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Science - ONS 11 Onward Biology Syllabus

ONS 11 – Onward Biology Fall (Sample)

Instructor: Molly MacLean
Office: 110 East Annex
Office Phone: 581-2315


Office Hours: T 8:00–9:00 & 11:00–11:50 A.M. W 1:00–3:00 P.M. *R 8:00–10:00 A.M. To meet at other times, please make an appointment.

*Please note that Thursday’s (R) office hours will be in the lab at 101A Deering.

Class & lab Times:

Lectures will be in Room 106, Murray Hall on MWF 9:00–9:50.

Laboratories are held in Room 101A, Deering Hall. You have been assigned to one of these periods on Thursdays: 11:00-11:50 or 1:10-3:00.

All lectures & labs begin and end on time. Please make sure you are also on time. It is disruptive to other students when people arrive late or leave early.

Required Texts:

  • Essential Biology with Physiology, Campbell, Reece, Simon, 2007
  • Laboratory Investigations for Biology, 2nd Ed., Jean Dickey, 2003

The 2 texts listed above are required and are also used in Onward Zoology (ONS 014) offered in the spring semester.


|Introduction | Course Objectives | Goals | How to get help outside of class |Accommodations for disabilities | Adjustments to college life | Class & University Policies | Evaluation Points | Assignments, Grading | Lecture Schedule | Lab Schedule|


Some of you may be looking forward to Onward Biology, others may be saying: “BIOLOGY – I don’t understand. There must be some mix up. I’m planning on studying art history (or business administration or social work or I don’t know what I want to study yet but I DO know it is NOT science). Why in the world do I need to take a course in Biology?”

The basic importance of any kind of science in our day-to-day lives cannot be overstated. Pick up a newspaper. You might read the following:

  • Booze to Biofuels: Fuel for the Future?
  • New Golden Frog Discovered in Remote Region of Colombia.
  • Nanowire Coating may Aid Bone Implants.
  • New Light-sensing Ability Discovered in Disease-causing Bacteria.
  • Tamiflu Linked to Self-Injury, Delirium.
  • Humans Spread Bird Flu to Humans in Indonesia.
  • Cows might be Alternative Energy Sources.
  • Rainfall Increasing over Tropical Oceans.

This course is designed to peak your interest in the science behind the headlines. Scientists use a process known as scientific inquiry to explore and explain the world we all share. You will learn to use scientific inquiry while asking questions and responding to them. It is my hope that we bring questions to class and we answer them together. In the lab you will not only conduct experiments but also design some of the experiments first. This is an opportunity to walk at least ½ a mile in a scientist’s shoes.

Onward Biology is a bridge between your current science experience and your future science courses. This course will provide opportunities to learn and practice academic skills required for upper level courses, such as note taking, test preparation, & laboratory skills. Because the material can become rather challenging I fully expect all of you to use every resource available to help answer your questions or clear up any misconceptions. These resources include (but are not limited to) myself, our lab assistants, your peer advisor, your academic advisor, counselors, texts, study guides, labs, and other students. This is your education. It is up to each of you to make it as successful and enjoyable as possible. Onward Biology ONS 011 Fall 2007 Instructor: Molly MacLean

Course Objectives:

Onward Biology focuses on the structure and function of all living organisms. There are 2 main goals of this course. The first is to prepare you for other university courses you will take. The second is to “see” the world as a scientist.


  • To be an active and regular participant in class and lab.
  • To perform at a passing level on exams with multiple choice, fill-in, and short answer style questions.
  • To read articles from journals such as Science News and write informed reactions to the information presented.
  • To use laboratory equipment correctly and safely.
  • To prepare for successful completion of University coursework, e.g. BIO 100.

Course Description: We will start the semester with the first chapter of the text. It is an introduction to the process that scientists use to answer questions about nature. We will then jump to chapter 18, the beginning of a unit on Ecology. The purpose is to study how organisms interact with their environment. One reason for beginning with the middle part of the textbook is that the topics covered and the terminology used in Ecology is more familiar than the content of earlier units. We will then study the chemical foundations for cells and cellular life in Unit I, and a study of cellular reproduction and genetics in Unit II. Within all these units we will use as many current examples as possible. These topics will come from your involvement and interests as well as mine.

How to get help outside of class:

Contacting the Instructor:

If you need help with your work or want to ask a question about assignments, tests, etc., please stop in during office hours. If these times are not convenient for you, call or send an e-mail so we can schedule a time to meet.

This is your education. Use all available resources to have a successful experience.

