General Biology II


  2. A. Course Title: General Biology II
    B. Course Number: BI 124 - 30209
    C. Semester: Fall 2019
    D. Days/Time: Online
    E. Credit Hours: 4
    F. Instructor: Sims, Denise
    G. Office: none
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: none
    J. Office Hours: Adjunct Professor who does not have an office on campus. Please contact via Canvas Inbox, and I will respond within 24 hours Monday - Friday 12:00PM. (noon)
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): None
    M. Corequisite(s): BI 124L - General Biology Laboratory
    N. Class Location: Virtual

    General Biology II stresses the origins of life, the diversity of viruses, bacteria, protists, and fungi; the diversity of plants, plant structure and function; animal diversity, animal structure and function; as well as evolution, animal behavior, ecology of populations, ecosystems, and environmental concerns. Concurrent enrollment in BI124L (laboratory) is required. This is a four credit hour course.


    Biology 124 (General Biology) is a laboratory life science course geared for non-science majors. Biology 124 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) UNUSED Hard bound copy is mandatory
    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. (NOTE: Non-local students are also required to have available a computer with a webcam, microphone, and appropriate Internet bandwidth to use Respondus Monitor for submission of the proctored final exam. There is an administrative fee for the semester.)

    4. Digital capture device such as a digital camera, computer cam or camera phone for submitting documentation of lab exercises.


    The following supplemental study aids are suggested:
    TUTORIAL SERVICES: Online Tutoring through Brian Fuse. Students may sign up for free personal tutoring at the NMJC Academic Success Center located in Pannell Library First Floor.

    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). 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 on Canvas. The following formula will be used to calculate course grades:
    50% - Lecture Component (Lecture exams, assignments, discussions)
    30% - Laboratory Component (Lab quizzes & assignments)
    20% - Comprehensive Lecture/Lab Final

    No curves or extra credit opportunities will be available.

    Lecture Component
    Lecture Exams consists of 50 multiple choice questions worth 2-points and are considered closed book. Unit 2 exam will be a proctored midterm exam and can be completed at the NMJC testing center or using Respondus Monitor at home (requires a webcam, microphone, good internet connection, and a one time administration fee for the semester).

    Lecture Assignments include the submission of "Getting Started" activities (30 pts).

    Discussion points (50 pts) are earned by submitting a primary and secondary post in a Learning Module. Posts must be original (e.g. student’s own work/writing). No credit will be awarded if 1) information is plagiarized, 2) similar information is already posted, 3) a creditable reference source is not cited. On-line encyclopedias, advertisements, textbooks, etc. are not acceptable.

    Laboratory Component
    There will be approximately 10 lab assignments worth 10 - 20 points each. Additionally, there will a lab quiz worth 10-15 points per each lab.

    Comprehensive Proctored Final Exam: (more descriptive for miscellaneous section)
    Local students (within driving distance of NMJC) may use NMJC's testing center, which is free. It 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. Standard operating hours are 7:30 am - 7:00 pm Monday - Thursday; however, it is strongly recommended that students confirm time of operation as they are subject to change. Students must arrive at least 1 hour before closing time. Appointments are strongly recommended but not required.

    Non-local students are required to use Respondus Monitor, which is an extension of Respondus Lockdown Browser. It requires a computer with webcam, microphone and appropriate Internet bandwidth. An ID is required along with an environmental check to ensure testing integrity is maintained. There is an administrative fee for the semester. A practice quiz within Canvas is available to assist you in the set-up.

    Most assignments are due on Sunday nights. Feedback and grades will be given by Friday after the due date.

    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:


    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 124) 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 (but not limited to) the following:

