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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Biology - BIOL

General Biology I BIOL-1406

  • Spring 2013
  • Section SECTION_304 CRN-20503
  • 4 Credits
  • 01/14/2013 to 05/07/2013
  • Modified 01/11/2013

Meeting Times


  • Monday, Wednesday, 9:10 AM to 10:25 AM, S-225


  • Monday, Wednesday, 10:35 AM to 11:50 AM, S-224

Contact Information

Instructor: Michelle McNeil

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM, S-234
  • Tuesday, Thursday, 1:45 PM to 3:00 PM, S-234


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 

Required Connect Registration

Connect is an online learning site related to your lecture textbook. Unless your textbook comes with a free access code (new book from the campus bookstore should…if you buy it new somewhere else make sure that it comes with a code), you will need to purchase access online ($25).

Online registration instructions: Go to the following web address and click the "register now" button:

Required eCampus access

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 Lab at Blinn College is located in Room H-225. If you are not familiar with these, see me or inquire at the Learning Center in the Library Building, Room 258, for more details. eCampus is an online course tool. It is in essence a virtual classroom through which I will be posting course related materials: PowerPoint lecture notes, schedule changes, course calendar, announcements, gradebook, as well as homework and bonus assignments. 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. To access eCampus, go to  and select this course (Spring 2013 - BIOL-1406-304 - General Biology I). For help on how to navigate eCampus, go to or for problems accessing eCampus contact Distance Education at

Student E-mails

Students are assigned an E-mail address that must be checked regularly for official Blinn communications and course information. The address is of the form: Firstname.LastnameLast2digitsBlinnID  Information about accessing this account can be found at:


(5) AccuScan Advantage Form #28980 (available @ Blinn Bookstore or Learning Center) for lecture exams and the final exam.

Course Requirements

Lecture Exams

  • There will be 4 major lecture exams during the semester.
  • On average, exams will cover 3-4 chapters and will include material covered in lecture, readings from your lecture text, material covered in Connect and eCampus, and your notes..
  • Exams may include multiple choice questions, fill-in-the-blank, labeling diagrams, and short answer essay (1-2 paragraphs) questions.
  • Take these exams very seriously. Do not wait until the day before the test to begin preparing for an exam.
  • All exams will be closed-book and closed-note and all electronic devices, including cell phones, must be turned off.
  • There are no scheduled “make-up” lecture exams. Unless the student contacts the instructor within 24 hours of the absence with an official Blinn excused absence (see attendance policy), any missed exam will count as a grade of zero.
  • After grading, exams will either be temporarily returned to the student for in-class review for 5 minutes OR the most-missed questions will be reviewed by the instructor. If exams are temporarily returned, neither questions nor answers may be copied or photographed in any way. You may come to my office during office hours to review any exams that you wish.

Laboratory Practical Assessments

  • There will be two lab assessments this semester. These exams are departmental and common (all 1406 students take the same exam). 
  • Laboratory exams will consist of short answer, problem solving, or fill-in-the-blank questions.
  • Study guides for each lab practical are provided ahead of time and can be found at the back of the lab manual in the Appendix.
  • Take these practical exams very seriously. Do not wait until the day before the test to begin preparing for an exam.
  • There will be NO MAKE-UP EXAMS for the lab practicals. No exceptions.

Class Participation

Almost every week in class, there will be lecture quizzes, in-class assignments, homework assignments, or in-class discussions that will be used to measure your understanding of material that is being presented in lecture or lab. It is your responsibility as a student to be prepared every day for a possible assignment or in-class discussion and to keep up with the lecture and lab material.

  • Lecture Activities - Throughout the semester there will be lecture quizzes, departmental assessments, in-class assignments, or online homework assignments that will be used to measure your understanding of material that is being presented in lecture, or that will cover material from a previous lecture or assigned readings. Lecture activities constitute 150% of your final grade.
  • Lab Homework – Most lab worksheets and review questions will be completed during the lab period and taken up for a participation grade. Lab worksheets are due at the end of the lab unless you are specifically given permission to turn them in at the beginning of the next lab period. Lab homework constitutes 150% of your final grade.
    • In order to receive full credit for lab assignments, students must stay for the entire lab session and check out with the instructor before leaving the lab. Points will also be deducted for incorrect answers or incompleteness.
    • Failure to turn assignments in on time will automatically result in a point deduction for that assignment.  Late assignments will only be accepted up to 1 class period late and will result in an automatic 2 point deduction. After the one-day grace period, assignments will not be accepted.
    • If you missed a lab and therefore missed turning in an assignment, that assignment will not be accepted upon your return (unless your absence was an official Blinn excused absence, or an absence excused at the instructor’s discretion.) Also, assignments will not be accepted from your lab partners and/or classmates if you aren’t present.
    • There are no makeup labs. If you miss a lab, then you are responsible for obtaining the material and information from your lab manual, lab group or the instructor.

Final Exam

The Final is a mandatory departmental comprehensive exam worth 200 points. It will consist of 100 multiple choice questions covering all chapters covered during the course.  All students must take the final examination at their designated time. If you miss the final exam, a grade of zero will be recorded. There will be no final exam make-ups, no exceptions.

FINAL EXAM Section 304: Monday, May 6th from 10:15 am -12:15 pm in S224 (LAB ROOM)

Bonus Opportunities

Throughout the semester, there will be opportunities for bonus points in the form of eCampus, or homework assignments.  Take advantage of these opportunities when they are offered and pay attention to due dates, do not ask me for “extra credit” at the end of the semester.  I provide bonus points to every member of the class uniformly and these bonus opportunities will be used to generate extra points that will be added to your point total at the end of the semester. Since I do not curve individual exam scores, these bonus activities will help generate a curve.


