Sample Syllabus
Introduction to Biology - General Education Emphasis

Professor: Dr. Lee Boyd
Office: ST 202-D
Phone: 231-1010, ext. 2081

3 hours credit.
The Biology Department offers 3 different entry-level biology courses. This course has general education emphasis. You should switch to a Health Emphasis section if you are planning to major in nursing, physical education, or one of the allied health fields. Students intending to major in Biology (including pre-vet., pre-med., pre-dent., and secondary education in biology programs) or Medical Technology should be enrolled in BI102 (General Cellular Biology).

Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B. Mitchell, L.G. and M.R. Taylor. 2003. Biology: Concepts & Connections. 4th edition. Benjamin/Cummings, San Francisco, CA.

It is up to you whether you bring the text to class or not. I will frequently refer to illustrations within the text and it may be to your benefit to have the text in front of you so that you can make notations in it.

Other Supplies
You will also need a pack of 3 x 5 index cards.

Exam 1
Exam 2
Exam 3
Exam 4

Each of the 4 regular examinations will consist of approximately 50 multiple choice or true-false questions. These questions are based on material covered in lecture, which in turn comes primarily from the textbook. There may be some questions pertaining to reading assignments not covered in lecture. The test questions will not only examine your knowledge of the material, but also your ability to use or apply the information. The final exam will be comprehensive; there will be 50 questions pertaining to new material and 25 questions reviewing material covered on the first 4 exams.

Exams must be taken on the day scheduled. Missed exams may not be made up unless the student has an extraordinary excuse for their absence. The decision as to whether the excuse is sufficient rests entirely with the instructor. Makeups will be more difficult essay exams and must be taken within one week of the date of the original exam. If you miss a scheduled makeup there is no second chance. Under NO circumstances may more than one exam be made up.

As an additional 2/7 of your grade, there will be in-class assignments due on the spot, and out-of class assignments due on the dates assigned. These can not be made up or turned in after the assigned deadlines if you are absent.

Keys to Good Performance
Good attendance is required if you are to pass the course. You are responsible for any information that you miss. To do well in the course you must attend regularly, and study the lecture notes thoroughly between lectures. I recommend skimming the textbook coverage of the topic just before it is covered in lecture, followed by a thorough reading and highlighting after the topic is covered. Start studying intensively about a week before each exam is scheduled. To do well, you should know the material thoroughly enough that you could write it out in your own words. Keep in mind that the two most important criteria for success, in either college or the workplace, are motivation and hard work.

The course grade will be determined by averaging your percent scores on the 5 exams with the average of your in- and out-of-class assignments. The following scale will be used to determine your grade in this course: 90-100% = A (Exceptional), 80-89% = B (Good), 70-79% = C (Average = most people), 60-69% = D (Poor), below 60% = F (Failed to grasp or present even 60% of the material). Borderline cases will be decided based on my impression of your attendance, attitude, effort, and improvement.

Dates to Keep in Mind
- Last day to enroll
- Last day to change to Pass/Fail or vice versa
- Last day to withdraw*

*Students may withdraw from courses through the second week of class with no recorded grade. From the third through the eleventh week a "W" is recorded for any dropped course. Beginning with the start of the twelfth week, there are NO withdrawals, and a grade will be assigned for the course. For the Fall 2003 semester, the last day to withdraw from a semester-length course is October 31, 2003. The Fall 2003 class schedule shows dates which reflect the old withdrawal policy; these are no longer correct.

Course Objectives

1. To provide students with a broad background in biology that will enable them to understand and appreciate this important subject.

2. To provide students with the ability to understand and appreciate important developments that will occur within this field during their lifetime.

3. To teach and encourage good study skill habits.

4. To encourage an interest in biology and demonstrate how students can continue to add to their knowledge after completing the course.

5. To encourage students to read effectively. There is a required text from which readings are assigned. Read "How to Use this Text", pages iv-ix. Skim related material prior to lecture, and read it thoroughly for understanding following coverage in lecture. The "Outline" section which opens each chapter and the text subheadings can be used as a study guide. Each paragraph has a topic sentence and identifying this sentence will aid in focusing on key concepts. Words in bold face represent new terminology to be learned. At the end of each chapter is a summary and sample questions. The text has an excellent glossary with pronunciations and definitions. Don't forget to use the index to look up information. You may also wish to review using the CD-ROM and check the on-line resources for each chapter posted on the World Wide Web.

6. To teach students to process information in terms of synthesis and analysis. These skills are practiced by responding to questions posed by the instructor during lecture discussions. Further assessment will occur in the form of assignments and "compare and contrast" types of examination questions.

7. To teach students to solve problems using the methods of analysis considering evidence, relevance, and validity. Biology is a way of asking and answering questions about living things. The course will emphasize the critical thinking behind scientific investigation that has led to new discoveries and will be encouraged to understand and apply these methods not only in this class, but in the future as an educated citizen.

Tentative Schedule of Topics to Be Covered

This tentative schedule is designed to guide your reading. Minor changes may be announced later.

Chapter         Topic

Read "How to Use this Text", pages iv-ix

Competencies I & II
1             Introduction: The Scientific Study of Life
2             The Chemical Basis of Life
3             The Molecules of Cells
4             A Tour of the Cell
5             The Working Cell
Exam 1

Competencies III & IV
6             How Cells Harvest Chemical Energy
7             Photosynthesis: Using Light to Make Food
8             The Cellular Basis of Reproduction and Inheritance
27            Reproduction and Embryonic Development
Exam 2

Competency V
9              Patterns of Inheritance
10            Molecular Biology of the Gene
11            The Control of Gene Expression
12             DNA Technology and the Human Genome
Exam 3

Competency VI
13             Evolution
14             Speciation
15             Tracing Evolutionary History
16             Diversity: Prokaryotes and Protists
17             Diversity: Plants and Fungi
18             Diversity: Animals
Exam 4

Competency VII
34             The Biosphere
35             (Human) Population Dynamics
36             Communities and Ecosystems
38             Conservation Biology
Exam 5


Students at times experience difficulty with issues such as studying, personal problems, time management, or choice of major, classes, or employment. The Center for Learning and Student Success or CLASS (counseling, testing, learning assistance, career services, academic advising) is available to help students. If you feel you need someone with whom to discuss an issue confidentially and free of charge, contact CLASS in Morgan 122, 231-1010, ext. 1299,,

Students with disabilities may identify themselves voluntarily to the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (SSWDO)to request accommodations. The office is responsible for assisting in arranging accommodations and for identifying resources on campus. New requests for accommodations should be submitted two months or more prior to the date services should begin; however, check with the SSWDO office as soon as a need may arise.
Location: Morgan Hall, Room 150
Phone: (voice calls) 785-231-1010, ext 1629
(TDD) 785-231-1025
Students may also voluntarily identify themselves to the instructor to discuss accommodations.


All students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately and ethically in their academic work. Inappropriate and unethical behavior includes (but is not limited to) giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of papers or other assignments, or knowingly misrepresenting the source of academic work.

Washburn University's Academic Impropriety Policy describes academically unethical behavior in greater detail, and explains the actions that may be taken when such behavior occurs. For a complete copy of the Academic Impropriety Policy, contact the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Morgan 270, or go on-line to:

© 2003 by Lee Boyd

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