Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2018/2019

BIOL 108: Human Biology

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  Course Description

Human Biology examines the human structure and function and the relationships between humans and their environment, including other living things. Fundamental biological principles as they apply to humans are explored. This course is intended for non-majors and those majors who need an introductory course before enrolling in BIOL 110.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: Midterm



  • Mader, S. (2016). Human Biology (14th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Publishers.  
    • [ISBN-978-1-259-24574-9]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

Welcome to BIOL 108 Human Biology, online! In this course you will be introduced to scientific reasoning and methods, examine the characteristics common to all life forms, and explore basic human cellular structure and function. Each week we will focus on different issues and concepts relating to life through our online discussions which will be reinforced and expanded by readings and study aids from the text, Human Biology. This class is designed to give you a good, basic understanding of human biology.

We will cover the following topics:

  • Week 1 – Exploring life and science; chemistry of life
  • Week 2 – Cell structure and function; organization and regulation of body systems
  • Week 3 – Cardiovascular system-heart and blood vessels and blood
  • Week 4 – Lymphatic system and Immunity
  • Week 5 – Digestive systems and nutrition; reproductive systems
  • Week 6 – Patterns of chromosome inheritance; patterns of genetic inheritance
  • Week 7 – DNA biology technology; human evolution
  • Week 8 – Global Ecology and Human Interferences; Human Population, Global Resources, and Conservation

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Objectives

  • Practice scientific reasoning and methods
  • Examine basic characteristics common to all life forms
  • Examine basic human structure and function
  • Describe how humans have evolved
  • Describe how living organisms interact with their environment

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Describe and be able to use the scientific method
  • List the characteristics shared by all life forms
  • Summarize the basic structures and functions of cells
  • Explain the human life cycle
  • Demonstrate basic genetic crosses
  • Explain the basis for several human genetic diseases
  • Define biotechnology and give examples of its use
  • Describe the structure and function of one or more human organ systems
  • Define evolution and list the evidence for evolution
  • Characterize and distinguish between different taxonomic levels
  • Use demographics to describe a population
  • Summarize the components of an ecosystem
  • Describe how humans impact their environment


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 540-600 90-100%
B 480-539 80-89%
C 420-479 70-79%
D 360-419 60-69%
F 0-359 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (16) 80 13%
Worksheets (8) 240 40%
Quizzes (4) 40 7%
Midterm Exam 120 20%
Final Exam 120 20%
Total 600 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 2 5 Friday/Sunday
Worksheet 1 30 Sunday
Quiz 1 10

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 4 5 Friday/Sunday
Worksheet 2 30 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 6 5 Friday/Sunday
Worksheet 3 30 Sunday
Quiz 2 10

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 8 5 Friday/Sunday
Worksheet 4 30 Sunday
Midterm Exam (Proctored) 120

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 10 5 Friday/Sunday
Worksheet 5 30 Sunday
Quiz 3 10

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 12 5 Friday/Sunday
Worksheet 6 30 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 14 5 Friday/Sunday
Worksheet 7 30 Sunday
Quiz 4 10

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 5 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 16 5 Friday/Saturday
Worksheet 8 30 Saturday
Final Exam (Non-proctored) 120
Total Points: 600

  Assignment Overview

Each student is responsible for:

  • Completing weekly reading assignments
  • Completing two weekly discussion questions in the online threads.
  • Completing eight worksheet assignments
  • Completing four quizzes
  • Completing two course exams
  • Complete the Plagiarism tutorial and quiz prior to submitting any assignments


Text readings should be completed prior to submitting assignments or weekly discussion postings. All graded assignments will rely on information derived from the text. All other sources must be identified.


Each week, you are required to actively participate in two discussions and you are strongly encouraged to read all postings of other students and the instructor. You must post one original “answer” for each discussion assignment -- one due on Wednesday by midnight and the other on Friday by midnight. Additionally, within each discussion, you are required to meaningfully respond to at least one other student’s post or to one of the instructor’s posts, i.e. clarifying previous statements, extending answers to previous questions, and exploring concepts that need further fleshing out with details and examples. Response posts to both discussions are due Sunday by midnight. Once submitted and graded, answer postings will not be re-graded based on additional information submitted later. Discussion answer postings and response postings will be graded according to the rubric outlined in the Grading Criteria module in the course Content area.

