Lackawanna College

BIO 115 ON – 4 credits

Biological Science – Spring 2019 Syllabus


Basic Course Information


Jeff DeSanto


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Class Time

Online – Subterm 2

Required Materials

Krough, D. (2009).  Biology: A Guide to the Natural World, 5th edition.  Pearson Prentice-Hall:

     Upper Saddle River, NJ.


Course Description

This course presents a survey of the biological world from the basic to the complex.  Topics include the nature of life, cell biology, genetics, ecology, evolution, anatomy and physiology, and the diversity and classification of living things.  Two hours lecture and one and one half hours of laboratory per week.


Course Objectives


To discuss science as a way of learning and how biology is a guide to the natural world.


To present the nature of life from various levels of organization, beginning from the small to the large and complex.


To review the essential parts of living things: atoms, molecules, and cells.


To discuss energy and its transformations (respiration and photosynthesis).


To review reproduction in cells (mitosis, meiosis) and organisms (genetics and DNA).


To thoroughly review the theory of evolution as the unifying theme of all biology and trace its origins and development over the last 150 years.


To determine how and why evolution is responsible for the diversity of life on earth.


To review the basic structure and function of plants.


To review the basic structure and function of animals.


To present topics in ecology: populations, communities, and ecosystems.


To utilize the laboratory to reinforce classroom learning through microscopic evaluations, genetic analysis, evolution simulation, and hands-on classifying and observing of Domain Prokarya and Domain Eukarya, including Kingdoms, Fungi, Protista, Plantae, and Animalia



  • Reading of all assigned text chapters.
  • Active participation in all Laboratory investigations.
  • Recording of laboratory observations, completion of lab reports, and worksheets pertaining to virtual laboratory experiments.
  • Six multiple-choice quizzes given on a weekly basis.
  • Substantive participation in weekly discussion forums. Four replies on four different day to each discussion question for the week.
  • Interaction with Voice-Over Power Points.
  • Final exam that will be cumulative and contain both objective and subjective sections.
  • Final Group Project. This will be a group project in which students will explore a specific assignment.



Exams and Quizzes

There will be a mixture of questions (multiple choice, true/false/matching, fill-in-the-blank, and subjective/ short essay questions. A tentative schedule of exams and quizzes can be found in the attached course outline.

Laboratory Reports

Lab reports will be graded on neatness as well as thoroughness.


Discussions will be evaluated on the quality of the following items: research, understanding of the topic, and class interactions. The instructor will explain the requirements and provide a rubric for the assignment.


Simulations will be graded on interaction with the simulation, and on researching the answers to the questions generated in the simulation. Rubric and Instruction are provided with each simulation assignment.

Internet Lesson

Internet lessons are graded on how well the students perform internet searches, and on interaction in different virtual labs to complete questions on the topic of meiosis.


Online Course Attendance Policy

Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online courses as well. Attendance is defined by participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes posting replies in a graded discussion forum or submitting a written assignment. *Please note that the beginning of course activities common to all courses (Syllabus quiz, Course Navigation Quiz, Academic Honesty Pledge, Autobiography) DO NOT count for attendance purposes.


Students that fail to participate in an academic activity as described above in the online classroom prior to the last day to drop/add a course will automatically be dropped from the course.


Students who miss one week of participation will be DROPPED from the course. It is the responsibility of the student to formally withdraw from the course at the Registrar’s office.


Online Course Discussion Policy

In order to understand, remember, and benefit from what we learn in class, discussion and interaction are critical. Responses such as, “I like what you said.” “I agree.” Or “Good thinking.” are NOT acceptable. Also, you should NOT simply repeat what someone else has already said.


Good Discussions in Course Resources will help you, but you should also use this rubric to gain all possible points for your contributions and, more importantly, to get the most out of our class discussion!


Ask yourself the following questions to help guide you in having a great discussion:


  • Did I make the original post by the required deadline?
  • Did I make the required number of responses, by the required deadline?
  • Did I answer the discussion questions directly demonstrating a clear understanding of the material that promoted conversation?
  • Did I support my answers to the discussion questions with research and reading?
  • Did I respond to at least two classmates?
  • Did I continue the conversation with peers that replied to my discussion?
  • Did I answer any additional questions the instructor may have asked?
  • Are all of my responses detailed and clear?
  • Did I relate my responses to the course reading, notes, and/or personal life?
  • Did I provide the class with a response that is non-generic and inspiring – meaning that they learned from what I have contributed and can continue the conversation.
  • Did I use proper grammar, spelling and netiquette?


