you in meeting the required 80%, so take advantage of it!
  • Retake the quiz if necessary. You only have until Sunday midnight CST of each week to reach the required 80%.

    After everyone has completed a particular week's Mastery quiz, the correct answers will be posted so that you can go back and use these quizzes to study for the final exam. YOU MAY WANT TO STUDY THESE QUIZZES FOR THE FINAL EXAM!

GRADES AND FEEDBACK: You are responsible for checking the Gradebook weekly to be sure that grades have been entered.  

  • CHECK YOUR PIRATE MAIL:  Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. All emails sent to the instructor must include "BI101: Purpose of message" in the subject line of the email. Emails without this information will not be recognized.  

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1
Topic: Introduction and Chemistry of Life
Readings: Chapters 2 & 3

Week 2
Topic: Cellular Energetics
Readings: Chps 5, 6, & 7

Week 3
Topic: Cell Structure and Function
Reading: Chp 4

Topic: Chemistry of Life
Readings: Chps 2 and 3

Week 4
Topic: Cell division: Mitosis and Meiosis
Readings: Chp 8

Week 5
Topic: DNA Structure and Function
Readings: Chps 10 & 11 (p.199-205)

Week 6
Topic: Genetics
Readings: Chp 9

Week 7
Topic: Principles of Evolution
Readings: Chps 13 & 14 (pgs. 282-284)

Week 8
Topic: Ecology
Readings: Chps 18 (pgs. 372-393) , 19 (pgs. 402-411), and 20 (pgs. 428-443)

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
PLAGIARISM, PARAPHRASING and CITING REFERENCES: You are expected to research weekly topics and include what you find in your Discussion postings, Homework and Experiment reports. You must reference any and ALL of your sources; including your text book! Copying and pasting of information you find on the Internet is plagiarism and will not be tolerated. Please be sure to download the Reference Format file in the Doc Sharing area that addresses how you should cite your references; your grade on your Discussion postings and Homework will reflect your ability to do this correctly. Proper use of information you find in books, newspapers, journals or on the Internet include:
Paraphrasing or summarizing information that you find and proper citation of the reference. This means that you MUST USE YOUR OWN WORDS!!!
Quoting of phrases using quotation marks. Large amounts of quoted material will NOT be accepted; you must use your own words whenever possible!
And proper citation of the reference.
The above policy is true for your Discussion postings, and Homework assignments. If you are unsure about what constitutes plagiarism and how to prevent it, take some time to review this Plagiarism Tutorial. Additional resources are available in the course Webliography. I will be running all of your Discussion responses and assignment answers through the Plagiarism Checker. I suggest that you do the same BEFORE turning in any of your work! Penalties for plagiarism in this course are:

First offense: You will receive a written warning from your instructor and a zero for that particular portion of the assignment.
Second offense: You will receive a zero for the entire assignment.
Third offense: I will submit an Academic Dishonesty Incident Report to an Online Academic Director.

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.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

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:


My name is Lee W. Ott, and I am a working professional in the science industry. I earned my PhD at Indiana University in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology. I also have a master’s of science degree in biology from Wright State University and a bachelor’s of arts from Wittenberg University. My expertise lies in biology and more specifically using instrumentation to measure protein levels within biological systems. I have a real passion for biology and look forward to sharing my knowledge in the classroom.

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my wife, 11 month old daughter, and 4 year old son in southeastern Michigan. If I have any free-time to spare, I enjoy going for a run, bike ride, or a swim. Every once in a while I have the opportunity to test my skills in a triathlon. I am not that fast, but enjoy being outside and competing.


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:9/23/2012 10:37:54 PM