Worksheet Assignments

Each week, a Worksheet assignment must be completed and posted to the Dropbox by Sunday. The worksheets are located in the course’s Content area. Worksheets are to be submitted in final form with the best answer. Any information copied from any source INCLUDING THE TEXT must include quotation marks and a reference. Once submitted and graded the worksheet will not be re-graded based on additional information submitted. Ensure the worksheet is comprehensive and complete when submitted.


There will be four quizzes throughout the course. There will be two quizzes before the Midterm and two before the Final. Each quiz will be composed of 10 multiple choice or true/false questions and is worth a total of 10 points (for a total of 40 points possible on quizzes in the course). Quizzes are available through the Quizzes area. You have 12 minutes to complete each quiz. The quizzes will be due no later than Sunday of the week in which they are assigned.


There will be a Midterm and a Final exam, each worth 120 points. Each exam will consist of two parts. For the Midterm, Part 1 will consist of 40 multiple-choice or true-false questions and Part 2 will consist of four essay type questions. Both Parts 1 and 2 of the Midterm will be taken on the computer during the assigned, two-hour period of Week 4. The format of the Final exam is different from the Midterm; it is not proctored. The Final also consists of 2 parts, but they are submitted separately. Part 1 consist of 40 multiple-choice or true-false questions taken on a computer. Part 2 consists of 4 essays whose topics will be posted by Tuesday of Week 8 and must be submitted via the Dropbox folder labeled “Final” by midnight Saturday of Week 8. Only the Midterm exam is proctored.

Optional Activities

Optional learning and study aid animations are available through the text at the text website at (http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/1259245748/student_view0/student_resources.html). After you access the site choose a chapter and an animation–this will enable you to review the materials associated with each chapter. Frequent use of this website is strongly encouraged throughout the course.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.


Chapters 1 and 2

Discussion 1
Identify and discuss the characteristics of life. Do not cut and paste answers.
Discussion 2

Water is critical for life. Define and explain hydrogen bonding. List and discuss the properties of water and explain the role that hydrogen bonding plays in the properties.

Worksheet 1

Complete Worksheet 1 located in the Content area. Answer the questions with the best answer. Any information copied from any source INCLUDING THE TEXT must include quotation marks and a reference. Submit to Dropbox 1 by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Quiz 1

Complete Quiz 1 in the Quizzes area of the course by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.


Chapters 3 and 4

Discussion 3

Cellular respiration is a vital process. Define cellular respiration, and identify the specific steps and the major energy molecule produced.

Discussion 4

Chapter 1 identified that life is homeostatic. What does this mean and how does the body achieve homeostasis? Do not cut and paste or just quote/copy from the text – explain in your own words.

Worksheet 2

Complete Worksheet 2 located in the Content area. Answer the questions with the best answer. Any information copied from any source INCLUDING THE TEXT must include quotation marks and a reference. Submit to Dropbox 2 by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.

Chapters 5 and 6

Discussion 5

Identify and compare the two major cardiovascular circuits in the human body. Include the purpose of each and the organs involved. Do not cut and paste information from the text or other sources.

Discussion 6

How do red and white blood cells differ in function? Identify the different types of white blood cells and their functions. No cutting and pasting.

Worksheet 3

Complete Worksheet 3 located in the Content area. Answer the questions with the best answer. Any information copied from any source INCLUDING THE TEXT must include quotation marks and a reference. Submit to Dropbox 3 by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Quiz 2

Complete Quiz 2 in the Quizzes area of the course by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.


Chapter 7

Discussion 7

Explain the differences between the first and second line of body defenses against infection by pathogens.

Discussion 8

Identify the function(s) of the lymphatic system. Identify one difference and one similarity between the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems.

