General Biology I


  2. A. Course Title: General Biology I
    B. Course Number: BI 114 - 30200
    C. Semester: Fall 2019
    D. Days/Time: Online
    E. Credit Hours: 4
    F. Instructor: Thompson, Sandra
    G. Office: Heidel Hall (HH) 215
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2816
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 8:30:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST);10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);
    Wednesday: 8:30:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST);10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);1:15:00 PM-3:45:00 PM (MST);
    Friday: 8:30:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST);10:00:00 AM-11:00:00 AM (MST);12:00:00 PM-3:00:00 PM (MST);
    I will answer messages and emails within 24 hours Monday thru Friday and within 48 hours on weekends. I will be online at least once a day for my online students as well. I am also available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 - 3:00 by appointment.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): none
    M. Corequisite(s): BI 114L (General Biology Laboratory CRN-10022)
    N. Class Location: Virtual

    General Biology I stresses the concepts, characteristics, and diversities of life. Emphasis is placed upon the scientific method, the chemistry of living organisms, cell structure and function, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, cell reproduction, inheritance, molecular genetics, and biotechnology. Concurrent enrollment in BI114L (laboratory) is required. This is a four credit hour course.


    Biology 114 (General Biology) is a laboratory life science course geared for non-science majors. Biology 114 will transfer to most two and four-year colleges. Information concerning articulation agreements with regional colleges and universities can be obtained at the NMJC’s Counseling Office. It is important to check with the institution to which you are planning to transfer to determine transferability. Planning for course credit transfer is ultimately the student’s responsibility. All students are encouraged to keep a copy of the course syllabus, as it will help determine the transferability of this course credit to another institution.



    1. TEXTBOOK:Concepts of Biology (2016). OpenStax Rice University
    URL link
    While free downloads are available, students are strongly encouraged to purchase a hardbound copy (ISBN 978-1938168116). Cost is approximately $29.

    2. LABORATORY MANUAL: Inquiry into Life. 16th ed. (2019). Sylvia S. Mader. Publisher McGraw Hill. (ISBN: 978-1260482577)

    3. Access to a personal computer (PC) or laptop with user rights to install required online Canvas plug-ins (e.g. Respondus Browser, Adobe Reader, Flash, & Java). Canvas does not totally support Smart phones, iPads or tablets. A PC or laptop will be needed to submit the majority of coursework.
    4. NON-LOCAL students are also required to have available a computer with a webcam, microphone, and appropriate Internet bandwidth (at least 5 Mbps) to use Respondus Monitor for submission of the proctored final exams. There is a $10 administrative fee for the entire semester.


    1. ONLINE RESOURCE: Mader's Online Learning Center provides resources for studying individual chapters and links to other websites. Website ( may require a password. See your text for log on information.

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    For students to receive credit for any coursework, it must be submitted on or before the deadline. Late work will be not be accepted for credit except under extreme circumstances (e.g. NMJC experiences technical difficulties with its Canvas server for an extended period of time on the last day of submission, student hospitalization or death in the IMMEDIATE family). If this occurs, it is the sole responsibility of the student to report this to the instructor within 24-hours and a one-day extension may be granted.

    Additionally original, individual coursework must be submitted. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in a zero for that particular assignment along with enforcement of other possible sanctions (see NMJC Academic Honesty Policy).

    Grades earned on tests and other assignments will be available in Canvas within 72-hours after the deadline (exception: 5-paragraph essay assignment). The following formula will be used to calculate course grades:
    50% - Lecture Component (Lecture exams, assignments, discussions,position paper, portfolios)
    30% - Laboratory Component (Lab quizzes & assignments)
    20% - Comprehensive Lecture/Lab Final

    Grades earned on tests and other assignments will be available on Canvas.
    No curves or extra credit opportunities will be available.
    FINAL GRADES WILL NOT BE CURVED. I follow the normal rules of math, this means that if you have a 59.4, 69.4, 79.4, or 89.4 you will NOT get the higher grade; however, if you have a 59.5, 69.5, 79.5, or 89.5 you will be rounded up to the higher grade. No exceptions!

    Unit Exams (100 points each) are computerized and need to be submitted on or before the deadline. Each consists of 50 multiple choice questions worth 2-points and are considered closed book and must be completed within respondus lockdown browser.

    Lecture Assignments include the submission of Portfolios, a Position Paper and Genetics Problems

    Portfolios (80 points)Portfolios are to be used as study tools for your lecture exams and come straight from the student learning outcomes below. Each outcome is to be addressed as asked in the portfolio and responses are to be HAND-WRITTEN (not typed). The entire portfolio will then be submitted using the link provided for each module.

    Position Paper (100 points) Instructions, grading rubric, and due date will be available on Canvas. will be used to evaluate the paper's originality.

    Genetic Problems (50 points) Instructions and due date will be available in unit 3 learning module.

    Lab Assignments/Quizzes (approximately 200 points). Information for lab assignments/submissions will be available via Canvas modules and each lab assignment has modified instructions for the online learner that need to be followed in addition to your lab manual. Submit coursework on or before the deadlines.

    Communications/Course Participation points are earned by e-mailing the instructor at the beginning of the semester (5 points), posting an introduction on the discussion board (5 points), and submitting the General Information Survey/Quiz on or before the deadlines (15 points).
    Additionally required are discussion boards in each Learning Module on Canvas. Discussion boards must be original (e.g. student’s own work/writing). Copy/paste posts will receive a zero for that post. If two students submit identical posts, both students will receive a zero for that posting.

    Primary Posts (20 points each) follow instructions within each module as given.

    Secondary Posts (10 points each) respond to at least 2 other classmates. Secondary posts are not evaluating or offering personal opinions to the primary post.

    Comprehensive Lecture & Lab Finals (100 points each) and will be administered December 10 - 12 using Respondus Monitor, or NMJCs testing center located in the Ben Alexander Building. If you are unable to come to campus or use Respondus Monitor, you must make arrangements for the finals to be proctored by another credible testing center. NO EARLY administering of the final is permitted except in an emergency AND permission from the Dean must be granted.

    Assignments are due on Sunday nights. Response time frames - Feedback and grades will be given between the Tuesday and Friday after the due date depending on the number and length of assignments due.

    Refer to the "ADDITIONAL INFORMATION" section for more details concerning coursework.

    Retrieving Grades from T-BirdWeb Portal
    Go to the New Mexico Junior College T-BirdWeb Portal login page. Please enter your User Identification Number (ID), which is your Banner ID, and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). When finished, click Login.

    Tips for Success in Online Courses:
    1. Log in to class regularly.
    2. Pay attention.
    3. Take notes.
    4. Keep up with readings and assignments.
    5. Ask questions when you do not understand something.
    6. Utilize your professor’s office hours and e-mail.
    7. Read the text.
    8. Adhere to the deadlines posted in the course outline.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:

    • Communication
      • Comprehend information to summarize, analyze, evaluate, and apply to a specific situation.
      • Communicate in an accurate, correct, and understandable manner.
    • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
      • Define a problem and arrive at a logical solution.
      • Use appropriate technology and information systems to collect, analyze, and organize information.
      • Apply critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving to data.
    • Self and Community
      • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and / or scientific issues.
      • Communicate an awareness of a variety of perspectives of ethical issues.
      • Interact with individuals and within groups with integrity and awareness of others’ opinions, feelings and values.


    New Mexico Junior College's broad range of science courses provides students with an opportunity to achieve their academic goals by fostering higher order thinking skills, basic academic success skills, discipline-specific knowledge and skills, and scientific and academic values.

    The course content of general biology (BI 114) supports NMJC’s mission which is “promoting success through learning” by encouraging students to accomplish the following:
    1. Describe the process of scientific inquiry.
    2. Solve problems scientifically.
    3. Communicate scientific information.
    4. Apply quantitative analysis to scientific problems.
    5. Apply scientific thinking to real world problems.


    Upon completion of this course, the students should be able to:
    1. Distinguish between living and nonliving things using the basic characteristics of life.
    2. Compare and contrast organisms within the three domains & four kingdoms.
    3. Construct a hierarchy of biological organization.
    4. Design an experiment using the scientific method and distinguish between hypotheses and theories.
    5. List in order the 8 taxonomic categories used for identifying organs. AND define “binomial nomenclature”.
    6. Draw an atom and label the subatomic particles.
    7. Distinguish between the different types of chemical bonds.
    8. List the four properties of water that benefit organisms.
    9. Define the terms: pH, acid, base, and buffer.
    10. Identify the structures and functions of the major organic molecules & give examples of each.
    11. Distinguish between dehydration synthesis & hydrolysis reactions.
    12. State the tenets of the cell theory.
    13. Distinguish between prokaryotic & eukaryotic cells.
    14. Identify plant and animal cellular organelles and state their functions.
    15. Identify the components and state the functions of the plasma membrane.
    16. Distinguish between the different types of cellular transport mechanisms.
    17. State the two energy laws important for living things.
    18. Identify the role that enzymes and substrates play in chemical reactions AND identify factors that affect the rate of product being formed.
    19. Draw a molecule of ATP and explain its function.
    20. Draw a chloroplast and labels its structures. State the function of chloroplasts.
    21. Write the chemical formula for photosynthesis & state examples of organisms capable of this process.
    22. Compare and contrast the light-dependent and Calvin cycle reactions that are associated with photosynthesis.
    23. Briefly explain the three stages of the Calvin cycle.
    24. Draw a mitochondrion and labels its structures. State the function of mitochondria.
    25. Write and explain the chemical formula for cellular respiration.
    26. Distinguish between aerobic and anaerobic cellular respiration.
    27. Calculate the yield of ATPs produced per glucose molecule during cellular respiration and denote where each process is occurring in the cell.
    28. Determine the inputs and outputs for the four stages associated with cellular respiration.
    29. Differentiate between anabolism and catabolism.
    30. Contrast the following by defining the terms: daughter & parent cell, haploid & diploid, sexual & asexual reproduction
    31. List the stages of the cell cycle and describe what events occur during each.
    32. Briefly discuss the characteristics of a cancer cell and how cancer can be prevented.
    33. Describe the events that occur during mitosis & meiosis.
    34. Compare and contrast mitosis & cytokinesis in plant and animal cells.
    35. Compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis.
    36. Contrast the following by defining the terms: autosomes & sex chromosomes, meiosis & fertilization, interkinesis & interphase
    37. Define and give examples of polyploidy and aneuploidy.
    38. Define karyotype and denote how it can be used to identify genetic disorders.
    39. Explain Mendel’s laws of genetics.
    40. Recognize and solve genetic problems that involve monohybrid, dihybrid, & sex-linked traits.
    41. Define the following terms: heterozygous, homozygous, genotype, phenotype, co-dominance, incomplete dominance, dominant alleles, recessive alleles, and testcross.
    42. State examples and give a brief description of autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, and sex-linked recessive disorders.
    43. Discuss and give examples of the following: multiple alleles, pleiotropy, polygenic inheritance, and multifactorial traits.
    44. Recognize autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, and sex-linked disorders using pedigree charts.
    45. Explain the structure and function of DNA.
    46. Discuss the semi-conservative model of DNA replication.
    47. Explain how genes are expressed thru the processes of transcription and translation.
    48. Define genetic mutation and describe point, frameshift, and triplet repeat expansion mutations.
    49. Discuss four types of chromosomal mutations: deletion, duplication: inversion, and translocation

  11. I. New Student Orientation Video Transcript

    II. Basic Computer Skills: How to use an email account, how to attach, upload, and download files. How to view, save, rename, and print files. Have basic word processing skills and are familiar with using different web browsers

    III. Canvas Technical Requirements

    IV. Technology Requirements for Students: A Desktop or Laptop that is no more than five years old, has at least Windows 7 or MAC OSX 10.6 with 1 GB of memory, 2.4 GHz Processor, has a webcam and a microphone. The Internet speed is between 5 to 10 Mbps per second.

    V. Technical and Academic Support

    Call the 24/7 Canvas Help Desk at (575) 399-2199 for assistance and have your course CRN (ex. 10023) and your Username available.

    If you have not already received login information for Canvas/T-BirdWeb Portal/E-mail, you will need to contact the Enrollment Management office at (575) 492-2546.


    This is an online lecture/laboratory life science course geared for non-science majors. Canvas, NMJCs Learning Management System, will be used to deliver course information for both the lecture/laboratory component. The design of the course correlates information presented in the textbook with the laboratory manual. Due to the nature of an online course, you may work at your own pace; however, assignments are usually due on Sunday nights so if you have things to do on the weekends you need to complete your work during the week. There is leeway in an online class but there are still due dates that will be enforced. This leeway can work in your favor or against you since you can work at your own pace it can work in your favor but since you are not physically in class on a regular basis it can also work against you because due dates are strictly enforced. Since you have an entire week to complete your work, extensions will only be granted in extreme circumstances with proper documentation (death in the immediate family or YOU are in the hospital) or if Canvas is down ON THE DAY THE ASSIGNMENT IS DUE. Generally speaking, extensions will NOT be granted, the ONLY exceptions are if you provide documentation for the previously stated reasons. Stay on top of your work as it is YOUR responsibility to know the due dates EVERY week and know what is due EVERY week. Final course grade will be a composite of both lecture and laboratory.

    All tests/quizzes are to be submitted via Canvas. Instructions for submitting lecture/laboratory assignments will be available on Canvas homepage. No tests or quizzes will be reset unless canvas itself crashes. Make sure you have a RELIABLE internet connection and computer BEFORE you start a quiz or exam. Unfortunately losing connection is not a valid reason to reset your quiz.

    Should any questions arise during the semester, simply message me through the course in Canvas using the inbox feature and I will respond within 24 hours Monday thru Friday 12 noon. I will respond within 48 hours after noon on Friday.

    Assignments are due on Sunday nights, by 11:59 pm. DO NOT wait until Sunday to message me and ask questions about the assignments that are due on that day. I am NOT online 24/7 so you may not receive an answer before the assignment is due, and again extensions will not be granted in these circumstances.

    Unit Exams:
    There are four unit (or learning module) exams, each consisting of materials presented in three chapters (see course outline). Pay close attention to deadlines for each unit exam. Fifty multiple choice questions for each exam are randomly selected from a testbank making them unique. Because a testbank is used, the exams will not be released for you to view your responses or the correct answers. You can message me and asked what you missed as long as the number of questions missed is within reason. To access the on-line exams, (a) log-in to Canvas using Respondus LockDown Browser, (b)click on "Modules", (c) select the appropriate unit exam, and (d) enter the password "success". (The password is case sensitive and omit quote marks). Tests are timed and are open for a period of 75-minutes once accessed. Additionally, once an exam has been submitted for grading, it cannot be re-entered. Should technical problems with canvas itself arise during the testing process, it is the student's responsibility to report the problem to the professor within 24-hours. If the issue is not reported immediately within the time frame, the exam score will stand.

    Comprehensive Lecture/Lab Finals
    The final exams are proctored and may be taken either at NMJCs testing center located in the Ben Alexander Building, another reputable site, or using Respondus Monitor. If an alternate testing site is used, it is the student's responsibility to arrange their testing site and get the necessary information to the instructor BEFORE the final exam period. Not being able to locate a testing site beforehand is not an excuse for an extension.

    NMJC Testing Center offers free services to NMJC students and is located in the Ben Alexander Student Union Building. According to Testing Center policies, students must show proper picture ID and electronic devices are not allowed in the testing area. Below are the standard operating hours during final's week; however, it is strongly recommended that students confirm time of operation as they are subject to change:
    7:30 am - 7:00 pm Monday thru Thursday
    7:30 am - 5:00 pm Friday
    10:00 am - 2:00 pm Saturday

    If an alternative, reputable testing site is to be used, information regarding the proposed site (e.g. Institution's name, address, phone number, and contact person with their email address) must be submitted by the student and approved by the instructor no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20th. Students are solely responsible for any costs associated with using an alternative testing site.

    Lecture Assignments
    Position Paper This essay cannot be written in one day. It will take time to research and formulate a position that can be scientifically supported. Papers will be evaluated collectively and grades will be available withing one week of submission, depending on how many students submit papers.

    Genetic Problems demonstrates the students' ability to solve a variety of genetic problems using information presented in chapter 9.

    Lab Assignments/Quizzes:
    Even though students may not be able to actually perform all exercises, they are required to read/understand materials presented in the laboratory manual. Laboratory exercises are modified for the on-line learner and some require the purchase/use of common household materials to perform. After completion of each laboratory exercise, there is a laboratory assignment that is to be completed/submitted.

    Additionally, there is a short quiz under "Modules" after completion of each laboratory exercise/assignment. The review questions at the end of each exercise will be useful in preparing for these quizzes. Protocol for taking quizzes is the same unit exams, except they are shorter in length and have only 20 minutes to complete.

    Communications/Course Participation:
    Instructions for constructing e-mails and posting discussions are under the "Getting Started" icon. Please message and post an introduction by the Friday of the first week. Always use proper "netiquette" when e-mailing and posting on the discussion board.

    After reading the syllabus and becoming familiar with the Canvas layout, there is a short information quiz/survey under "Modules" that is to be taken by the end of the day Wednesday of the first week.

    Remember to post primary/secondary discussions per each learning module. The purpose of posting these is to broaden students' knowledge by applying course content to the real world. Postings should add information beyond what is presented in the textbook.


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy and Participation Expectations
    It is expected that you regularly log into class at least three times weekly and check your Canvas mail to ensure you have not missed any changes/updates. Students are expected to complete discussions/quizzes/tests/ assignments before deadlines expire.

