|GENERAL BIOLOGY I, Autumn 2003||Janet Stein Carter, Asst. Prof. of Biology|
|course #34BIOL104-001, TH 11:00 - 12:15||Office: room EDU-215-Q; phone 732-5313|
|Office Hours MW 12:00-1:30, TH 12:30-1:30, or by appt. (some Thurs meetings start at 12:45)|
|(If I’m not in my office, then check the Lab area)||e-mail: Janet.Carter@uc.edu|
3 undergraduate credits. This non-science majors’ course explores biological processes, concepts, and theories, utilizing examples from everyday life. The historical basis for our knowledge, use of the scientific method, biological terms and their derivation, ethical and/or social responsibility issues, and communicating in ways appropriate to the biological sciences are related to topics under discussion. Topics include the biochemicals, cells, and life processes in living organisms as well as DNA, mitosis, and meiosis.
Aims of the 104-105-106 Sequence:
General Biology 104 is the first quarter in a three-quarter sequence of classes. At the completion of this sequence of courses, you should have demonstrated the knowledge and skills that are associated with a biologically literate citizen. You should understand and appreciate the relationship between biological knowledge and your ability to survive in the modern world, to raise healthy children, to contribute to societal/governmental decisions now and in the future, and to experience greater enjoyment from leisure time activities.
Course Objectives for General Biology 104:
This course will explore biological processes, concepts, and theories, utilizing examples from everyday life. The objectives will be:
Methods of Reaching These Objectives:
Grades will be determined based on the total points from your three test scores (100 pt. each), newsnotes (5 pt. each), electronic newsnote comments (3 or 5 pt. each — max. of 50 pt., see separate page), group paper (or Spring Quarter EcoPoster) (50 pt.), and final exam (200 pt.) plus any points from free-writes and/or other smaller assignments. Ten percent per class period will be deducted for any work, INCLUDING TESTS, which is turned in late, and no late newsnotes will be accepted for a grade. A histogram (curve) of total scores will be constructed and analyzed using statistical methods. In general, the class mean will serve as the dividing line between “B” and “C” scores, and only those students whose scores are above the mean plus one standard deviation unit, thereby demonstrating superior mastery of the material covered, will receive an “A”. An “F” will be given when an individual repeatedly scores at the bottom of the class and shows blatant disregard for good study habits and class attendance. Any student who stops attending class and does not go through the official withdrawal process will be given the grade of “UW” — unofficial withdrawal — the equivalent of an “F”. Grades will be awarded based on a straight A-B-C-D-F grading scale.
I realize that there are some medical conditions which, legitimately, can preclude a student from having an equal chance to learn in this course. A very obvious example would be a student who had trouble hearing me speak, thus was at a great disadvantage because (s)he would miss what I was saying in lecture. However, other, more subtle, conditions such as ADD and dyslexia can also adversely affect an equally-intelligent student’s opportunity to obtain information and/or communicate to me that (s)he has learned the needed material. It is not “unfair” to anyone to make arrangements to compensate for such medical conditions, but rather, this can help insure that such people have an equal chance at doing well in this course. Obviously, however, such students would still have to demonstrate that, given reasonable accommodations, they are capable of mastering the required material. Thus, students who need some type of accommodations in order to “level the playing field” and put them on a par with the rest of the class should speak with me now, not after grades have suffered.
Campbell, Neil A., Jane B. Reece, Martha R. Taylor. 2003. Biology: Concepts and Connections, 4th Ed. Benjamin/Cummings Publ. Co., Inc. Menlo Park, CA.
Textbook reading assignments should be done prior to the class time for which they are listed. The course Web pages which I have prepared should also be of use to you as you prepare for each class. Past students have indicated that reading and interacting with the Web pages before a topic was discussed in class enabled them to be better prepared for class, while reading and interacting with the Web pages after class was a good review and helped them to fill in holes in their own notes and further clarify confusing issues. These Web pages are freely accessible from anywhere in the world. Students are, therefore, strongly encouraged to make use of the course Web pages in addition to the textbook. Note that these Web pages were designed to be interactive and include a number of “games,” pronunciations, and other interactive features to help you to better understand and learn the various topics. Thus, you are encouraged to spend time exploring the Web pages, and not merely print them for future reference. Extra readings (“literature research”) on your own is encouraged. If you find a good reference on a topic to be covered, please share it with the rest of the class.
There will be three (3) tests worth 100 points each. These will include short-answer questions, several short essay-type questions such as definitions or diagrams, and meanings of Latin and Greek words used in forming biological terminology. The final exam will be 200 points and will be comprehensive with emphasis on the material covered after the third test. (Note: A number of students have found it useful to make “flash cards” from which to study word stems and definitions.)
Students who miss a test should make arrangements with the instructor to make it up BEFORE the next class period. Requests to make up tests after the tests have been returned and discussed will be denied unless a student has a valid excuse (such as a doctor’s note). Optionally, a more difficult make-up test may be written (but graded on the same curve as everyone else). Only one test may be made up late, and then only with a valid excuse. If more than one test is missed, subsequent tests will receive a “zero.” This means that if you skip one test because you “don’t feel like it,” then miss a second test due to illness, you have used up your one chance and will receive a “zero” on the second test. It has been my experience that students who don’t take a test on time because they think they need more time to study end up doing no better (if not worse) when they do finally take the test. There will be a 10% per class period penalty for a late test.
Although test and newsnote due dates will be as listed unless an announcement is made to the contrary, the actual lecture topics covered may take slightly more or less time than listed, and thus may vary slightly from the schedule. Pages marked “MM” are in the Merck Manual. Pick the schedule that matches the frequency and time of your class section.
Some important, related links: