BIOL 2108> Syllabus and Course outline







CRN# 20231 / 20232






*  Instructor:  Dr. Mark E. Knauss

*  Lecture Times/Location:  MW 12:30-1:45 PM;  W218

*  Office:  W338 (Floyd Campus)

*  Phone:  368-7535 

*  Office Hours:  By appointment.

*  Email:

*  Midterm Date: 02-28-08 (Last day to withdraw with a “W”)

*  Course Description:  This course will explore the classification and the phylogenetic relationship of prokaryotes, protists, fungi, animals and plants.  Included will be discussions on the history of evolutionary thought, speciation, population biology, and ecology.  Students will also be introduced to comparative vertebrate anatomy and physiology.  As with BIOL 2107K, students will be required to research topics outside of the classroom.  Students may not receive credit for both BIOL 2108 and BIOL 2151. [Georgia Highlands  College Catalog 2007-2009].

*  Georgia Highlands College Educational Effectiveness Goal for Science:  Students will demonstrate a knowledge of the fundamental concepts of at least one scientific discipline, and an understanding of the interplay between theory and experimentation/observation under-girding these concepts.

*  Georgia Highlands College Student Learning Outcomes for ScienceH: 

  1. Students will demonstrate competency of one discipline in the sciences in terms of its informational content.
  2. Students will demonstrate competency of one discipline in the sciences in terms of its terminology.
  3. Students will demonstrate competency of one discipline in the sciences in terms of its commonly used

units of measurement.

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to operate basic instrumentation, gather data, analyze data, and generate conclusions in a laboratory or observational setting.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to apply discipline content to problem solving.

*  Course Objectives (Student Outcomes specific to BIOL 2108): 

  1. The  BIOL 2108student will be able to describe the different historical explanations for the origin of life and species, with special emphasis on Darwinian evolution (including natural selection, mechanisms of genetic change in populations, and punctuated equilibrium). (Lecture exams assess this outcome).
  2. The BIOL 2108 student will be able to identify and characterize the biological kingdoms and their component taxa (phyla, subphyla, divisions, and classes); the student will also be able to describe the major evolutionary advances which characterize these taxa. (Lecture exams and assignments assess this outcome).
  3. The BIOL 2108 student will be able to describe selected growth, reproductive, and physiological processes for representative groups of organisms.  (Lecture exams assess this outcome).
  4. The BIOL 2108 student will be able to define/identify/utilize terminology specific to biology. (Lecture exams and assignments assess this outcome).
  5. The BIOL 2108 student will be able to follow dissection and observational procedures, make observations, and identify organisms, and structures and their functions from both live and preserved specimens.  (Laboratory exercises and quizzes assess this outcome).
  6. The BIOL 2108 student will be able to identify, research, and describe current research in biology.

*  Assessment of Course Objectives:  Course Objectives will be assessed through the following:

  • Questions on exams and the final exam (Course Objectives 1-4)
  • Questions on lab quizzes and the lab final (Course Objectives 2-5)
  • Term Paper (Course Objectives 3, 4, 6)
  • Daily Assessment Exercise (Course Objectives 1-4)
  • Current Research Reports (Course Objective 6)

*  Lecture Text:  Campbell & Reece.  2005.  Biology, 7th ed.  Benjamin-Cummings

*  Lecture Attendance Policy:  Attendance will be monitored.  While attendance is not a formal component of the final course grade, the daily assessment exercise is a component of the grade.  Any student exceeding 7 absences (25% of the lecture class meetings) will be administratively withdrawn from the course.