    Canvas Help
    If you experience difficulty with Canvas you may reach the Canvas Helpdesk at, or by calling the 24 hour helpdesk phone at (575) 399-2199.

    The professor is responsible for monitoring and evaluating student conduct and student behavior within the Canvas course. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to log into the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class and dropped for the semester. For comprehensive information on the common rules of netiquette and other online issues, please review the NMJC Online Student Handbook.

    Online Learning Environment
    By participating in an online class, you undertake responsibility for your own progress and time management.

    • Pay attention to deadlines and do not forget them (keep a calendar if it helps).
    • Carefully read and understand all assignments.
    • Complete assignments according to posted instructions and notes. Do not just glance at an assignment before attempting to complete it (this is likely to result in a poor grade).
    • Questions may be posed for clarification in the class discussion area or by sending an e-mail to your instructor.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse or the Academic Success Center. Brainfuse is an online tutoring service that can be accessed from your course navigation menu in Canvas and there is no need to create an account. The Academic Success Center is located at the Pannell Library on the 1st floor.

    Withdrawal Policy
    The instructor has the right to drop any student who has failed to log on to Canvas for two weeks or more, but it is not guaranteed that the instructor will drop you. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Failure to withdraw yourself from a course by this date may result in your receiving an “F” in the course. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    Week/start date/end(due) date

    Lecture Assigned Chapters

    Laboratory Assignment


    Learning Module 1 (Ch. 1-2)


    1 / August 19 / August 25

    Ch. 1 – Introduction to Biology

    Lab 1 Scientific Method

    Lab 1 Quiz

    2 / August 26 / September 1

    Ch. 2 Part 1– Chemistry of Life

    Discussion Board Post Due

    Labs 2 & 3 Measurements & Microscopy

    Labs 2 & 3 Quiz

    3 / September 2 / September 8

    Ch. 2 Part 2 – Biological Molecules

    Lab 4 Chemical Composition of Cells Lab 4 Quiz                                    

    4 / September 10/September 15

    Lecture Exam LM #1

    Portfolio 1 due

    No lab this week only lecture exam


    Learning Module 2 (Ch. 3-4)


    5 / September 16/September 22

    Ch. 3 Part 1 – Cell Structure and Function

    Lab 5 Cell Structure and Function                     Lab 5 Quiz

    6 / September 23 /September 29

    Ch. 3 Part 2 – Dynamic Activities of Cells

    Discussion Board Post Due

    Egg Osmosis Lab MUST include pictures with observations

    7 / September 30 / October 6

    Ch. 4 – How Cells Obtain Their Energy

    Lab 6 How Enzymes Function     Lab 6 Quiz

    8 /  October 7 / October 13

    Lecture Exam LM #2

    Portfolio 2 due

    No labs only lecture exam this week


    Learning Module 3 (Ch. 5-7)


    9 / October 14 /  October 20

    Ch. 5 – Photosynthesis


    Lab 7 Photosynthesis                            Lab 7 Quiz

    10 / October 21 / October 27

    Ch. 6 – Reproduction at the Cellular Level

    Ch. 7 – Cellular Basis of Inheritance

    Discussion Board Post Due

    Labs 9 & 10 Mitosis & Meiosis                      Labs 9 & 10 Quiz

    11/ October 28 / November 3

    Lecture Exam LM #3

    Portfolio 3 due

    No lab this week only lecture exam


    Learning Module 4 (Ch. 8, 9)


    12 / November 4/November 10

    Ch. 8 – Patterns of Inheritance


    Lab 11 Mendelian Genetics                      Lab 11 Quiz

    13/ November 11/November 17

    Ch. 9 – Molecular Biology Genetic Disorder Presentation Due

    Lab 12 Human Genetics

    Lab 12 Quiz

    14 /November 18/November 24


    Lecture Exam LM #4 Portfolio 4 due

    No labs this week lecture exam

    15 / November 25/ December 1

    Thanksgiving Break


    Thanksgiving Break


    Learning Module 5 (Ch. 10)


    16 / December 2 / December 8

    Ch. 10 – Biotechnology

    Study for finals!

    Lab 13 DNA Biology and Technology

     Lab 13 Quiz

    Study for finals!

    17 / December 9/December 11

    Comprehensive Lecture – Chapters 1-11

    Comprehensive Lab Final – All labs


    ******Proctored Finals – Testing Center December 9-11.  Final exams MUST be taken at an approved testing center like the NMJC testing center.  No early administration of finals is permitted.  Your two final exams do not have to be taken on the same day BUT they both must be taken within the final exam time frame listed above.