Other resources include:

  1. CD-ROM and Website:
    • The CD-ROM and the website address above contain approximately 200 Activities, 56 Case Studies in the Process of Science, Glossary with pronunciations, Flash Cards, Word Roots, Key Terms, and over 2000 quiz questions (Pre-Test, Activities Quiz, Chapter Quiz) all with immediate feedback. In addition, the website provides access to all the art from the book with and without labels, 85 videos, Web Links, News Links, News Archives, Further Readings and a Syllabus Manager.
  2. FirstClass
    • I recommend that all students have a first class account and learn how to access this. It is free to students at the University and will make your college life easier. Many instructors will be using first class conferences. The sooner you learn how to use this, the better off you will be. Some lecture notes & sample assignments/assessments will be available through First Class.
  3. Study Groups:
    • There will be no formal study groups with this course. Students are encouraged to form groups on their own. 3 – 6 students is an ideal size.

Accommodations for disabilities:

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability please make an appointment as soon as possible with Ann Smith, 581-2319, the Director of Disability Services. Her office is in the East Annex.

Adjustments to college life:

Students indicate that two difficult adjustments to college life involve:

  1. Academic self-discipline: ability to establish and follow a set of rules and regulations to guide one’s academic behavior.
  2. Self-direction: ability to decide when, what, where, and how much you should do.
    1. Commit yourself to a specific study schedule.
    2. Develop an “I will” and “I can” attitude.
    3. Be an active learner.
    4. Develop a sense of self-direction and self-discipline.
    5. Become part of a study group.
    6. Read the assignment before coming to class.
    7. Keep an index card file of words you don’t know. Write definitions on the backs of the cards.
    8. Consider my office hours a possible tutoring session and use them to work with me before you fall behind.
    9. Modify the material to suit your learning style: make up songs, tell stories, draw pictures— anything to make it easier to learn.
    10. Use your study guide, your CD-ROM (icons appear in the text to guide you to applicable activities), and other learning aids provided in your text.
    11. Use the web site

Class & University Policies:

Attendance Policy:

Regular attendance is required. If you are not in class, you will get a zero for any graded class work for that day. Students who miss a class are responsible for learning the material covered, any announcements, assignments, notes, etc. Make an agreement with at least two colleagues in class that you will sit near each other. If these colleagues see that you are absent, or better yet, you have called to let them know that you will be absent, they will collect handouts and returned papers for you. You agree that you will do the same for them. These colleagues also may deliver papers and other assignments if you are unable to come to class when an assignment is due. Colleagues are free not to provide this support if you take advantage of it and are absent regularly and without notice. Record the names and phone numbers of the people you’ve identified on your syllabus.

name: ___________________________ phone number ______________

name: ___________________________ phone number ______________

Most people find it difficult to make up the work if they miss two or more classes in a row. If you miss three classes during the semester and it appears to impair the quality of your work, I may report this fact and disciplinary action may be taken. If there are special circumstances that affect your attendance, please discuss them with me outside of class time.

Cell Phone Policy aka Class Time Disruptions:

Cell phones must remain off during class time. Ringing phones and people leaving and reentering class to have a conversation create disruptions to the learning environment. I consider this rude behavior. This is the same view I have of chatting during class time. Hold all conversations, direct or by phone or email until after class is over. If this behavior continues to be a problem, disciplinary action will be taken. If there is an emergency situation please speak with me privately so we can reach an agreement that will not disrupt others.

Policy on Academic Integrity:

You are expected to strictly observe university rules regarding academic honesty. You are encouraged to become familiar with the Student Conduct Code, especially the first 7 violations, which speak to issues of academic misconduct. Each student should reflect a sense of responsibility toward our scholarly community by completing and submitting work that is a product of his or her own effort. Types of academic dishonesty include cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism (presentation of someone else’s words, ideas, or data as one’s own work). When writing papers, the crucial thing to remember is that you must give citations for ideas that are not your own, whether or not those ideas have been written down somewhere. During examinations, take the initiative to prevent other students from copying your exam and do not look in the direction of other students’ papers. Discourage dishonesty among other students.

Evaluation Points:

Grading criteria Points
Four prelims, each worth 50 points 200
Comprehensive final exam 75
Class Assignments Approx. 60
Attendance 25
Laboratory Work Approx. 140
Quizzes Approx. 120
Total: Approx. 620 points

Students with 90% – 100% of possible points A range; 80% – 89% of possible points B range; 70% – 79% of possible points C range; 60%-69% of possible points D range; Students with less than 60% will fail the course.

