Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

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Note: some or all of the courses in the subjects marked as "Transfer" can be used towards a transfer degree: Associate of Science and Arts or Associate of Engineering Science at DACC. Transferability for specific institutions and majors varies. Consult a counselor for this information.

Areas of Study | | BIOL101 syllabus

COURSE TITLE:Human Biology
IAI CODE(S): L1 904L
DELIVERY MODE:Online, In-Person, Hybrid

An introductory course in biology emphasizing scientific inquiry of selected topics using humans as the study organism. Topics include: cellular reproduction, human reproduction, human structure and function, human health, transmission and molecular genetics, and evolution. Biological, political, ethical, and social issues will be integrated throughout each topic. Students will be required to read current news articles, participate in class discussions, and be able to think critically about these concepts. This course is not for biology majors. 3 lecture hours, 2 lab hours.

Place into ENGL101 and MATH107.

NOTES: A lab is required for this course. Some sections will require a separate lab, while other sections will include the lab.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the core concepts of the scientific method, cellular reproduction and human reproduction, human structure and function, human health and disease, transmission and molecular genetics, and evolution
  • Use appropriate terminology to communicate biological principles.
  • Apply the process of science through observation, experimentation and hypothesis testing
  • Operate basic laboratory equipment to execute biological studies.
  • Use evidence to develop informed opinions on contemporary biological issues
  • Distinguish scientific studies from pseudo science.

  • Week 1: Introduction and the Scientific Method (6%)
    • The characteristics of life
    • Humans relationship to other animals
    • Science as a process
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Major challenges facing science today
  • Week 2: Structure and Function of Human Cells (6%)
    • Characteristic, organization, and structures of eukaryotic cells
    • Metabolism and energy reactions with a cell
    • Conditions that occur when cells malfunction
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Biology of chocolate and it’s metabolism
  • Week 3/4:Body Systems (10%)
    • Types and functions of tissue that make up the human body
    • Survey of the organ systems
    • Homeostasis
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Biology of running a marathon and the biosystems involved
  • Week 5/ 6: Lymphatic System (10%)
    • Overview of the lymphatic system
    • Innate and Adaptive defenses
    • Hypersensitivity reactions
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Biology and societal impacts of vaccines
  • Week 6/7: Infectious Disease (10%)
    • Biology of bacteria and viruses
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: How microbes affect human health
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Emerging infectious diseases
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Biology and societal consequences of antibiotic resistance
  • Week 8: Digestive System and Nutrition (6%)
    • Overview of digestion and the digestive system
    • Diseases associated with the digestive system
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Nutrition and Weight
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Overview of eating disorders
  • Week 9: Human Reproduction (6%)
    • Human Life cycle
    • Male and Female reproductive systems
    • Controlling reproduction
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Alternative reproductive strategies
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Sexually transmitted diseases and society
  • Week 10/11: Patterns of Chromosomal Inheritance (10%)
    • The cell cycle
    • Mitosis and Meiosis
    • Chromosomal inheritance
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Consequences of cell division gone wrong
  • Week 12: Cancer (6%)
    • Overview of cancer
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT:Causes and prevention of cancer
    • Diagnosing and treating cancer
  • Week 13/14: Genetic Inheritance (10%)
    • Genotype and Phenotype
    • One and two trait inheritance
    • Sex-linked inheritance
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Genetic disorders
  • Week 14/15: DNA and Biotechnology (8%)
    • DNA and RNA
    • Gene Expression
    • DNA technology
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: CRISPR and genome editing
  • Week 15/16: Human Evolution and Ecology (8%)
    • Origins of Life
    • Biological evolution
    • Evolution of the hominins
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Where did we come from? How humans fit into the tree of life
    • Human population growth
    • Human use of resources and pollution
    • SOCIETAL COMPONENT: Human impact on biodiversity
  • Current Events in Human BIology (4%)
    • Topics vary by semester
    • Scientific Literacy Problem Solving Component -- Students evaluate science in video clips , podcasts, and news article


Topics are provided not only to help students understand and expand the material discussed in lecture but also to provide hands-on opportunities to see how science and scientists work.