Responses that do not move the conversation forward by providing information to which others can respond and build upon will negatively affect your weekly score.


Withdrawal Policy

A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.


To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Student Affairs Office or from your Center Director, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student should stop attending or never attend an enrolled class or classes without officially withdrawing prior to the last day to withdraw without academic penalty, the student will receive a grade of AW (Failure) in these courses. No exceptions will be made.


Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that particular course. Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy.


Instructor Policies

Discussion Messages should be concise and will be graded on content and relevancy. Although personal experiences are interesting, the focus needs to always be on how your experiences relate to the content and the curriculum of the course.

All discussion messages and written work should be proofread and spell-checked. Failure to do this will result in a loss of points.

Use of profane or disrespectful language will not be tolerated and will result in grade reduction.

Refrain from using all caps as this is considered an on-line form of yelling.

Replies in which much slang is used will not be accepted as this type of communication can diminish the value of the content.

Deadlines are firm and assignments will not be accepted after the due date. This online format is abbreviated in time compared to the regular semester, so it is important that students plan ahead for all due dates.

All assignments and Lab Reports must be completed in Word Documents for easy review, grading and corrections. Assignments not returned to me in this format will not be accepted. If you are using Google Docs, please download your file as a “Word document,” and submit the file in the same manner to the Portal.



  1. Discussion Groups (total of 8 worth 20 points-------  160 Points
  2. Quizzes (total of 7 worth 25 points each-------------    175 Points
  3. Laboratory Reports from Virtual Labs (total of 12)--- 190 Points
  4. Final Comprehensive Exam--------------------------      100 Points
  5. Peppered Moth Simulation------------------------------     25 Points
  6. Meiosis Internet Lesson and Research----------------      30 Points
  7. Final Group Project ---------------------------------------  100 Points
  8. Peer Review---------------------------------------------------  25

                                                              Total-------------  805 Points


Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Quality Points


96 – 100



90 – 95



87 – 89



83 – 86



80 – 82



77 – 79



73 – 76



70 – 72



67 – 69



60 – 66



0 – 59



Due Dates and Late Penalties

  • There will be no “extra credit.”
  • Due dates need to be met. A grade of Zero will be received if assignments are not received by the scheduled due date!



Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty in any form, such as plagiarism and cheating, will not be tolerated. Sanctions will include an automatic F for plagiarism, but the severity or frequency of the violation may result in dismissal from the College as well. Please see the Student Handbook for a complete explanation.


The following are among the forms of dishonesty for which sanctions may be applied:

  • Using books, notes or other materials during an examination, unless expressly permitted;
  • Using purchased essays, term papers or preparatory research for such papers;
  • Copying others' work or engaging in unauthorized cooperation during an assignment or examination;
  • Allowing another student to copy from an examination or other assignment intended to be performed independently;
  • Borrowing from published works, whether material is taken verbatim or with minor alterations, without proper and/or sufficient acknowledgment;
  • Submitting as one’s own work originally done by someone else;
  • Submitting the same written report in more than one course without prior approval from the instructor(s) involved;
  • Stealing examinations or assignments;
  • Supplying or selling examinations or assignments;
  • Misrepresenting statements concerning work submitted;
  • Falsifying or fabricating experimental data or results;
  • Falsifying or fabricating the need for extensions on papers or make-up examinations.


(Please see student handbook for more information)


Disability Statement

Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution.  Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs.  Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab.  If you feel that you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Mrs. Christine Kiehart in the academic development office to discuss your options. Please note that disability services do not include exemption from participation requirements in courses considered part of the School of Distance Education, including online and hybrid courses.


Lackawanna College Notice of Nondiscrimination

Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State Law including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and with Federal Law including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. Lackawanna College is committed to providing an educational and work environment that is free from unlawful sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender based harassment. 


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Lackawanna College will not tolerate any forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and gender-based harassment by employees, students or third parties. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. The College also prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. This policy applies to admissions, employment, treatment and access to all programs and activities that take place either on or off the campus at Lackawanna College. 


Lackawanna College will fully and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct and will take action reasonably designed to resolve the complaint in an equitable manner, end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and, when appropriate, take steps to remedy its effects on individuals and the college community.

Lackawanna College complies with Title IX and all other federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.


