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Dual Credit Biology Syllabus

BIOL 1408.650

Biology for Non-Science Majors I

Fall 2022



Instructor: Ryan Skidmore                           Meeting Location: Science 1

Office: Science 1                                            Meeting Days: Monday - Friday

Phone: 903.737.2800                                     Meeting Times: 10:28am – 11:15am


Office Hours: 7:55am – 8:42am



Paris Junior College will continue to monitor and assess the COVID-19 impact on the communities served. Per CDC guidelines:

  • All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Anyone on PJC campus/property will be expected to govern themselves by the CDC's cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.


Masks are no longer required on a PJC campus.  However, if you have not been vaccinated, you should consider wearing a mask to protect your own health.


Course Description:

This course provides a survey of biological principles with emphasis on humans, including chemistry of life, cells, structure, function, and reproduction. Laboratory activities will reinforce a survey of biological principles with an emphasis on humans, including chemistry of life, cells, structure, function, and reproduction. 
Credits: SCH = 3 lecture and 1 laboratory hours per week

Required Textbook(s) and Materials:

Inquiry into Life by Sylvia Mader 16th Edition ISBN-10: 1260231704

Connect Virtual Labs Access


Course Goals and Objectives:

Critical Thinking Skills - to include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information
Communication Skills - to include effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication
Empirical and Quantitative Skills - to include the manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions
Teamwork - to include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal

Student Learning Outcomes (Biological Science Program-Level):

  1. Demonstrate mastery of the processes of science, the scientific method and established scientific knowledge.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of basic terminology and understanding of major biological concepts.
  3. Use appropriate laboratory techniques and equipment safely and proficiently.

ACGM Course Learning Outcomes:
Lecture Objectives
1. Distinguish between prokaryotic, eukaryotic, plant and animal cells, and identify major cell structures.

2. Identify stages of the cell cycle, mitosis (plant and animal), and meiosis.

3. Interpret results from cell physiology experiments involving movement across membranes, enzymes, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration.

4. Apply genetic principles to predict the outcome of genetic crosses and statistically analyze results.

5. Describe karyotyping, pedigrees, and biotechnology and provide an example of the uses of each.

6. Identify parts of a DNA molecule, and describe replication, transcription, and translation.

7. Analyze evidence for evolution and natural selection.


Laboratory Objectives

1. Apply scientific reasoning to investigate questions, and utilize scientific tools such as microscopes and laboratory equipment to collect and analyze data. 

2. Use critical thinking and scientific problem-solving to make informed   decisions in the laboratory.

3. Communicate effectively the results of scientific investigations. 

4. Distinguish between prokaryotic, eukaryotic, plant and animal cells, and identify major cell structures. 

5. Identify stages of the cell cycle, mitosis (plant and animal), and meiosis. 

6. Interpret results from cell physiology experiments involving movement across membranes, enzymes, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration. 

7. Apply genetic principles to predict the outcome of genetic crosses and statistically analyze results.

8. Identify the importance of karyotypes, pedigrees, and biotechnology. 

9. Identify parts of a DNA molecule, and describe replication, transcription, and translation. 

10. Analyze evidence for evolution and natural selection.

Course Schedule:

Week 1- Introduction to Biology | Lab: Scientific Method
Week 2- Molecules of Cells | Lab: Metric System
Week 3- Molecules of Cells Cont’d | Lab: You Are What You Eat
Week 4- Cellular Structure and Function | Lab: Cell Anatomy Microscopy
     Exam #1
Week 5- Cellular Transport | Lab: Diffusion and Osmosis
Week 6- Cell Cycle, Meiosis, Mitosis | Lab: Stages of Mitosis Microscopy
     Exam #2
Week 7- Energy and Enzymes | Lab: Lactase Enzyme Function
Week 8- Cellular Respiration | Lab: Exercise, CO2, and Respiration
     Exam #3
Week 9- Photosynthesis and Plant Organization | Lab: Photosynthesis (Virtual)
Week 10 – Photosynthesis and Plant Organization Cont’d | Lab: Plant Microscopy
     Exam #4
Week 11- Patterns of Gene Inheritance | Lab: Taster Phenotype and Inheritance
Week 12- Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance | Lab: Mendelian Genetics
     Exam #5
Week 13- DNA Structure and Gene Expression | Lab: DNA Extraction
Week 14- Biotechnology | Lab: Electrophoresis
     Exam #6
Week 15- Ecology and Ecosystems | Lab: Sampling Ecosystems
Week 16- Final (Dec. 13 – 16)                                 

Course Requirements and Evaluation:

Grades will be calculated based on two categories:

A. Test (50%) – Short answer and essay items covering lecture material

B. Daily Grades (50%) – Includes daily quizzes, participation, and lab practical


Course Policies
Procedures: Students are expected to be in their seats with notes and writing utensils out before the tardy bell rings. With few exceptions, every class will begin with a lecture. The lecture will either be interspersed or concluded with independent, partner, or class activities: calculations, case studies, problem sets, etc. Each six-week period will include three (3) participation grades, recorded biweekly. Participation grades will be based upon how diligently students answer questions in class and work on the classroom activities. Any student that fails to answer questions or give honest effort to classroom activities will receive a 0 for their participation grade. These must be earned; they are not given as a free grade or a buffer to poor grades.

