This is an introductory course in biology, which gives a survey of the foundations of biological diversity. It is intended for non-science majors. The student will gain an understanding of the basic concepts of in biology such as Mendelian inheritance, evolution, genetic engineering, information flow from DNA to RNA to protein, the relationships among organisms, and how they interact with the environment. Cannot be used toward Biology concentration. (4 credits)
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Scientific Method: Learn the general steps of the scientific method and use these steps in solving problems, in order to understand how scientists think, distinguish between pseudoscience and real science, and evaluate scientific information in the popular press.
- Chemistry of Life: Learn basic chemistry including the properties of atoms, ions, chemical bonding and chemical reactions to understand biologically important molecules and processes. Learn the role of biologically important molecules in order to understand the correlation between cell structure and function.
- Cell Structure: Learn the differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, Identify and describe the structure and function of plant and animal cells and their organelles, in order to appreciate the unity and diversity of living things. Learn the structure of the plasma membrane and relate it to its functions in diffusion, transport, metabolism, and cell-cell interactions.
- Metabolism: Explain the principles of cellular respiration and photosynthesis so that the students understand energy flow in living systems.
- Cell division and cell cycle: Compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis in order to understand the process of growth, reproduction and the importance of sexual reproduction to the evolution of the species.
- Genetics: Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts of inheritance in order to solve simple genetic problems and recognize common misconceptions regarding human heredity.
- DNA, RNA, Genetic Engineering: Describe the structure and replication of DNA and its role in protein synthesis in order to understand the chemical basis of genetics and the use of DNA in genetic engineering and biotechnology.
- Reproduction and Development: Learn how gametes are formed and how the embryo develops.
- Evolution: Explain why evolution is the central theme in biology so that students can understand the unity and diversity of life.
- Diversity of Life: How are organisms grouped together. What are their relationships to each other.
- Ecology and Ecosystems: How organisms interact with each other and the environment.
- Laboratory Skills: To work safely in the laboratory and follow simple laboratory protocols in order to work cooperatively to complete laboratory exercises and conduct experiments using the scientific method. To be able to use the microscope to observe cell structure and function in order to develop good technique in preparation for more advanced courses. To be able to perform simple mathematical calculations and construct and interpret graphs in order to record and communicate the results of experiments
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.
Course Activities and Grading
Discussion Forum (Weeks 1-14)
Tests (Weeks 4, 8, 12 & 15)
Lab Experiments & Quizzes*
Term Paper (Week 15)
*A Laboratory Waiver must be turned in to COSC by the end of Week 1. Completion of this waiver is required and is counts toward students’ lab grade. Refer to Blackboard for the exact point value.
(Available through Charter Oak State College's online bookstore)
- Postlethwait, John and Janet Hopson. Life. 1st ed.Brooks/Cole, 2010. ISBN: 0538741341
Additional Required Materials
(Not available through MBS Direct. Order directly from Publisher.)
- Biology Lab Kit - Students will purchase access to LateNite Labs
Please use the following steps:
- Click on the red Sign Up button under Student on www.latenitelabs.com
- Click the Student icon.
- Enter your email address and desired password.
- Click Register. You will receive a confirmation email that you have registered.
- You will be brought to the Student Dashboard page.
- Enter your first name, last name and section code in their respective fields. The section code for this course is 19095504.
- Select Credit Card Purchase for your enrollment type.
- Enter the first and last name on your credit card, card number, expiration date (mm/yy), and security code.
- Click Enroll. You will receive a confirmation email with your username and password.
- Must have Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) to examine returned tests and papers.
- A program capable of opening MS Word documents is also needed. If you do not have MS Word you may download Open Office (free).
- You are expected to know how to use Google and other search engines, and how to use your wordprocessing programs (how to make tables and charts, import figures, etc.).
Readings and Exercises
1, 2, 3
Topic: Scientific Method, Scope of Biology, Basic Chemistry, and Cell Structure
Topic: Metabolism and Photosynthesis
Topic: How cells make more cells: Mitosis and Meiosis
Topic: Mendelian Genetics
Topic: DNA as the genetic material; DNA replication
Topic: The Central Dogma; The genetic code; Transcription and Translation
Topic: Mammalian Development
Topic: How it all began
Topic: Survey of Biodiversity 1
Topic: Survey of Biodiversity 2
Topic: Survey of Biodiversity 3
Topic: Ecosystems: How does everything fit together?
9, 10, 11, 12
|Topic: Open forum for questions on material|
Exact due dates for written assignments will be posted in the Blackboard course shell.
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.