I expect that you will spend time after each class to study and review your notes, read assigned chapters and labs before coming to class, and complete any offered study materials. A course schedule containing a list of the topics and chapters to be covered has been provided. You are required to get a textbook and a lab manual.  There is a lot of material to be covered in this course and we may not get to all of the material in the textbook in class, but you will still be responsible for the assigned chapters on an exam. Because of the quantity of material to be covered, do not fall behind in your readings.

The same level of preparation is also expected regarding lab time – it is your responsibility to come to lab prepared. I will only give a brief intro or demonstration for each lab exercise; the rest of the time, it is up to you to get through the material assigned for that day. Please read the assigned activity in the lab manual (see Course Schedule) before coming to lab and always bring your lab manual to class.  This will greatly facilitate your progression through the assigned material for that day as well as reduce the potential for errors made in lab.


Each student is required to participate in lab exercises.  Students are responsible for their work area, and should return any material or equipment to its proper location. Remember a clean lab area minimizes the health hazards that a student might be exposed to. A student not actively involved in lab exercises must have valid documented justification for not participating in class exercises. Use your lab time efficiently, especially as skills learned will be evaluated during Laboratory Practicals.



Your final score is based on a percentage scale and will be calculated by taking the sum of your earned points (your grades) as per the table shown. Do not base your course grade on expectations of curving, extra credit points, or dropped exams.

Course Evaluation Method


Class Participation (Lecture Activities)


Class Participation (Lab Homework)


Lecture Exams


Lab Practicals


Comprehensive Final Exam


Bonus Points




Grade Updates: I will provide periodic updates of your total points earned and grade-to-date on eCampus to help you gauge whether you are meeting your goals for the course. However, please realize that it may take a week for graded exams to be returned. Due to FERPA guidelines, I cannot discuss your grades via e-mail or phone call; any discussion of grades must be done in person during office hours or during a scheduled conference.


Letter Grade











≤ 599

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.

In order to be considered as an excusable absence, you must notify me within 24 hours of being absent. You must present me with your documentation the first day you return to class from being absent.  If you are too sick to come to class, you are sick enough to see a doctor.  In this case, you MUST bring me a doctor’s note stating why you were absent.  This does not include a regular doctor’s appointment that was scheduled during class time, only unscheduled instances or medical emergencies where you are ill and need a doctor’s care. If a family emergency exists, you must provide documentation (ex: obituary, doctor’s note for the family member, funeral program etc.).  If an accident occurs, I must receive documentation that you were involved (ex: police report ).

If you are more than 15 minutes late to lecture or lab, or if you leave class for an unexcused extended period of time, you will be counted as absent.

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.




Lecture Topic

Laboratory Topic




First Day /Chapter 1

Chapter 1/Chapter 2

Labs 1 & 2 – Safety/Process of Science

Lab 3 – The Scientific Method




MLK Holiday – No Classes

Chapter 2

MLK Holiday – No Classes

Lab 4 and 5 – Exp. Design/Graphing




Chapter 3

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement

Organic Molecules Activity




Exam 1 (Ch. 1-3)

Chapter 4

Lab 6 – Metric Measurement cont’d

Lab 7 – Testing for Organic Molecules




Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Lab 8 – Microscopy

Lab 9 – Observing Cells in Action




Chapter 5

Chapter 10

Lab 10 – Prokaryotic & Eukaryotic Cells

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport




Chapter 6

Exam 2  (Ch. 4-6, 10)

Lab 11 – Membrane Transport cont’d

Ch 7: Cellular Respiration




Chapter 7

Cellular Resp. Concept Maps

Review for Lab Practical #1

Lab Exam #1 (Wednesday, 03/06)



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




Chapter 8

Chapter 11

Ch 8: Photosynthesis

Lab 12 – Spectrophotometry




Chapter 11

Exam 3 (Ch. 7-8, 11)

Lab 13 – Chromatography

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis




Chapter 12

Lab 14 – Photosynthesis cont’d

Gene Expression Concept Maps

13 Q



Chapter 13/Chapter 14 Chapter 15

Lab 15 – DNA Isolation

Lab 16 – Restriction Endonucleases




Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Lab 17 – Mitosis

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics




Chapter 16

Exam 4 (Ch. 12-16)

Lab 18 – Mendelian Genetics cont’d

Review for Lab Exam #2




Chapter 17

Lab Exam #2 (Monday, 04/29)

Review and Assessment


Final Exam

Monday, May 6th from 10:15 am -12:15 pm in S224 (LAB ROOM)

DUE DATES for Connect Homework:


All assignments are due at 5:00 pm unless otherwise indicated.



Due Date


Due Date

Chapter 1

Friday, January 18th

Chapter 8

Friday, March 22nd

Chapter 2

Friday, January 25th

Chapter 11

Monday, Mar. 25th @ 11:00pm

Chapter 3

Friday, February 1st

Chapter 12

Friday, March 5th

Chapter 4

Friday, February 8th

Chapter 13 & Chapter 14

Friday, March 12th

Chapter 5 & Chapter 10

Friday, February 22nd

Chapter 15

Friday, March 19th

Chapter 6

Monday, Feb. 25th @ 11:00pm

Chapter 16

Monday, Mar. 22nd @ 11:00pm

Chapter 7

Friday, March 8th

Chapter 17

Friday, May 3rd