Expectations: I have tremendously high expectations for all my students and refuse to accept sub-par work, disruptions, or idleness.  The standards will be set and remain high all year long. You will be expected to work hard from bell-to-bell each and every day in this classroom. Students should also be prepared to study intensely and frequently for quizzes and tests. This is an Honors class so you can anticipate difficult assignments, complex labs, and rigorous assessments.


I want to provide an enjoyable class for all students and any motivations contrary to this goal will not be tolerated.  My professional responsibility is to ensure that all students are able to learn in a safe, focused academic environment. My aim is for all students to master the content of this course to insure success and competence in future medical programs. 


Absences: When you are absent, it is your responsibility to come see me and get your work made up.  You have as much extra time to make up your work as you were absent.  For example, if you were absent one day, you have one extra day to make it up. 

If you are absent on a test day, you will take the test the day you come back.  If you know in advance you will miss a test because of an extracurricular activity, please plan to take the test the day before the scheduled test. Also, you will only be allowed to miss one test without penalty. After you miss a test once, each test thereafter will have 10 points (increasingly) deducted; E-days will not count against this, but any other reason will. There are only six tests per semester, so the likelihood of multiple absences occurring specifically on test days is very unlikely.  I do not allow for retests. 


Labs: Because of safety issues, I am extremely particular about students’ knowledge in this area. We will go into detail about proper procedures. These must be followed with great care. A lab safety exam will be administered at the beginning of the year and a score of 80 or better is required to participate in labs.

Any student not focusing on the laboratory procedure during laboratory exercises (e.g. talking with students in another group, playing on cell phone, etc.) will be removed from the lab and receive a zero; the same goes for any students that are being disruptive or not following proper lab safety procedures. Additionally, a grade can only be assigned to students that participate during labs, thus standing idly for the period will also result in a grade of zero.


Miscellanea: Personal business should be attended to in between classes. Students will not be allowed to leave the class unless called by the office or another teacher. All assignments must be turned in before the tardy bell of the due date; late assignments will receive a 20% deduction and will not be accepted 24 hours after the due date. 

Cell phones should be kept put away at all times. I have a no-tolerance policy for their use in my class; studies have shown that the distraction provided by a cell phone causes students to perform 20% worse on assessments – that’s two whole letter grades! Anytime I see a cell phone (or you staring down at your seat for an inappropriate amount of time) I will make note of it and deduct 5 points from your next assessment. If a cell phone is visible during a test or quiz, this will be considered cheating and you will receive a grade of zero.

While Chromebooks will be used in relevant class activities, they must remain closed in class unless otherwise instructed. Notes must be taken with pen and paper. 

Class Attendance:

Class attendance is critical for the successful completion of this course.  For online courses, students must complete work in a timely manner and follow due dates.  Withdrawals must be initiated by the student.  The last day for a student to withdraw from a course with a grade of “W” is Thursday, November 17th.


Class Conduct:

Please turn off or silence and put away all cell phones, pagers, IPods, headphones, etc. before entering the classroom/laboratory.  No obscene/vulgar language will be permitted in the classroom/laboratory.  Faculty reserve the right to drop a student for violations of the Student Conduct Policy as listed in the Student Handbook.


Academic Honesty:

In the pursuit of learning, it is expected that students will engage in honest academic endeavor to the highest degree of honor and integrity.  Students who are found to engage in academic dishonesty through such activities as cheating on exams, plagiarism, or collusion with others will be referred to the Vice President of Student Access and Success for disciplinary action such as dismissal from the college.  These students will immediately receive a score of zero on the exam/assignment in question with no possibility of makeup work and will forego the right to receive any bonus points for the remainder of the semester.  Students who are suspected of cheating due to questionable activities may be required to prove their innocence.


ADA Statement

It is the policy of Paris Junior College to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals who are students with disabilities.  This College will adhere to all applicable federal, State and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as required to afford equal educational opportunity.  It is the student’s responsibility to arrange an appointment with a College Success Coach in the Advising & Counseling Center to obtain a Request for Accommodations form.  For more information, please refer to the Paris Junior College Catalog or Student Handbook.