*  Lecture Grading Policy:  The lecture grade constitutes 75% of the overall grade for the course; the laboratory grade constitutes the remaining 25% (see laboratory syllabus).  The lecture grade is computed from student performance as follows (see italicized example at right):         

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exam 1                                    100 pts                                    63 = 89*    

                                    Exam 2                                    100 pts                                    75

                                    Exam 3                                    100 pts                                    89

                                    Lecture Assignment                200 pts                                    170 (85)

                                    Daily Assessment Exercise     100 pts                                    90

                                    Current Research Report 1     100 pts                                    50

                                    Current Research Report 2     100 pts                                    75

                                    Final Exam                              200 pts                                    144 (72)

                                    LECTURE TOTAL                      1000 pts                                  782



Grade Computation (Example in italics):

              Lecture Grade = Sum of Student Scores / 1000 X 100                                 794/1000 X 100

                                                                                                 = 79.4

Computation of the Course Grade is as follows:

 (we will assume the student gets a 79 in lab)

(Lecture Grade X 0.75) + (Lab Grade X 0.25)  =  Course Grade

Example:  Lecture Grade = 79.4,  Lab Grade = 79

(79.4 X 0.75) + (79 X 0.25)  =  59.6  +  19.8  =  79.4



The course grade will be rounded up to the nearest whole number.                                                                                                                                                                    Example:  79.4 = 80




                The letter grade for the course will be determined from the following scale:

                                                A             90-100

                                                B              80-89                          Example: 80

                                                C              70-79                          Letter Grade = B

                                                D             60-69

                                                F              0-59






*  Lecture Exams – Description: 

Each lecture exam is a 100 item assessment with Multiple Choice and Matching questions.

The final exam is a 200 item cumulative assessment with Multiple Choice and Matching questions.

The student should be in the possession of at least two sharpened No. 2 pencils at each exam.


*  Daily Assessment Exercise Description:  There will be a brief, unannounced exercise at the conclusion of each of 10 different lecture class meetings.  Each exercise will concentrate on the information presented during that day’s lecture.  Each exercise is worth a possible 10 points.  The student must be in attendance on that day to get the points.  There are no make-ups allowed.

*  Current Research Reports – Description:  The student will review current peer-reviewed journals for articles documenting current research in biology on a topic specified by the professor – a relevant article will be chosen by the student from journals suggested by the professor.  Pending approval of the article by the professor, the student will submit a hard copy printed report that includes the following:

  • a hard copy of the article,     
  • a summary of the article in the student’s own words that fully explains and describes the content of the article, specifically:
    • Purpose or Intent of the Research
    • Procedure or Experimental Setup
    • Documented Results
    • Conclusions or Major Points of the Discussion

A more detailed description and instructions for Current Research Reports will be distributed separately.

*  Term Paper – Description:  The student will research and write a term paper on a topic chosen by the instructor.  Detailed instructions will be distributed by the professor, as well as a list of available topics.  The student is expected to clear the topic with the professor no later than February 1st.

*  Academic Irregularity Policy:  Cheating is strictly prohibited. Any evidence of cheating, or collaboration in cheating will result in a grade of zero for that assignment and possible further disciplinary action which may include failure in the course.  Please access the following URL address to view your “Rights and Responsibilities”:

*  Lecture Make-up Policy:  The professor will email PowerPoint© files in advance of the lectures TO THE STUDENT’S GHC EMAIL ACCOUNT.  [Note that the student should be sure to have activated his or her email account with the college and should check it regularly].  The student can print handouts that will include an image of each slide and spaces for taking notes.  [Note that the student should have access to a computer that is supplied with Microsoft Office©, which has the PowerPoint© program that will allow printing of handout pages].  Should a student miss a regularly scheduled lecture, the student is responsible for getting the lecture information from classmates.  There will be no make-up opportunities for missed exams; the student who has missed an exam should be aware that the missed exam grade will be scored as a 0%.  This 0% grade can count as the dropped exam grade.

*   Important Notes about Lectures: 

1. During lectures, the professor will make constant reference to relevant figures in the text.  As these text figures will not be integrated into the PowerPoint slides, the student will be expected to bring his/her text to class so that he or she will be able to personally view them as they are being discussed.

2. Some of the material documented in the PowerPoint presentations will be identified as OYO (On Your Own).  This is material that will not be lectured on in detail by the professor.  However, the student will be required to know this material and should expect questions concerning the material on the exam.  The PowerPoint slides designated as OYO will have appropriate pages and figures in the text referenced for the student’s benefit.

