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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Biology - BIOL

General Biology I BIOL-1406

  • Spring 2013
  • Section SECTION_320 CRN-20541
  • 4 Credits
  • 01/14/2013 to 05/07/2013
  • Modified 01/10/2013

Welcome to BIOL 1406-320 Community.


Meeting Times


  • Tuesday, Thursday, 7:45 AM to 9:00 AM, S-225


  • Tuesday, Thursday, 9:10 AM to 10:35 AM, S-224

Contact Information

Professor: Dr. Amanda Chau

Please contact me via eCampus mail during the semester. 

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, My office (H-245)
  • Tuesday, Thursday, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM, My office (H-245)
  • Friday, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, My office (H-245)

Friday hours are by appointment only.

If you cannot make it to any of my office hours listed above, please email me to set up special appointment.


An in-depth introductory survey of contemporary biology for students majoring in the biological sciences. Topics emphasized include, the chemical basis of life, structure and function of cells, energy transformations, and molecular biology and genetics.


Prerequisites: Exemption or passing score on reading section of THEA or alternative test or completion of READ 306 with a grade of C or higher.

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


1. Interpret the process by which scientific knowledge is acquired and evaluated.

2. Evaluate the characteristics of cells.

3. Recognize the molecular basis of evolutionary change.

4. Evaluate the composition of biological macromolecules and the role they play in the structure and function of cells.

5. Interpret selected metabolic processes carried out by cells and their essential role in sustaining life.

6. Compare and contrast the methods by which cells divide.

7. Set-up and evaluate basic Mendelian genetics problems.

8. Demonstrate the ability to use the compound light microscope and technological applications utilized in modern biology.


a.  Textbook: Biology, 2nd ed., Brooker, Widmaier, Graham, and Stiling. 2011. McGraw-Hill Co. [Available at the Blinn Bookstore either as Split Text (ISBN 9781881483816) (if taking BIOL 1406 only) or Hardback with Connect (ISBN 9780077673338) (if taking both BIOL 1406 and 1407)]

b.  Laboratory Manual: Blinn College Biology 1406 Laboratory Manual, Richardson et al., Spring 2013. Copy Stop Center. (Available at the Copy Stop Center)

c.  Chapter Notes: Either you can purchase them as a course packet at the Copy Stop Center or download them free from eCampus.

d.  Pulse CPS Clicker:Clicker (ISBN: 9781881483816) and the Science/Math One Term Passcode for the e-Instruction Classroom Performance System are available at the Blinn Bookstore. You do not need to purchase the passcode at the bookstore if you have a check or credit card which allows you to pay for the enrollment fee online. Register your keypad at and use our class key to sign into the class. CPS response pads should be brought to EVERY class. They will be used to take attendance and to administer class quizzes. (Available at the Blinn Bookstore)

Section 320 Class Key for Spring 2013: (case sensitive): M73601I463.

Course Requirements

Course Requirements and Criteria for Grading

a.  eCampus: Access to the Internet is REQUIRED. Internet access at home would certainly be a plus, however, all students at Blinn College and/or Texas A&M have computing resources available to them. The Open Computer Labs at Blinn College are located in Room H-225, the Learning Center (L-258 above the Library), and the Library. If you are not familiar with these, see me or inquire at the Learning Center, for more details, ASAP. eCampus is an online course tool. It is in essence a virtual classroom through which I will be posting course related materials and information, assignment instructions, quizzes and assignment due dates, test and exam dates, and important announcements. You will also be able to contact me with questions and or problems you might be having and have the ability to contact your classmates. It will be your responsibility to check this site daily: and click “Spring 2013- BIOL-1406-320 - General Biology I”.

b.  Final Exam: The Final is a common comprehensive final worth 200 points. It will consist of at least 100 multiple choice type questions, 4 short answer questions, and bonus questions. I will reschedule your final exam date only when you have a clash in final exam time and can provide a letter from your academic advisor to confirm the time conflict. Please come and see me ASAP so that I may plan accordingly.