    1. Describe the scientific name used for classifying organisms and explain its importance.
    2. List the 8 taxons used in the taxonomic classification system AND demonstrate its use.
    3. Compare and contrast organisms found in the different domains/kingdoms and cite examples.
    4. Describe the general structure & replication cycles of viruses.
    5. Name the general shapes of bacteria and correlate their cellular structures with their functions.
    6. Discuss how bacteria reproduce and the three mechanisms that genetic variations are generated.
    7. Explain how prokaryotes differ with respect to acquiring nutrition & needing oxygen.
    8. Discuss the environmental importance of prokaryotes.
    9. List examples of diseases caused by microbes & discuss methods that are used to control outbreaks.
    10. Discuss the basic characteristics of organisms found in the kingdom Protista.
    11. Name AND give examples organisms found in the three different groups of Protista.
    12. Discuss the basic characteristics of Fungi.
    13. Differentiate fungi based on their spore-producing sexual reproductive structures and give examples of each.
    14. Discuss the ecological, economic, and medical importance of fungi.
    15. List the basic characteristics of plants.
    16. Compare and contrast the life cycles of non-vascular plants, seedless vascular plants, and seed vascular plants.
    17. Contrast the following: sporophyte & gametophyte generations, meiosis & fertilization, and angiosperm & gymnosperms.
    18. Discuss the basic differences used to distinguish monocots from dicots (eudicots).
    19. List the three major vegetative organs found in plants and state the basic functions of each.
    20. Discuss the basic function(s) of the following tissues: ground, vascular, epidermal, & meristem
    21. Draw a non-woody dicot root & stem cross-section and label the following: vascular bundle, vascular cylinder, endodermis, epidermis, cortex, pith, xylem, & phloem
    22. Draw a monocot root & stem cross-section and label the following: vascular bundle, vascular cylinder, endodermis, epidermis, cortex, pith, xylem, & phloem
    23. Draw a cross-section of a young woody stem and label the following: pith, wood, bark, cork, primary xylem & phloem
    24. Draw a longitudinal section of a root tip and label the different zones of plant growth.
    25. Draw a typical leaf cross-section and label the following: upper and lower epidermis, cuticle, stoma, palisade and spongy mesophyll, vein, xylem, and phloem
    26. Briefly explain the mechanism of water transport according to the cohesion-tension model.
    27. Briefly explain the flow of phloem according to the pressure-flow model.
    28. Define the terms girdling and guttation and denote what process is responsible for each.
    29. Draw/label a flower and differentiate between the female and male parts.
    30. Distinguish between pollination and fertilization.
    31. Differentiate between the seed germination and growth of a monocot and eudicot.
    32. Discuss the general characteristics of animals.
    33. Compare the 8 phyla of invertebrate organisms in terms of the following: body plan, symmetry, number of germ tissue layers, level of organization, and presence of coelom.
    34. Describe the basic characteristics of the 9 phyla of animals studied and give examples of each.
    35. Define the following terms: protostomes & deuterostomes, open & closed circulatory system, complete vs. incomplete digestive system, radial & bilateral symmetry, cephalization
    36. Describe the amniote egg and discuss its importance from an evolutionary standpoint.
    37. Discuss how birds are adapted for flight.
    38. State the two body systems that are responsible for controlling behavior.
    39. Distinguish between innate and learned behaviors and give examples of each.
    40. Discuss social interactions/constructs used to reduce aggression within a society.
    41. List examples of the different types of communication and state advantages/disadvantages of each.
    42. Define the terms: population, society, community, ecosystem, and biosphere
    43. Apply the Competitive Exclusion Principle as it relates to the niche and habitat of organisms.
    44. Define mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. Give examples of each
    45. Discuss various defense mechanisms used by prey to avoid predation. Give examples of each.
    46. Distinguish between primary & secondary succession and pioneer & climax communities.
    47. Contrast the flow of energy versus nutrients through an ecosystem and discuss the role of decomposers.
    48. Draw an ecological pyramid and denote which trophic level represents the following: producers (autotrophs), primary consumers (herbivores), secondary consumers (primary carnivores), tertiary consumers (top carnivores)
    49. Describe the function of the reservoir, exchange pool, and biotic community in biogeochemical cycles and state three examples.
    50. Briefly discuss the cause of the following ecological concerns: eutrophication, acid deposition, global warming, ozone depletion, photochemical smog. and organic chemicals along with possible biological magnification.
    51. List the four basic tissue types found in animals and give a general function of each.
    52. Explain the concept of homeostasis and give examples.
    53. Distinguish between tissues, organs, and systems.
    54. List the systems of the human body, the major organs of each, and the major functions of each.

  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. The course contains four learning modules, each four weeks in length. 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. Final course grade will be a composite of both lecture and laboratory.