*  Cell Phones.  Students in this course will be sure to have their cell phones turned off as they enter the class room (vibration mode is not acceptable), unless the student prearranges an exception with the professor (the professor will assess the legitimacy of the reason).  A student may not leave the classroom for reasons of a personal call - all personal calls must wait until the conclusion of class.

·         Offenses in Class.  If a student's cell phone should ring in class, the professor will stop lecture and that student will be asked to leave the class room for the remainder of the class meeting.  A habitual offender (3 or more offenses) will be debited 10 points on their final lecture grade.

·         Offenses during an Exam.  If a student's cell phone should ring during an exam, that student will be asked to hand in their exam and leave the class room.  The student will receive a 0 on the exam.

*  School Closing:  If there is inclement weather, the college posts necessary announcements on the web site.  Cancellation notices will be reported to the local radio stations and WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

*  Disability Policy:  Any student who feels they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should make an appointment with the College Access Center (706-802-5003) to coordinate reasonable accommodations.  The student is welcome to contact the professor to privately discuss his or her specific needs.

*  Message for Students Receiving Financial Aid:  Federal regulations state that if a student did not attend classes and received failing grades, then the grades were not earned and financial aid needs to be reduced accordingly.  Please be advised that any student receiving a 0.00 GPA will be required to prove that the 0.00 GPA was earned by attending classes or completing requirements for each class.  Students who have earned at least one passing grade for the semester will not be affected by this regulation.  If a student has properly withdrawn from all classes, the student’s financial aid should be adjusted from the time they signed the withdrawal form.



*  Communications Concerning Grades:  Grades will be only communicated to the student via personal “face-to-face” communication.  Personal privacy issues demand that there will be no emails sent to students informing them of grades of any kind (exam grades, assignment grades, course grades, etc.).  The student should be aware that any email sent to the professor requesting a grade report of any kind will be ignored.  If  the student desires to review his or her assigned grades, either during the semester or after final grades are assigned, he or she should make an appointment with the professor to review them in the professor’s office.

*  Lecture/Laboratory Schedule:  Please note that the Lecture/Laboratory may be subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.

Date Day           Class #  Topic                                                          Lab

010708 M         Class 1  Syllabus, Ch 22                                         lab week 1

010908 W         Class 2 Ch  23, 24                          

011408 M         Class 3  Ch 25, 26                                                   lab week 2 

011608 W         Class 4  Ch 27, 28                          

012108 M         MLK holiday – no class                                         no lab this week

012308 W         Class 5  Ch 28 cont.

012808 M         Class 6  Open Class Day                                        lab week 3

        013008 W         Class 7  EXAM 1      (Ch 22-28) 

020408 M         Class 8  Ch 29, 30                                                   lab week 4

020608 W         Class 9  Ch 31

021108 M         Class 10 Ch 35, 36                                                  lab week 5

                             Current Research Report 1 Due

021308 W         Class 11 Ch 37, 39

021808 M         Class 12 Ch 38                                                         lab week 6

022008 W         Class 13 Open Class Day

022508 M         Class 14 EXAM 2 (Ch 29-31, 35-39)                  lab week 7


022708 W         Class 15 Ch 40, 41

030308 M         Class 16 Ch 41 cont., 42                                       lab week 8

030508 W         Class 17 Ch 42 cont., 43

031008 M         Class 18 Ch 43 cont., 44                                       lab week 9

031208 W         Class 19 Ch 45

031708 M         SPRING BREAK -  no class                         no lab this week

031908 W         SPRING BREAK - no class

 032408 M         Class 20 EXAM 3 (Ch 40-45)                               lab week 9

                              Current Research Report 2 Due

032608 W         Class 21 Ch 46

033108 M         Class 22 Ch 47                                                         lab week 10

040208 W         Class 23 Ch 48                                            

040708 M         Class 24 Ch 49                                                         LAB FINAL

040908 W         Class 25 Ch 50

041408 M         Class 26 Ch 52                                                        

041608 W         Class 27 Ch 53

042108 M         Class 28 Ch 54                                            

042308 W         Class 29 Ch 55

042808 M         Class 30 Open Class Day /

Term Paper Due

043008 W         (12 noon)  FINAL EXAM


*Note about Open Class Days:  An Open Class Day is a scheduled class meeting time that will be used by the professor to cover material not covered in the previous designated class times (at the professor’s discretion). 