Section 320 Final Exam will be on May 02, Thursday, from 07:45 to 09:45 am in lecture room S-225.

c.  Tests: There will be four tests each worth 100 points. Student’s test totals will consist of the top three tests for a total of 300 points. Tests may consist of a combination of true/false, multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank, and short answer questions. The exact date of the tests will be announced in class at least two class periods prior to the examination date, but will follow the course schedule as closely as possible. Make-up tests will only be offered to those with excused absences and proper documentations, no exceptions. Excused absences in addition to those officially recognized by Blinn (see “Attendance” below) include: illness with a doctor's note, or death of a close family member with documentation provided by funeral home. Students must contact me before the following class period to schedule a make-up. If you know that you will need to miss a test prior to the test date, contact me ASAP so that I may plan accordingly.

d.  Daily Lecture Quizzes and Activities, and Take-Home Assignments: Daily quizzes and activities, or take-home assignments will be given to help students gauge their progress in learning the materials. These quizzes, activities, and assignments worth a total of 100 points and will cover material from the previous lectures and from the textbook. In most cases, your CPS response pad will be required to take these quizzes.

e.  Laboratory Practical Exams: There will be two lab practical exams worth 100 points each. Lab practical exams will test student’s ability to carry out specific tasks or techniques that relate to lab activities performed and/or the overall student learning outcomes for the laboratory. Additional short answer, problem solving, or fill-in-the-blank questions may also be administered. There will be NO MAKE-UP EXAMS for the lab.

f.  Laboratory Exercises: Lab exercises (at least 15) are worth a total of 200 points. Each lab exercise is to be completed during the lab and turned in at the end of the period or as instructed. For the most part, each laboratory exercise will be assigned a maximum grade of 12 points. Additional deductions will be taken for incomplete work or failure to demonstrate general competency of the assigned material. Failure to turn assignments in on time automatically reduces the grade to a maximum of 6 points. Assignments that are more than a week late will not be accepted.

g.  Bonus Points: Throughout the semester, take-home assignments, and weekly eCampus quizzes (due on Sundays before 11:45pm), will be given to help students gauge progress in learning the materials. These take-home assignments and quizzes are worth at least a total of 50 points and will be used as bonus points that will be added to your point total at the end of the semester.

h.  Due dates (milestones) for all assignments and quizzes (see eCampus Calender):




Survey of Experience and Expectations

01/20 Online

Bonus Take-Home Assignment- Index of Learning Style

01/22 In Class

Bonus Quiz #1 (Ch. 1-2)

01/27 Online

StudyMate- Organic Molecules

01/31 Online (due early)

Bonus Quiz #2 (Ch. 3)

02/03 Online

Bonus Quiz #3 (Ch. 4)

02/10 Online

Bonus Quiz #4 (Ch. 5)

02/17 Online

Bonus Quiz #5 (Ch. 6-7)

03/03 Online

Take-Home Assignment- Ch 8 Concept Map

03/05 In Class

Bonus Quiz #6 (Ch. 8)

03/17 Online

Take-Home Assignment- DNA Origami

03/19 In Class

Bonus Quiz #7 (Ch. 11)

03/24 Online

Take-Home Assignment- “Missing Lincs” Summary

04/04 In Class

Bonus Quiz #8 (Ch. 12)

04/07 Online

Bonus Quiz #9 (Ch. 15)

04/14 Online

Take-Home Assignment- Genetics Problems

04/18 In Class

Bonus Quiz #10 (Ch. 16-17)

05/01 Online (due early)

i.  Major Test/Exam Dates At a Glance (see eCampus Calender):

MW Test/Exam


Lab Practical Exam


Test #1

01/31, Thursday

Lab Practical Exam #1

03/07, Thursday

Test #2

02/26, Tuesday

Lab Practical Exam #2

04/25, Thursday

Test #3

03/26, Tuesday



Test #4

04/23, Tuesday



Final Exam

05/02, Thursday



j.  Keys to a Successful and Productive Semester: We will be covering a lot of materials in this class. It is very important that you stay on top of your readings and take time to think through and understand the materials.