Course Assignments:

I will provide due dates for each assignment. I expect you to respect them. Late assignments will receive a reduced grade beginning at 60% and going down from there. If there is an emergency (for example, an illness you can document), please let me know in advance of the deadline. I will work with you to develop a plan that will accommodate both of our needs to get the missed work made up promptly. If no notice is given before an absence, the absence is unexcused. A note from the Health Center does not mean an absence is automatically excused.

Prelims: There will be at least 3 preliminary exams during the semester and one final exam. If you have an unexcused absence for any of the regular semester prelims you must speak with me before you will be allowed to make this up. Any unexcused absence on a prelim will result in a possible grade no higher than 70% for that prelim. Points will be deducted from 70 for wrong answers. The final exam will not be administered early as per University policy. Do not plan to leave early until the final exam schedule is finalized, usually midway through the semester.

Writing Assignments: You will be expected to complete up to 5 writing assignments during this course. The topics and type of assignment will vary but may include opinion papers, summary statements or analysis of readings on current “hot topics” in Biology. All assignments will be 1 page or less in length.

Quizzes: There will be quizzes in both the lab and the lecture. All quizzes that count towards your final grade will be announced in advance.

Homework: You are expected not only to attend all lectures and labs but also to complete all homework assignments. This is your education.


TentativeLecture Schedule: ONS 013 BIOLOGY FALL 2007
Date Reading assignment Topics Covered
Pages Chapter
Sept. 5 1-18 1 Orientation; Study the Syllabus and Ask Questions
7  377-386 1 Intro: Biology Today & Unit 4: Ecology
10 386-396 18 Ecology of Organisms and Populations
12 402-408 18 Quiz
14 408-422 18/19 Library Class
17 422-438 19 Environmental Science
19 439-449 19 Library
21 450-462 19/20 Quiz
24 Handouts 20 Conservation Biology
26 Forest Ecology
Oct. 1 Wrap up & Review
3 PRELIM #1 Chapters 1, 18, 19 & 20
5 19-28 Discuss Prelim Begin Chap 2
8 Fall Break – No Classes
10 28-39 2 Water, Cell Chemistry
12 39-53 2/3 Macromolecules
15 54-61 3 Quiz
17 61-71 4 Cells/Membrane structure
19 PRELIM #2 Chapters 2, 3 & 4
22 72-80 Discuss Prelim Organelles
24 4/5 Begin Chapter 5
26 TBA
29 80-91 5 The Working Cell
31 91-102 5/6 Quiz
2 6 Cellular Respiration
5 103-113 6 Quiz
7 114-118 7 Plants – photosynthesis
9 6 & 7 Respiration & Photosynthesis
12 Review, Begin Chap. 8
14 PRELIM #3 Chapters 5, 6 & 7
16 119-129 Discuss Prelim, Chap 8
19 130-142 8 Cell Division
21/23 143-152 Thanksgiving Break – No Classes
26 152-170 8/9 Review/Mendel
28 171-180 9 Genetics Quiz
30 181-198 10 DNA replication & topics
Dec. 3 Wrap up & Review
5 PRELIM #4 Chapters 8, 9, 10
7 Chap 11/12 topics
Dec. 10–14 Selected Topics in Biology and Review.

Laboratory Schedule for Biology Fall 2007

Study each exercise before coming to the laboratory. This includes the Objectives and boldface vocabulary, as well as the experimental procedures. You might be given a set of Pre-Lab Questions at the start of lab sessions. You may tear out each lab topic instead of bringing the whole lab manual with you to class. For example, tear out Lab Topic 1, pages 1-1 to 1-20, put in a loose-leaf notebook, a folder or staple the pages together.

Please Do Not bring your children along to laboratory, Ever! Absolutely No Food or Beverages are Allowed in Room 101A Deering. If you need a drink, leave the laboratory. There is a water fountain in the hallway.

Dates, Lab Topic & Lab Title

  • September 6 1 Process of Scientific Inquiry
  • September 13 (materials provided) Human Population Growth
  • September 20 Chap 19 Communities & Ecosystems
  • September 27 Forest Ecology
  • October 4 Appendix A Tools for Scientific Inquiry
  • October 11 3 Macromolecules
  • October 18 4 Using the Microscope
  • October 25 Chap 5 More about cells
  • November 1 Chap 6/7 Respiration/photosynthesis
  • November 8 8 Chromosomes and Cell Division
  • November 15 8/9 DNA Replication
  • November 22 Thanksgiving Break – No Classes
  • November 29 TBA Topics in Genetics
  • December 6 Final Lab Exam
  • December 13 TBA Topics in Forensics
  • Finals Week…No Lab

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