Biology 1310: Concepts of Biology (Date Revised: August 2008)


Course Summary

The course topics are applicable to the Tennessee K-8 science conceptual strands (Interdependence, Biodiversity and Change, Heredity, Flow of Matter and Energy, and Cells). The relevance of the course content will be discussed in both a societal and professional teaching context. This course is not a “lab science sequence.”

3 Semester Credit Hours

Prerequisites: Read and write at the college level and be eligible for DSPM0890 Modules 7-9.



Belk, C. and Borden, V. Biology Science for Life. 2007 (2nd edition). Pearson Education, Inc., NJ.


Your course grade will be based on…


   20 points each x 12

= 240 points                         

Discussion Questions

   25 points each x 5

= 125 points

Inquiry Assignments

   50 points each x 3

= 150 points


      1 point/question

=   90 points

Final Exam

    75 points

=   75 points

Total Points for Course

                                                            680 points                                            


And letter grades will be distributed as follows…



612-680 points



591-611 points



544-590 points



523-543 points



476-522 points



408-475 points



    0-407 points



Tests are conducted each Monday (check the course Calendar for specific dates). For Monday school closings, the weekly test will be rescheduled to the subsequent Wednesday. A student missing a test, including the final exam, will earn a zero ‘0’ for the test. Tests may contain one or more of the following question types: multiple choice, fill-in, matching, definition, diagram labeling, drawing, essay, or activity-based. The tests will emphasize lecture material, cover hands-on activities and labs and assigned readings, and may include related in- and out-of-class assignments.


The final exam is mandatory and comprehensive.


Discussion Questions

Discussions provide an e-forum for students to answer questions and provide an original, thoughtful analysis of the Unit content. The Discussion Questions also allow additional interaction with the instructor and other students. Discussion Questions will be posted for each Unit.


Inquiry Assignments

The inquiry assignments focus on questioning, critical thinking, and problem-solving. The assignments are associated with the idea that “understandings about scientific inquiry and the ability to conduct inquiry are essential for living in the 21st century”. Each assignment will be graded using a rubric. The performance indicators will be outlined in the rubric.



A clicker will be used each class period to motivate, sooner rather later, student review of major concepts and skills. Clicker questions cannot be completed early or made up.


Out-of-class assignments

Students are required to conduct out-of-class assignments, including (in the great) outdoors. These assignments will relate to scientific themes and topics and are an important part of the study of biology.


Ungraded Assignments

Some of the assignments in this course will be ungraded. These are opportunities for your work to be evaluated and for you to gain ideas to improve your work (learn from your mistakes) or receive assurances that you have done the work well. The ungraded assignments will be read and receive written comments or suggestions. In some cases, I will read the assignments, and in others, classmates will exchange work.


Any questions regarding graded work must be submitted in writing for consideration and no later than the class period following the return of the graded assignment.


Academic Dishonesty

Academic misconduct committed either directly or indirectly by an individual or group is subject to disciplinary action. Pellissippi State’s Academic Dishonesty policy is posted in the College Catalog.


Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students must present a current accommodation plan from Services for Students with Disabilities in order to receive accommodations in this course. Emergency medical information should be submitted to the instructor.    



Consistent tardiness and excessive absenteeism may lower the final grade. Institutional policy mandates that a student be present for at least 75% of their scheduled class and laboratory meetings in order to receive credit for the course. If the College is closed or class canceled for an unexpected reason, such as inclement weather, there will be an assignment sent via Email (Webmail or D2L) to cover the class time lost.


Teaching Disposition                                                                                                                               

As you prepare for a career in education, it is essential that you develop professional attitudes and behaviors in addition to the knowledge and skills. Examples that show a disposition toward and commitment to best practices are:

1. Appreciates and values human diversity and demonstrates respect for diverse talents

    and individual variation of learner

2. Demonstrates positive work habits and interpersonal skills, including a positive

    attitude, dependability, honesty and respect for others

3. Meets professional responsibilities regarding attendance, punctuality, dress, etc.

4. Accepts constructive feedback as part of learning and growth

5. Participates in professional growth activities within and outside the school

Students must satisfactorily and consistently demonstrate these practices in order to receive a recommendation from the instructor.


Electronic devices

Please be sure that your cell phone and other electronic devices will not ring or be disruptive during class. These devices must be stored during a test. Activities such as text messaging, reading email, doing work for other courses, or playing computer games, is not permitted.


Internet, Webmail, and D2L

An important part of this class involves use of the Internet, Webmail, and D2L. Home access to the Internet is recommended, but the Internet, Webmail, and D2L can be accessed on campus at any of the library computers as well as computer labs. The class D2L site will be the source for class information including the syllabus, course calendar, and announcements. You are responsible for messages that I send to your webmail account and D2L.


Laboratory Safety

You must observe the following safety guidelines:

1. Do not eat or drink in the lab.

2. Wear shoes that protect your feet. Enclosed shoes may be required.

3. Follow the safe handling and disposal guidelines for all chemicals and biologicals.

4. Know the location and proper use of the eyewash station, safety shower, first-aid kit, and exit.

5. If you need to store a sample, label it (your name, the date, what it is).

6. Safety glasses and gloves will be provided as necessary.  

7. Report spills or injuries to the instructor.

8. When unsure of what to do, ask your instructor.


Topic Schedule



Primary Text


Aug 25th



Ch 13-15



Sep 3rd


Sep 8th


Sep 15th

Biodiversity and Change



Ch 9-12




Sep 22nd


Sep 29th


Oct 6th


Ch 5-8


Oct 15th




Oct 20th


Oct 27th

Flow of Matter and Energy

Ch 4


Nov 3rd





Nov 10th


Nov 17th




Ch 2-3


Nov 24th


Dec 1st


Comprehensive Final Exam will be administered in class the week of December 8-11. Please see the final exam schedule at for the specific time.





This page is to be signed and turned in to the lecture instructor on the second day of class.



I have read and understand the syllabus and course expectations for Biology 1310, including the policies regarding missed exams, late assignments, electronic device usage and academic honesty.




Student’s printed name: ________________________________


Student’s signature: ____________________________________    Date: ___________