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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 26-Apr-24

Fall 2024 | BIO-1212-VO01 - Introduction to Biology: Cells and the Genetic Basis of Life

Online Class

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

Location: Online
Credits: 4
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 11 (as of 07-13-24 2:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.
Materials/Lab Fees: $125.00


Laura Gannon-Murakami
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Ryan Joy

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS 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

In this introductory biology course, students explore the "process of science" with hands-on field and laboratory experiments. Topics in this course include the chemistry of life, cell structure and function, cell reproduction, classical and molecular bases of inheritance, and DNA technology. Students needing a full year of introductory biology should also complete Intro to Biology: Ecology and Evolution.

Essential Objectives

1. Explain the chemical, molecular, and cellular levels of organization.
2. Explore the relationship between the structure and function of different cell types found throughout the kingdoms of life.
3. Explain how chemical signaling is used to regulate cell functions.
4. Explain how energy is transformed through photosynthesis and cellular respiration to provide cellular energy.
5. Discuss the process and regulation of DNA replication, transcription, and translation, including genetic mutations and their role in evolution.
6. Describe the structure of DNA and how changes in the DNA sequence give rise to genetic diversity and inherited diseases.
7. Compare mitosis and meiosis and describe the regulation of the cell cycle.
8. Analyze how cellular and molecular biology techniques contribute to scientific discoveries.
9. Demonstrate proficiency in applying, interpreting, evaluating, and extrapolating quantitative data.
10. 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.
Lab Objectives:
1. Apply knowledge of the scientific method to:
a. formulate and evaluate real-world scientific questions;
b. ethically plan and implement accurate data collection;
c. analyze and evaluate data;
d. generate conclusions based on analysis and justify claims with evidence;
e. integrate the related work of other scientists; and
f. propose ideas for further inquiry.
2. Communicate findings in a format appropriate to the discipline and type of investigation, such as a laboratory notebook, laboratory report, observational study, field investigation report, poster, or presentation using appropriate evidence to support these findings.
3. Understand the structure and purpose of peer-reviewed publications.
4. Evaluate scientific information for validity, accuracy, reliability, and methodology.
5. Identify and follow lab safety techniques that are aligned with CCV’s Chemical Hygiene Plan, Lab Safety Agreements, and chemical Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

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 is a no cost textbook or resource class.
This does not include lab fees for 4-credit science courses. ***

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations, along with free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials.

Fall 2024 textbook/book details will be available on 2024-05-20. 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.

BIO-1212-VO01 Link to Textbooks for this course in eCampus.

For Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials details, see the Canvas Site for this class.

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.


In this course, we will do:

Class discussions



Short answer and critical thinking questions



Library and research projects


Evaluation Criteria

Mastering Assignments: There will be weekly assignments in Mastering Biology. Mastering Biology uses fun multimedia activities to help you learn the material.

Short Lecture Quiz There will be a short quiz on the lecture in Canvas.

Labs: We will be doing a variety of interesting weekly labs. All Labs are virtual.

Discussions/Blogs: Discussions are one of the best things about online classes. It is a chance for you to learn about a particular topic and to be the class expert in that area. It is also a great chance, too, to learn from each other. In order to receive credit you will need to check into the discussion folder several times each week. It is expected that you contribute at least one initial posting and respond to at least two other postings and answer any questions in your forum. You will be graded on the depth of your posting, the number of responses to other posts and the answers to questions posted in your forum.

New discussion folders will be opened at the start of each week. You will have until Friday to do the initial posting and Monday to respond to other postings. If you do not post or respond, you will receive a 0 for that week. You cannot go back and post once the week has ended.

Blogs are similar to discussions but they are more detailed. You do not have to respond to blogs.

Exams: There will be 6 essay/short answer quizzes on the reading and lecture material. This is also open book and not timed.

Research Presentation: You are required to prepare a presentation on a topic related to Biology. During the last week of class, you will present your topic and lead the discussion forum.

