Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

BIOL 112: Principles Of Biology II

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  Course Description

A continuation of BIOL 110.  Topics to be covered include population genetics, evolution and natural selection, taxonomy, survey of plants and animals, and ecology and ecosystems.

Prerequisite: BIOL 110

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  Mader, Sylvia S. & Windelspecht, Michael. (2016). Biology (12th). McGraw-Hill.  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

BIOL 112 is a general biology course that builds on the information and concepts taught in BIOL 110. BIOL 110 covers basic chemistry, cell structure and function, cell reproduction and basic genetics. BIOL 112 focuses on higher levels of organization in living systems including organisms, populations and communities. Evolution is the underlying paradigm for all biology and will be woven throughout this course. Thus, we will also closely examine the process of evolution to discover how it affects all levels and aspects of living things. By the end of this course you will have an appreciation for the scope of biology above the cellular level including the important processes that influence living systems. Throughout the course you should attempt to integrate the material learned in BIOL 110 with the material in BIOL 112 to create a comprehensive overview of the science of life.

We have a lot of material to cover in only eight weeks and you should be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to reading and comprehending the assigned material. You will be given reading assignments from the textbook for each week. The material will be the basis for the online discussion questions and will also be tested by the weekly quizzes and the midterm and comprehensive final exam. It will be up to you to organize and study the material for the quizzes and exams.

  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 Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and illustrate the core principles of natural selection and evolution.
  2. Apply the biological species concept and give examples of how new species arise.
  3. Using taxonomic hierarchy, name the major taxonomic groups of life and list defining characteristics of each.
  4. List characteristics used to describe populations and describe population growth patterns.
  5. Outline the major biogeochemical cycles and illustrate energy movement in an ecosystem.
  6. Compare characteristics of major biomes and aquatic ecosystems.
  7. Describe how species interact at the community level and list the effects of these interactions.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 522-580 90-100%
B 464-521 80-89%
C 406-463 70-79%
D 348-405 60-69%
F 0-347 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 80 14%
Review Quizzes 150 26%
Proctored Midterm Exam 150 26%
Proctored Comprehensive Final Exam 200 34%
Total 580 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1: Introduction - Sunday
Quiz 1 25
Discussion 2 10 Thursday/Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 2 25 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 10 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 3 25 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 Thursday/Sunday
Midterm Exam 150 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 4 25 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 5 25 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 10 Thursday/Sunday
Quiz 6 25 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Thursday/Saturday
Final Exam 200 Saturday
Total Points: 580

  Assignment Overview


Each week you will have a discussion topic. Your initial discussion post is due by Thursday at 11:59 pm CT of each assigned week. You must also post two response posts by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT of that same week, except for Week 8 when they are due on Saturday. Each discussion is worth 10 points. Discussion will be graded according to the Discussion grading criteria provided in the course. If you use a source other than the textbook, you must cite it using APA in your discussion.


There will be a review quiz each week worth 25 points.  Each quiz will cover all material presented in the respective week. Each quiz will consist of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank or true-false questions, and you will have 50 minutes to complete each quiz.


There will be a proctored midterm exam covering the first four weeks of material. It is worth 150 points and it will consist of 60 multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and true/false questions. It will be available in the Quizzes area of the course during Week 4. Please see Proctor Policy for specific information about arranging your proctor. You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam.

There is a proctored final exam worth 200 points. This exam will consist of 75 multiple-choice, multi-select, labeling, fill-in-the-blank, matching, and true/false questions. The final exam is comprehensive. It will be available in the Quizzes area of the course during Week 8. Please see Proctor Policy for specific information about arranging your proctor. You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam.

  Course Outline

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


•    Chapter 16
•    Chapter 17
•    Chapter 18

Discussion 1: Introduction

It is a general introduction to understand the scope of the course and its requirements. It is also an opportunity to get to know each other. We will understand the online medium of learning and set expectations accordingly.

Quiz 1

Review quiz over Chapters 16-18. There will be 25 multiple choice, true/false, and/or fill-in-the-blank questions.

Discussion 2

Please describe the various 'definitions' of species that can be used in a study. What are the advantages and disadvantages of one based on DNA sequences as opposed to the evolutionary and biological species concept?


•    Chapter 19
•    Chapter 20

Discussion 3

Recent DNA evidence suggests to some plant taxonomists that the traditional way of classifying flowering plants is not correct, and that flowering plants need to be completely reclassified. Other botanists disagree, saying it would be chaotic and unwise to disregard the historical classification groups. Argue for and against keeping traditional classification schemes.

Quiz 2

Review quiz over Chapters 19-20. There will be 25 multiple choice, true/false, and/or fill-in-the-blank questions.

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.

•    Chapter 21
•    Chapter 22

Discussion 4

Some scientists call the Kingdom Protists the ‘miscellaneous’ kingdom, where all things that are not obviously a plant, animal, fungi, or prokaryotes are lumped together. Others argue that Protists as a group are uniquely different from all other life forms. Make an argument on both sides, using specific characteristics of Protists to support your positions.

Quiz 3

Review quiz over Chapters 21-22. There will be 25 multiple choice, true/false, and/or fill-in-the-blank questions.


•    Chapter 23
•    Chapter 24

Discussion 5

Give examples of different types of leaves and their functions. Why is there such diversity? Why would so many different types of leaves evolve?

Midterm Exam

Proctored midterm exam over Chapters 16-24.


•    Chapter 28
•    Chapter 29

Discussion 6

Multicellular animals are thought to have evolved from single-celled protists resembling the choanoflagellates that exist today. Describe some specific advantages to multicellularity that gave animals an advantage over their single-celled relatives.

Quiz 4

Review quiz over Chapters 28-29. There will be 25 multiple choice, true/false, and/or fill-in-the-blank questions.


•    Chapter 30
•    Chapter 43

Discussion 7

Bipedalism has many selective advantages. However, there is one disadvantage to walking on two feet: Giving birth to an offspring with a large head through a smaller pelvic opening, which is necessitated by upright posture, is very difficult. This situation results in a high percentage of deaths (of both mother and child) during birth compared to other primates. How do you explain the selection of a trait that is both positive and negative?

Quiz 5

Review quiz over Chapters 30 and 43. There will be 25 multiple choice, true/false, and/or fill-in-the-blank questions.

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.

•    Chapter 44
•    Chapter 45

Discussion 8

If you observe three species of frogs in the same general area, how would you test a hypothesis that they occupy different niches?

Quiz 6

Review quiz over Chapters 44 and 45. There will be 25 multiple choice, true/false, and/or fill-in-the-blank questions.


•    Chapter 46

Discussion 9

Choose one terrestrial and one aquatic biome to research. Find information on some of the major human disturbances affecting these biomes and describe them in your discussion. Also, discuss why damage to these biomes specifically is detrimental to both humans and the living organisms found there.

Final Exam

Comprehensive proctored final exam. The exam will comprise 75% new material from Chapters 28-30 and 43-46 and 25% review material from Chapters 16-24.

  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.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, 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

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

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 discussion posts will be accepted.

No late assignments will be accepted.

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 Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. 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.