*  Laboratory Times/Location:          M 2:00-4:30PM (20231) / W-313

                                                            W 2:00-4:30PM (20232) / W-313

*  Lab Text:    Mader.  2006.  Biology: Laboratory Manual, 9th ed.  McGraw-Hill.

*  Lab Schedule:  See Lecture/Laboratory Schedule above for dates.  Special Note:  A close look at the lecture schedule compared to the textbook’s table of contents reveals that the lecture schedule does not included the chapters on animal diversity (Chapters 32-34).  The first half of our lab this semester will deal with animal diversity.  The second half will focus on mammalian body structure.




Week of                   Lab Week #            Lab Topic, Quiz #


01-07-08                 Lab Week 1        Lab Introduction

01-14-08                 Lab Week 2        Lab 14 Bacteria and Protists

01-21-08                 NO LABS THIS WEEK   

01-28-08                 Lab Week 3         Lab 15 Fungi, Quiz 1

02-04-08                 Lab Week 4         Lab 16 Mosses and Ferns , Quiz 2

02-11-08                 Lab Week 5         Lab 17 Seed Plants, Quiz 3

02-18-08                 Lab Week 6         Lab 18 Plant Organization, Quiz 4

02-25-08                 Lab Week 7         Lab 22 Invertebrates, Quiz 5

03-03-08                 Lab Week 8         Lab 23 Invertebrate Coelomates, Quiz 6

03-10-08                 Lab Week 9      Lab 24 The Vertebrates, Quiz 7

03-17-08                 NO LABS THIS WEEK

03-24-08                 Lab Week 10      Lab 25 Animal Oganization , Quiz 8

03-31-08                 Lab Week 11      Lab 26 Basic Mammalian Anatomy I, Quiz 9

04-07-08                 Lab Week 12    Lab 27 Basic Mammalian Anatomy II, Quiz 10 04-14-08                  LAB FINAL


*  Lab Attendance Policy:  Attendance to laboratory is mandatory; labs cannot be made up. [There are no exceptions to this policy.]   If a student should miss a lab, he/she should expect to receive a 0 (zero) on any quiz missed.  Moreover, the student will be responsible for the missed material, which will be assessed on a quiz during the next lab meeting.  The lowest Lab Quiz Grade will be dropped before the final lab grade is computed (see Lab Grading Policy below) – this constitutes a partial safe-guard for any student who may have missed one laboratory for a legitimate reason.

*  Lab Grading Policy:  The laboratory grade is based on 10 daily lab grades (the lowest two daily lab grades are dropped) , 9 quiz grades (quizzes 1-10, the lowest quiz grade is dropped), and one lab final as follows:

10 Daily Lab Grades (@10 pts each)              100

9 Lab Quizzes (@ 100 pts each)                      900

1 Lab Final                                                       100

Lab TOTAL                                                       1000


Lab Grade Computation:  Each student’s scores for daily lab grades (lowest 2 dropped), lab quizzes (lowest dropped), and lab final will be added.  The sum will be divided by 1000 and multiplied by 100.  The resulting laboratory grade is a percentage that will be rounded up to the nearest whole number. 


Example:  Student Total Scores 785/1000  =  0.785 X 100 = 78.5 =79%


 This lab grade will constitute 25% of the overall course grade (see computation example under Lecture Grading Policy above).


*  Lab Quizzes – Description:  Each lab quiz will cover material that was presented during the previous lab.  Each lab quiz will consist of 10-20 questions in a variety of formats (multiple choice/matching, fill-in-the-blank, description/essay, practical identification, or practical demonstration).  The Lab Final is a cumulative assessment of all lab material covered.

*  Lab Make-up Policy:  There are no make-ups for laboratory (see Lab Attendance Policy above).