Mastering Assignments:





total points

240 points




300 points




300 points

Short Lecture Quiz



130 points




180 points




40 points

Presentation Discussion



10 points


1200 points

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


Nutrition and You


Read chapter 1 in “Fundamentals of Human Nutrition

Review the Lecture and PowerPoints.


Discussion on Food choices

Assignment on Analyzing scientific claims.



The Digestive System


Read Section 3: Nutrient Processing in “Fundamentals”.

Review the Lecture and Powerpoints


Discussion on Diseases of the Digestive System

Assignment on Diseases of the Digestive system from the NIH website.





Read Section 4 in “Fundamentals”.

Review the Lecture and Powerpoints.


Post to the Discussion on Gut Flora

Complete Quiz 1 on lectures 1-3





ReadSection 6: Nutrient Processing in “Fundamentals” on Lipids

Review the Lecture and PowerPoints.


Write a Blog on Food Safety.

Complete Activity 4 on Food Safety.





Read Section 5 in “Fundamentals”.

Review the Lecture and PowerPoints.


Post to the discussion on genetically modified foods (GMOs).

Complete the Assignment on MyPlate





Read “Alcohol and Your Health” at NIAA

Review the Lecture and PowerpPoints.


Post to the Discussion on Alcohol Abuse

Complete the Activity on Alcohol

Take Essay Quiz 2 on Lectures 4, 5 and 6.





Read Section 7: Fat Soluble Vitamins in Fundamentals.

Read Section 8: Water Soluble Vitamins in Fundamentals.

Review The Lecture, Powerpoints and Videos


Post to the discussion on food insecurities.

Complete the Activity on volunteering at a soup kitchen, food bank or community based organization that helps with food insecurities; or find more information on food insecurities in your area and answer the questions

Take Essay Quiz 3 on Lecture 7





ReadSection 9.1-9.3,Section 10andSection 11in “Fundamentals”.

Review the lecture and PowerPoints.


Write a blog on Supplements

Complete Essay Quiz 4 on Lecture 8.





Read Section 12: in “Fundamentals”.

Review the Lecture and Powerpoints


Complete the Activity on Food Labels.



Energy Balance


Read Section 13.1-2 and Section 15 in "Fundamentals “.

Review the lecture and Powerpoints.


Post to the discussion on health disparities.

Take Quiz 5

Complete the Activity on Energy Balance



Nutrition and your Body and Brain.


Read the Handout

Review the Lecture and PowerPoints.


Complete Activity 11

Complete Discussion 11



Nutrition and Fitness


Read Section 14 in “Fundamentals”.

Review the Lecture and PowerPoints.


Share your favorite sport or activity or your experience of new activity in the discussion.

Try a new activity for this week.



Nutrition and Fitness


ReadSection 14in “Fundamentals”.



Quiz 6
















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: You are expected to check in to the class at least 2-3 times every week and post to the discussion.

Readings: All readings listed in the lecture schedule are required.

Lectures: You are responsible to study all materials covered in the lecture, even if it is not in the assigned readings.

Netiquette The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion forum postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions, but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of forum messages.

Discussion:To earn full participation points for the week, students should:

· Read the assigned material and demonstrate an understanding of those resources in your assignments and posts.

· Post an original response to the weekly prompt(s) before Friday at midnight (11:59 PM) and a minimum of two responses to peers before Monday at midnight (11:59 PM). You are also required to respond to any questions or thoughtful comments in your own forum. You are welcome to post early and/or more frequently, as your schedule allows, but you will not receive full credit if you do not meet these minimum requirements and/or deadlines.

· Posts should be substantive and demonstrate college-level writing. A substantive post is well-developed, a minimum 150 words, and references the reading or another appropriate source. A substantive post is NOT one or two sentences of general statements or unsupported opinion.

Missing & Late Work Policy

You have one week to complete each assignment. In addition, there will be a one

week automatic extension for assignments, quizzes and labs. After the one week

extension, late work will not be accepted. Discussions, though, are due each week.

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.