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Course Planning by Program


Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 30-Jan-23

Spring 2023 | BIO-1140-VO01 - Human Biology

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 01-24-2023 to 05-08-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Roy Cutler
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jennifer Guarino

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following VSC General Education Requirement(s) for Catalog Year 21-22 and later:
Natural Science
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course is a survey of human anatomy and physiology. Topics include the organization and structure of the major body systems, including muscular, skeletal, nervous, circulatory, digestive, excretory, endocrine, and reproductive. Emphasis placed on the integration of bodily processes and the impact of technology on human biology.

Essential Objectives

1. Describe the structure and function of a cell and understand the major processes involved in its physiology.
2. Understand the anatomy and physiology of how the nervous and endocrine systems control body functions.
3. Describe the processes of development and reproduction at the cellular and structural levels and be able to discuss the role of genetics in this system.
4. Explain the basic anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular, lymphatic, and respiratory systems.
5. Explain the basic anatomy and physiology of the digestive and urinary systems.
6. Understand the specific and interrelated functions of the major body systems.
7. Identify the placement of the major bones and muscles of the body and understand their basic physiology.
8. Understand the structure and function of the human sensory organs.
9. Explain how technology affects human biology and discuss the ethical issues associated with this topic.
10. Utilize the scientific method to evaluate well-researched evidence in the area of human biology.
11. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding, interpreting, evaluating, and applying quantitative data and information.
12. Explain how knowledge created in the natural sciences has contributed to the creation, maintenance and dismantling of social inequalities and discuss the impacts of diversity and inclusion on scientific research and practice.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations.

Spring 2023 textbook details will be available on 2022-11-14. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


This course is a survey of the various systems that make the human body work. The vast majority of these are very similar if not identical to those found in other animals. Blood and a heart with which to pump it, lungs to breathe oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, a nervous system to sense the outside world and react to it and an extraordinary immune system which vigilantly patrols our body searching for and destroying invaders, all of these are found in other animals and in fact much of the detail that we know about our systems was gained by looking at other animals.

We will take a look at all of these. Our one book is a look at the body by a well-known scientist and popular science writer, The Story of the Human Body - evolution, health and disease by Daniel E. Lieberman (ISBN: 978-0307741806).

That one book is the only required book for the course. Everything else will be various online resources. One other thing we will do is spend time examining the way in which science is portrayed in the news media. This can help us all become better and more critical consumers of the various claims that are thrown at us on a regular basis.

Evaluation Criteria

20% discussion

20% Human Biology World News

20% quizzes

25% exams

15% Science Beat project

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


How did we get to this point? The insane power of natural selection to create biological complexity


The Human Body - Ch. 1



Discussion forums



Communication 1: The nervous system


The Human Body - Ch. 2

Select internet readings on the nervous system


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #1



Communication 2: message in a bottle - The Endocrine system


Human Biology - Ch. 3


Quiz on Week 2

Discussion forums

Videos/selected articles



Week 4 - Blood, the sea within us


The Human Body - Ch. 4

Select internet readings on the cardiovascular system


Quiz on Week 3

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #2



Week 5 - Plumbing: the paths of excretion


The Human Body - Ch. 5

Select internet readings on the nervous system


Quiz on Week 4

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #3



Week 6 - Genes: whose in charge here?


The Human Body - Ch. 6

Select internet readings on genetics


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #3



Week 7 - Sex and all that: reproduction


The Human Body - Ch. 7

Select internet readings on reproduction


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #4

Exam #1



Week 8 - Respiration


Online readings and videos

The Human Body Ch. 8


Quiz #7

Discussion forums on readings

Human Biology World News #4



Week 9 - The immune system


Readings and videos on the immune system

The Human Body - Ch. 9


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums on online readings and book chapter




Week 10 - food and nutrition


Chapters 10 and 11 in The Human Body


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums for book chapters




The senses; moving through space


Select readings and videos on the senses

Chapter 12 in The Human Body


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums on readings, videos and book chapter

Human Biology World News #6



You are an ecosystem - The microbiome


Readings on the microbiome

Chapter 13 in The Human Body


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums on readings and book chapter




Exam 2


Quiz on previous week's material

Exam #2



Science Beat - original science writing by students on select topics


PubMed journal searches - instruction and practice


Researching and writing the Science Beat assignment



Science Beat (week 2)


Reading and critiquing colleague's Science Beat news stories.


Working on SB forum


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Attendance is determined primarily by participation. That means that you have to do more than simply look at the course website and read some posts. You actually need to post something. Of course if all you do is post one thing you won't pass the class but you will have participated in the sense that matters for attendance policy.

If you accrue 3 weeks in which you don't attend it will be strongly suggested that you drop. This is only because of a lot of experience with students who have missed that much and never manage to pull themselves out of it with all of the extra associated guilt.

On a realistic level you should plan on on spending 3 hours per week for every credit so a 3-credit course means spending 9 hours a week. Nobody is keeping track of how many hours you work on a class but if you find yourself doing less well than you would like you should consider spending more time on the class.

Missing & Late Work Policy

As a rule I do not accept late work. However if you are having a bad week please write to me right away and we'll see what we can do. If bad weeks become a habit it is best to consider dropping the course.

Also, to be clear there is no extra credit. The course is designed so that if you have to make a choice and miss an assignment or do poorly on an assignment you can still thrive and do very well.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.