  • Connect with the course materials takes time. To be successful in this class, I expect that you will spend at least 3 hours after each class (at least 6 hours per week) to not only complete homework before coming to class, but also think through and apply what you have learned.
  • Connect with your peers creates opportunities. It is important that you work well with your peers in/out of class. This will give you opportunities to learn from others and also teach others as well.
  • Connect with your instructor takes initiative. If you need help, come and see me early. Let me work with you to solve any problems or answer any questions that you may have. Be proactive. Take control of your learning. Let’s work together to achieve your goal set for this class.



Evaluation criteria (see previous section)

a.  Point Allocation:

Evaluation Methods


Comprehensive Final Exam


Tests (Top 3 of 4)


Daily Lecture Quizzes/Activities


Lab Practical Exams (2)


Lab Exercises


Total Points















b.  Approximate Grading Scale:

Letter Grade

Percent Total*

Total Points


90 to 100 %

≥ 900


80 to 89 %



70 to 79 %



60 to 69 %



Below 59 %

≤ 599










c.  Grade updates: I will provide periodic updates of your total and grade to help you gauge whether you are meeting your goal set for the class. 

Your Percent Total = (Your Total Points + Bonus)/1000 x 100 = _____%

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook,

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty

member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook,  In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook,

Electronic Devices

All the functions of all personal electronic devices designed for communication and/or entertainment (cell phones, pagers, beepers, iPods, and similar devices) must be turned off and kept out of sight in all College District classrooms and associated laboratories.  Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Course Policies

Additional Notes on Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy at a Glance:

Attendance Policy Mapping

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty member with appropriate documentation. Missing lecture or lab or both will count as one absenceFor classes that meet twice a week during the spring semester two absences counts as one week's absence.  Students accumulating two week’s worth of absences (four unexcused absences) will be dropped.

The last day to drop this semester with a Q is Friday, April 12, 2013.

Other Policies

Problem Resolution: If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try and resolve the problems or issues. If the problems or issues cannot be resolved at the instructor level, you should request a conference with the Division Chair, Mr. Dwight Bohlmeyer, Science 241, [email protected].

Eating and Drinking:  Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories.


Outline of the Course Content and Schedule (TR)*

Updated: 12/17/12





Lecture Topic

Laboratory Topic






First Day /Intro to Biology

Intro to Biol/Atoms & Molecules

Labs 1 & 2 – Safety/Process of Science

Lab 3 – The Scientific Method






Atoms, Molecules, and Water

Organic Molecules

Lab 4 and 5 – Exp. Design/Graphing

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement






Organic Molecules

Test #1  (1-3)

Organic Molecules Activity

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement cont’d





General Features of Cell

Lab 7 – Testing for Organic Molecules

Lab 8 – Microscopy





Membrane Structure, & Transport

Lab 9 – Observing Cells in Action

Lab 10 – Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells







Energy, Enzymes, & Metabolism

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport cont’d






Test #2  (4-6, 10)

Cellular Respiration

Ch 7: Cellular Respiration

Cellular Respiration Concept Maps






Review for Lab Practical #1

Lab Exam #1 (Thursday, 03/07)



Happy Spring Break (03/11-03/15) – No Classes





Nucleic Acid Structure

Lab 12 – Spectrophotometry

Lab 13 – Chromatography






Test #3  (7-8, 11)

Gene Expression

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis cont’d






Gene Expression

Gene Regulation/Mutation

Gene Expression Concept Maps

Lab 15 – DNA Isolation

13 Q




Eukaryotic Cell Cycle

Lab 16 – Restriction Endonucleases

Lab 17 – Mitosis





Simple Patterns of Inheritance

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics cont’d






Test #4 (12-16)

Complex Patterns of Inheritance

Review for Lab Exam #2

Lab Exam #2 (Thursday, 04/25)






Complex Patterns of Inheritance

No Class

Review and Assessment

No Class


Final Exam

Section 320- May 02, Thursday, from 07:45 to 09:45 am in lecture room S-225


* In case of course schedule changes, updates will be posted on eCampus and notified in class.

Q Q-drop, last day to withdraw with a “Q” is Friday, April 12, 2013.