Weekly Lab Schedule

  • Week/Lab 1: Introduction to lab and lab safety -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will explain how to safely work in a biological and chemical laboratory
    • explain how and when to use the safety equipment in a biological and chemical laboratory
    • identify common laboratory equipment; properly neutralize and dispose of acidic and basic solutions
  • Week/Lab 2: Introduction to Science -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will apply the scientific method, including making observations, developing hypotheses, identifying variables and controls, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions
    • Use calculations and measurements to connect percent error, significant figures, conversions, accuracy and precision to scientific reasoning
    • Summarize how to write and format a lab report
  • Week/Lab 3: Application of the Scientific Method: Monitoring Heart Rates-- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will formulate a hypothesis and devise a way to test their hypothesis correlating increasing heart rate to increasing exercise intensity
    • Collect data, analyze and graph data, and develop a conclusion
  • Week/Lab 4: Cell Structure and Function -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will hypothesize about the differences they will find in different cell types and then explore those differences. Students will apply Cell Theory
    • Compare and contrast the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
    • Identify eukaryotes and prokaryotes based on their cellular structure
    • Build their own model cells based on what they have learned
  • Week/Lab5 (In-class): Body Systems -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will use models and manipulatives to get hands- on experience in exploring anatomy and physiology of the human body
  • Week/Lab 5 (online course): Cardiology Lab -- Computer-assisted lab; 2 hours
    • Students will become familiar with heritable diseases of the heart and the tools and processes needed to diagnose heart disease
    • In this HHMI virtual lab, student interns accompany a doctor examining three different patients
    • Each patient is examined, using more than one diagnostic tool, and at each stage, the doctor will invite you to examine the patient yourself and ask for your opinion
    • Students will collect the data and analyze the data from each patient prior to making a diagnosis
  • Week/Lab 6 (online course): Immunology Lab -- Computer-assisted lab; 2 hours
    • Students will be able to make the connection between infectious disease and diagnosis
    • In this HHMI virtual laboratory, students will demonstrate how an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is carried out and some of the key experimental problems that may be encountered
    • Students will learn about the assay procedure and the equipment and materials that are needed
    • By completing this exercise, students will gain a better understanding of experimental design, key concepts in immunological reactions, and interpretation of data
  • Week/Lab 7: Reflexes and Special Senses Lab -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will predict and test the movement of different muscle groups when a stimulus is applied
    • predict and test the distance between sensory neurons located at different areas of the body
    • examine the sense of hearing and vision
  • Week/Lab 8: Mitosis -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will be able to relate DNA to genes, alleles and chromosomes
    • Identify chromosomal structure during the various stages of the cell cycle including chromatin, sister chromatids, homologous chromosomes, and centromeres
    • Compare and contrast animal and plant mitosis
    • Apply the concept of ploidy to the human species
    • Hypothesize the differences between normal and cancerous cells prior to comparing the mitosis rates of each type
  • Week/Lab 9: Meiosis -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will model the movement of chromosomes through the steps of meiosis I and II
    • Compare and contrast gametes and somatic cells including haploid and diploid
    • Explain how independent assortment, crossing over and mutations influence genetic variation
    • Apply meiosis to the development of genetic diseases
  • Weeks/Labs 10 & 11: Mendelian Genetics -- Hands-on; 3 hours (plus growing time)
    • Students will be able to predict the outcome of monohybrid and dihybrid crosses
    • Use monohybrid and dihybrid crosses to analyze patterns of inheritance including dominance, incomplete dominance and codominance
    • Explain how Mendel’s work formed the foundation of modern genetics including the law of segregation and the law of independent assortment
    • Relate genes to homozygous, heterozygous, dominant alleles, recessive alleles, genotype and phenotype
  • Week/Lab 12: Genetic Variation in Humans -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will recognize the role of probability in the inheritance of common human traits by using coins to determine which traits are passed on to their offspring
    • Apply principles of segregation and independent assortment of the inheritance of human facial features
    • Compute the genotypic and phenotypic ratios from the data gathered
  • Week/Lab 13 (In-class): Biotechnology -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will isolate their own DNA from cheek cells by following a DNA extraction technique
    • PStudents will perform DNA electrophoresis on simulated crime scene DNA to investigate the role of DNA fingerprinting in solving crimes
  • Week/Lab 13 (online course): Biotechnology -- Computer-assisted lab; 2 hours
    • Students will become familiarized with the science and techniques used to create transgenic organisms
    • Complete the HHMI virtual lab simulation to create a transgenic fly to study circadian rhythms
    • Collect and analyze the data of their transgenic organisms and develop conclusions
  • Week/Lab 14: Population Genetics -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will be able to explain how genetic drift, founder effect, mutations and natural selection affect a population’s gene pool
    • Use the Hardy-Weinberg equation to calculate gene frequencies within a population
    • Analyze the effects of stochastic events on genetic variation and frequency in a gene pool
  • Week/Lab 15 (In-class): Evidence of Evolution -- Hands-on; 2 hours
    • Students will discover the evidence for evolution by examining fossil records, comparative anatomy; and molecular evidence
    • Examine the geologic time scale corresponding fossils; compare homologous structures of chimps and humans
    • Examine protein similarities by completing a simulated assay test
  • Week/Lab 15 (online course): Evidence of Evolution -- Computer-assisted lab; 2 hours
    • Students will discover the evidence for evolution by examining the fossil records of stickleback fish
    • This HHMI virtual lab includes three experiments in which students collect and analyze data using photographs of living fish specimens and fossils
    • The lab includes several short videos explaining research methods and relating the evolutionary history of the stickleback fish


Included: The online textbook and resources are automatically charged to your student account. The textbook and resources will be available for students on the first day of class through Blackboard.

Human Biology, 16th Edition with Modified Mastering Biology
By Sylvia Mader and Michael Windelspecht
Copyright: 2020

ONLINE CLASS: Loaner Lab Kit (This kit contains all the equipment you will need to complete the labs off campus. This kit must be picked up in Mary Miller during the first week of class and returned during finals week. Students that fail to return part of or their entire kit will be charged to their student account); Laboratory exercises are all available online

Your grade will be determined by your scores on the following: Your grade will be determined by your scores on the following:
Unit exams 100 points each x 6 or 50 points each x 12
Lab reports 10 points each x ~15
Additional activities(quizzes, homework, in-class activities, professionalism, discussion articles and videos) 200 points
Cumulative Final Exam 150 points

Your total accumulated points will be divided by the total points possible to determine your percentage

At the end of the semester, that percentage will determine your grade as follows:


Membership in the DACC community brings both rights and responsibility. As a student at DACC, you are expected to exhibit conduct compatible with the educational mission of the College. Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism, is not tolerated. A DACC student is also required to abide by the acceptable use policies of copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as contained in the DACC Student Handbook. The Student Handbook is available in the Information Office in Vermilion Hall and online at:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Testing & Academic Services Center at 217-443-8708 (TTY 217-443-8701) or stop by Cannon Hall Room 103. Please speak with your instructor privately to discuss your specific accommodation needs in this course.

Fall 2019

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