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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Biology - BIOL

General Biology I BIOL-1406

  • Spring 2013 Full Term 2013

  • Section SECTION_335 CRN-20584

  • 4 Credits

  • 01/14/2013 to 05/07/2013

  • Modified 01/09/2013

Meeting Times


Tuesday, Thursday, 4:15 PM to 5:30 PM, S-216


Tuesday, Thursday, 5:40 PM to 6:55 PM, S-215

Contact Information

Instructor: Melissa Layton M.S.

Office: S-117
Phone: 936-681-0159 (cell)

Facebook:  Blinn Botany


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.


Textbook: Biology, 2nd Edition, 2011. Brooker, Widmaier, Graham and Stiling, McGraw Hill 

Lab Manual: Biology 1406 Laboratory Manual, Spring 2013, Richardson et. al. Copy Stop Print & Postal 

Lecture Handouts and Powerpoints: Will be made available on eCampus. Students are advised to print off the handouts and bring them every day to lecture.


Course Requirements


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:

Final Exam

The Final is a common comprehensive final worth 200 points. It will consist of 150 multiple choice 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 335 Final Exam will be on Tuesday, May 7th , from 3:15 to 5:15 pm in the lecture room S-216.


There will be four tests each worth 100 points. Tests may consist of a combination of true/false, multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank, and short answer questions.Please see the lecture and lab schedule containing a list of the topics and chapters to be covered on each test. The exact date of the tests will be posted on eCampus Calendar and also announced in class at least two class periods prior the test date. We  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. There are no curves.

Daily Lecture Quizzes and Activities

Quizzes and in class activities completed in lecture and lab (worth a total of 100 points) are designed to help students gauge their progress in learning the materials and feel comfortable with the types of questions that will be on tests. Quizzes will cover material from the previous lectures, handouts, and/or activities.  The semester will be divided into quarters, the final grade for quizzes and activities for each quarter will be out of 25 points.  These will typically be graded in class by your peers, you will identify your work using the 4 digit ID number of your choosing.

Laboratory Practicals

There will be two lab practicals worth 100 points each. Lab practicals 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.

Laboratory Exercises and Quizzes

Lab exercises and quizzes are worth 100 points. Each lab exercise is to be completed during the lab and turned in at the appropriate time during the following class. Late work will not be accepted. Work will be accepted from students with an excused absence and documentation. These assignments be graded in class by your peers, you will identify your work using the 4 digit ID number of your choosing.  The semester will be divided into quarters, lab assignments from each quarter of the semester will be worth 25 points. Returning disorganized bins, leaving dirty equipment or workspace, or improperly store microscopes will result in the loss of 5 out of 10 points on that lab exercise for everyone in the group.

Bonus Points

There are 50 bonus points available over the course of the semester and are earned by students on a daily basis.  These points are given for attending class and being actively engaged during that time.  Students will lose points for showing up late, leaving early, leaving class frequently, chatting, texting, sleeping, or making the instructor listen to excuses for poor behavior.

Keys to success in General Biology

1.  Active attendance in lecture and lab.  It’s not enough just to show up; you must actively participate in the activities and learning process. 

2.  Keep up with the material.  We will cover a lot of material over the course of the semester; do not wait until the night before the exam to review your notes.

3.  If you don’t understand something, ask me.  I will be around before and after class and you have multiple ways to contact me outside of class.  It’s better to ask me a question and get a really simple answer, than wait until the exams when I’m asking you the questions and taking off points.

4.  Utilize other members of your group.  Studying, missing information from your notes, acting as a sounding board, etc., the people in your group can be a valuable resource.   

Grade updates

I have  provided an Excel spreadsheet (posted on eCampus) so that you can calculate your grade and gauge whether you are meeting the goal set for this class.  You will receive handouts giving you feedback regarding your grade and if you ever have questions, please feel free to ask. 



 Point Allocation:

Evaluation Methods


Comprehensive Final Exam


Lecture Exams (4)


Daily Lecture Quizzes/Activities


Lab Practical (2)


Lab Exercises / Quizzes


Total Points






Grading Scale:

Letter Grade

Percent Total*

Total Points


90 to 100 %



80 to 89 %



70 to 79 %



60 to 69 %



Below 59 %

≤ 599

                   *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

Attendance Policy Reminder

Missing lecture, lab or both will count as one absence. For 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.

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,

Academic Dishonesty

Talking or looking at another student’s work during a quiz or an exam is considered cheating and will not be tolerated. Copying work or allowing others to copy your work are both considered cheating and will result in zeros for everyone involved. If a student demonstrates a pattern of cheating/copying the instructor reserves the right to refuse to grade all future daily work from this individual.

Eating and Drinking

Eating and drinking are not allowed in classrooms or laboratories.


Outline of the course content and Schedule (T Th)*:

Updated: 01/07/13



Lecture Period

Laboratory Period




Syllabus / Introduction

Ch 1: Intro to Biology

Lab 1 & 2 - Safety & Process of Science

Lab 3 – Scientific Method




Ch 2: Atoms & Molecules

Ch 3: Organic Molecules (pt. 1)

Lab 4 and Lab 5

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement




Ch 3: Organic Molecules(pt. 2)

Exam 1 (Ch. 1-3)

Organic Molecules Activity

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement cont.




Ch 4: General Features of Cells (pt. 1)

Ch 4: General Features of Cells (pt. 2)

Lab 7 – Testing for Organic Molecules

Lab 8 – Microscopy




Ch 5: Membrane Structure, Trans. (pt. 1)

Ch 5: Membrane Structure, Trans. (pt. 2)

Lab 9 – Observing Cells in Action

Lab 10 – Prokaryotic & Eukaryotic Cells




Ch 10: Multicellularity

Ch 6: Energy, Enzymes, Metabolism

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport

Review for Lab Practical (pt. 1)




Exam 2 (Ch. 4-6, 10)

Ch 7: Cellular Respiration

Ch 7: Cellular Respiration

Cellular Respiration Concept Map




Ch 8: Photosynthesis (pt. 1)

Ch 8: Photosynthesis (pt. 2)

Review for Lab Practical (pt. 2)

Lab Practical 1 – Thurs. March 7th


Happy Spring Break!! (3/11-3/15)




Ch 11: Nucleic Acid Structure (pt. 1)

Ch 11: Nucleic Acid Structure (pt. 2)

Lab 12 – Spectrophotometer

Lab 13 – Chromatography




Exam 3 (Ch. 7-8, 11)

Ch 12: Gene Expression (pt. 1)

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis cont.




Ch 12: Gene Expression (pt. 2)

Ch 13: Gene Reg./Ch 14: Mutation

Gene Expression Concept Map

Lab 15 - DNA Isolation

13 Q



Ch 15: Eukaryotic Cell Cycle (pt. 1)

Ch 15: Eukaryotic Cell Cycle (pt. 2)

Lab 16 - Restriction Endonucleases and Review

Lab 17 - Mitosis




Ch 16: Simple Patt. of Inheritance (pt. 1)

Ch 16: Simple Patt. of Inheritance (pt. 2)

Lab 18 - Mendelian Genetics

Review for Lab Practical (pt. 2)




Exam 4 (Ch. 12-16)

Ch 17: Complex Patt. of Inheritance

Review for Lab Practical

Lab Practical 2 – Thurs. April 25th




Review for Final

No class

Review and Assessment

No class


Final Exam

May 7, Tuesday, from 3:15 to 5:15 p.m., in lecture room S-216

* 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.