Syllabus for BIO-101

INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Introductory Biology is intended as a general biology course for non-majors. With an emphasis on molecular biology, the course covers chemical foundations, cell structure and function, metabolism, DNA, genetics, evolution, and ecology. The fourteen video programs used in the course reveal current trends in molecular biology, illustrate scientists at work, and convey the challenges and opportunities in this growing field.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Completing this course should provide you with the following:

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Student Guide

  • Telecourse Student Guide for "Cycles of Life: Exploring Biology," 6th ed., by Gerald L. Kellogg.  Coast Learning Systems, Coast Community College District; Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, 2010.

ISBN-13: 978-0-8400-4822-6

Textbook

  • Biology: Concepts and Applications, 8th ed., by Cecie Starr, Christine A. Evers, and Lisa Starr. Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, 2011

    ISBN-13: 978-1-4390-4673-9

Video Programs

  • Cycles of Life: Exploring Biology, Coast Telecourses (26 half-hour video programs).

    Note: The video programs are being offered via streaming video technology through this course site.

COURSE STRUCTURE

Introductory Biology is a three-credit online course, consisting of seven (7) modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in four (4) online discussion forums, complete seven (7) written assignments, and take two proctored examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

Introductory Biology requires you to participate in four (4) graded online discussion activities, in addition to an ungraded, but required, Introductions Forum in Module 1.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted activity and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete seven (7) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Examinations

Introductory Biology has two proctored examinations: a midterm and a final. See the Course Calendar for the dates of your midterm and final exam weeks.

For both of these online examinations you are required to use the College’s Online Proctor Service  (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see the General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to make your scheduling arrangements for both exams within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.


Midterm Examination

The midterm is a closed-book, proctored exam. It is two hours long and covers material through Module 4 of the course (telecourse lessons 1–7 and the associated video programs and textbook reading). The exam consists of multiple-choice questions based on the Self-Quiz sections at the end of each chapter in the textbook and short essay questions from the assignments.

Final Examination

The final is a closed-book, proctored exam. It is two hours long and covers material from Module 5 through the end of the course (telecourse lessons 8–11 and 24–26 and the associated video programs and textbook reading). The exam consists of multiple-choice questions based on the Self-Quiz sections at the end of each chapter in the textbook and short essay questions from the assignments.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check the Announcements page and class Discussion Board regularly for new course information.


  1. Follow the sequence of learning activities outlined in the telecourse student guide when studying each lesson.

    Before viewing the video program:

After viewing the video program:

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

 

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.

 

 

Plagiarism

Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

 

Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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