Worksheet 4

Complete Worksheet 4 located in the Content area. Answer the questions with the best answer. Any information copied from any source INCLUDING THE TEXT must include quotation marks and a reference. Submit to Dropbox 4 by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Midterm Exam (Proctored)

Your midterm exam will consist of 40 multiple-choice or true/false questions and four essay type questions. The exam will cover all the material covered in the first four weeks of class including chapters 1 - 7. The exam must be completed in two hours under the supervision of an approved proctor. You will have only 1 attempt at the exam. No notes, books or other reference materials are allowed during the exam. The exam must be completed between Tuesday and Sunday of Week 4.


Chapters 9 and 17

Discussion 9

Define obesity and identify why it is considered to be a health risk.

Discussion 10

The male and female reproductive systems are controlled by hormones and feedback systems. Identify and discuss one feedback system from either sex and identify the hormones and structures/organs involved.

Worksheet 5

Complete Worksheet 5 located in the Content area. Answer the questions with the best answer. Any information copied from any source INCLUDING THE TEXT must include quotation marks and a reference. Submit to Dropbox 5 by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Quiz 3

Complete Quiz 3 in the Quizzes area of the course by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.


Chapters 19 and 21

Discussion 11

Mitosis and meiosis are important processes.  a) What does each accomplish? b) Where in the human body can each occur? and c) How do the cells produced compare in chromosome number to the parent cells?

Discussion 12

Assume simple dominant and recessive genetics apply for this discussion. You are looking at two people: one shows a dominant phenotype (in this example, a tall person) and the other a recessive phenotype (in this example, a short person). Is it possible to positively determine the genotype of either person? If so, which one and why? Explain your answer.

Worksheet 6

Complete Worksheet 6 located in the Content area. Answer the questions with the best answer. Any information copied from any source INCLUDING THE TEXT must include quotation marks and a reference. Submit to Dropbox 6 by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.

Chapters 22 and 23

Discussion 13

How does complementary base pairing facilitate DNA replication and the processes of transcription and translation?

Discussion 14

What did the experiments by Stanley Miller demonstrate about the formation of the first organic molecules? Why was it significant?

Worksheet 7

Complete Worksheet 7 located in the Content area. Answer the questions with the best answer. Any information copied from any source INCLUDING THE TEXT must include quotation marks and a reference. Submit to Dropbox 7 by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Quiz 4

Complete Quiz 4 in the Quizzes area of the course by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.


Chapters 24 and 25

Discussion 15

How do energy and nutrients move through ecosystems? Indicate whether each is recycled. Define trophic levels and explain their involvement/role in energy movement.

Discussion 16

Define nonrenewable resources and identify four examples (only one energy resource allowed).

Worksheet 8

Complete Worksheet 8 located in the Content area. Answer the questions with the best answer. Any information copied from any source INCLUDING THE TEXT must include quotation marks and a reference. Submit to Dropbox 8 by Saturday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Final Exam (Non-proctored)

Your final exam will cover Chapters 9, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. and consist of two parts. Part 1 consists of 40 multiple choice and true/false questions completed in the Quizzes area. You will have 90 minutes to complete Part 1 and you may take it anytime between Tuesday and Saturday of Week 8. Part 2 consists of 4 essay type questions available in the Content area on Tuesday of Week 8. Submit your answers as a Word document to the Final Exam Dropbox. Both Part 1 and 2 are due no later than Saturday at 11:59PM Central Time. After that time, you will not be allowed to submit the exam and will receive a zero as a grade.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late assignments will be accepted without a penalty assessment as stated in this syllabus unless there are truly extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student. The instructor must be notified prior to the due date of the assignment if it will be late.

Discussions: No late discussion posts will be accepted. 

Quizzes: There is a 12-minute time limit for all quizzes. You will receive a 20% grade penalty for each minute exceeding the time limit.

Worksheets: I will count off 20% of the total points possible for a worksheet each day it is late. In the case of the wrong worksheet being submitted, penalty points will be assessed each day until the correct worksheet is submitted.

Exams: The Midterm exam must be taken during Week 4 unless special arrangements and approval have been received from the instructor to delay the exam until Week 5. An extension may incur a minimum 10% tardiness penalty if taken during Week 5. Midterm exams cannot be taken after Week 5. The Final exam will not be accepted late.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.