    To log on to your Canvas account, use your “A” number (or Smart ID) along with a password. This is typically your birth date (e.g. 061280) until you change it in within your TBird WebPortal account. If you cannot log into Canvas and require troubleshooting help, call the 24/7 helpdesk at 575.399.2199. All coursework is to be submitted via Canvas. Instructions for submitting coursework is also available on Canvas. Should any questions arise during the semester, simply e-mail me and I will respond within 24 hours Monday thru Friday 12 noon.

    Unit Exams:
    There are four unit (or learning module) exams, each consisting of materials presented in approximately 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. To access the on-line exams, (a) log-in to Canvas using Respondus LockDown Browser, (b) click on "Modules", (c) select the approximate 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 arise during the testing process (e.g. Canvas logs you off and you cannot regain entry into the exam), it is the student's responsibility to report the problem to the professor within 24-hours. The exams are closed book and no resources should be used on the exams.

    Unit 2 exam will be a proctored midterm exam and must be completed at the NMJC testing center or using Respondus Monitor.

    Comprehensive Lecture/Lab Finals:
    The final exams are proctored and may be taken either at NMJCs testing center located in the Ben Alexander Building or using Respondus Monitor which requires a webcam and microphone and has a one time $10 fee.

    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. Standard operating hours are 7:30 am - 7:00 pm Monday - Thursday; however, it is strongly recommended that students confirm time of operation as they are subject to change. You must arrive at least 1 hour before closing time.

    Lecture Assignments:
    Getting Started Canvas assignments are due by Wednesday of the first week: E-mail the instructor, post an introduction, upload a document, and submit a general information syllabus/survey.

    Discussions: Always use proper "netiquette" when posting on the discussion board. Pay attention to the due dates. The purpose of discussions is to broaden students' knowledge by applying course content to the real world. Postings should add information beyond what is presented in the textbook. Topics will be assigned for each learning module.

    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 and use of common household materials. After completion of each laboratory exercise, there is a laboratory assignment and quiz that is to be submitted.

    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.


    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.

    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.


    Course schedule is tentative and subject to change.

    Week Of

    Lecture Assignments/Exams

    Laboratory Assignments/Quizzes

    Learning Module 1 (Ch. 12-13 fungi)

    Week 1

    Ch. 12 – Diversity of Life

    Lab 25 – Evidence of Evolution  

    Week 2

    Ch. 13 – Diversity of  Microbes, Fungi, & Protists

    Lab 26 - Microbiology

    Week 3

    Ch. 14 – Diversity of Plants (Mosses, Ferns, Gymnosperms)

    Lab 27 – Nonvascular Plants & Seedless Vascular Plants

    Week 4

    Discussion 1 Assigned

    Portfolio Due

    Lecture Exam LM #1

    Learning Module 2 (Ch 14 (Plants) – 15 ( Intro Animals & Inverts)

    Week 5

    Ch. 14 – Diversity of Plats  (Angiosperms)

    Lab 28  - Seed Plants

    Week 6

    Plant Organization and Transport

    Lab 11 – Plant Organization

    Week 7

    Ch 15 – Diversity of Animals

    Lab 29 – Intro to Inverts

    Week 8

    Discussion 1 Due

    Portfolio Due

    Lecture Exam LM #2

    Learning Module 3 (Ch. 15 - 17)

    Week 9

    Ch. 15  – Animal Diversity

    Lab 30 – Invertebrates

    Week 10

    Ch 16 – The Body’s Systems (+ 18.3)

    Lab 31 – Vertebrates

    Week 11

    Ch 17 – The Immune System and Disease

    Body Systems Quiz (Structure & Function)

    Week 12

    Discussion 2 - Ecology & Biodiversity  Assigned

    Portfolio Due

    Lecture Exam LM #3


    Learning Module 4 (Ch. 19 - 21)

    Week 13

    Ch. 19 – Population and Community Ecology

    Ecology Symbiosis Lab


    Week 14

    Ch. 20 –Ecosystem and the Biosphere


    Week 15

    Ch. 21 – Conservation and Biodiversity

    Discussion 2 – Ecology & Biodiversity Due

    Portfolio Due

    Lecture Exam LM #4

    Week 16

    Review for Comprehensive Lecture/Lab Final

    Comprehensive Lecture/Lab Final – Testing Center  *Dec 9-11, 2019