Reports or inquiries regarding nondiscrimination should be made to:

Title IX Coordinator/ Executive Director of the Student Wellness Program, Marsha Pigga, Angeli Hall, Room 102, 501 Vine Street, Scranton PA, 18509 (570) 955-1466/ (570) 677-7589,  


Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action inquiries: Georgia Egan, Affirmative Action Officer/Director of Continuing Education, Angeli Hall, Room 300C, Vine Street, Scranton PA (570) 961-7815, or Gopu Kiron, Affirmative Action Officer/eLearning Director, Angeli Hall, Ground Floor, Vine Street, Scranton PA, (570) 504-7929,


Additional information regarding Title IX requirements and how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights: Office of Civil Rights at, 800-421-3481. Philadelphia Office: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building,100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323 Telephone: 215-656-8541, Email:   


Portfolio and Coursework

Lackawanna College will empower you to experience learning by inspiring your critical thinking, accessing your talents and skills, motivating you toward a career choice, and encouraging you to make a difference. In evidence of this learning, the College requires a graduation portfolio containing Career Documents, including a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and a career exploration; Core Coursework, including a research paper from College Writing; three sample papers or projects from Major Coursework; and a Lackawanna College Reflection Paper.




Course Objective Met

Related Assignment, Assessment, or Learning Activity

ONE: October 18th to October 28th

Chapter #1:Science as a Way of Learning

Chapter #4: Life’s Home: The Cell


Course Objective #1,5,7

Reading Chapter 1 and 4.Voice-over Power points. Discussions Week One. Virtual Lab: Scientific Method, Virtual lab: Cells. Quiz #1

TWO: October 29th to November 4th






Chapter #7: Vital Harvest : Deriving Energy from Food, Chapter #8: The Green World’s Gift: Photosynthesis

Course Objectives #1,2,3,5

Reading Chapter ,7 and 8. Voice-over Power points. Discussions Week Two.  Quiz #2. Virtual Lab: Photosynthesis, Virtual Lab: Cellular Respiration Final Project Assigned Due Dec. 4, 2016

THREE: November 5th to November 11th


Chapter #9: The Links in Life’s Chain:Genetics and Cell Division, Chapter #10: Preparing for Sexual Reproduction:



Course Objectives #1,2,4,7, 8.

Reading Chapters 9, and 10. Voice-over Power Points Virtual Simulation. Discussions Week 3 Virtual Lab Mitosis . Internet Research Lesson : Meiosis

   Quiz #3

FOUR: November 12th to November 18th







Chapter #11: The First Geneticist: Mendel and His Discoveries, Chapter #12: Units of Heredity: Chromosomes and Inheritance


Course Objectives #8, #3, #5 and #4

Reading Chapters #11 and #12 . Text-book Power Points. 

Discussions Week #4

.Virtual Lab: Punnett Squares

Virtual Lab: Pedigrees and Pedigree problems . Quiz #4

FIVE: November 19th to November 25th






Chapter #16: An Introduction to Evolution: Charles Darwin, Evolutionary Thought, and the Evidence for Evolution,

Chapter #17, The Means of Evolution :Microevolution

Course Objectives #1,#2,#4, #6, #8

Reading Chapters #16 and #17

Voice-Over Power points. Discussions Week 5. Virtual Lab: Sex and the Single Guppy. Simulation: Peppered Moth  Quiz #5

SIX: November 26th to December 2nd





Chapter #18: The Outcome of Evolution: Macroevolution, Chapter #20 Arriving Late, Traveling Far: The Evolution of Human Beings

Course Objectives #2, #3, #4,# 6, #7 #8.

Read Chapters #18 and #20. Voice-over Power points. Discussions Week 6. Virtual Lab: Macroevolution

Virtual Lab: Human Skull lab

Quiz #6

Discussions Week #6



December 3rd to December 9th





Chapter #21 Viruses, Bacteria, Archaea, and Protists: The Diversity of Life I

Chapter#24:Plants: The Diversity of Life 4


Review of Chapters:#1,4,7,8,9,10,11,12, 16, 17, 18, , 20, 21, 24


Course objectives: #1,#2,#3,#4, #5,#6,#7 and #8

Discussions Week #7.

 Virtual Lab: Bacteria,

Viruses, Protists, virtual pond dip

Virtual Lab: Evolution of Plants, Life Cycles

 Quiz #7 Final Project Due


Final Exam:

Comprehensive (Chapters 1,4,7,8,9,1011,12,16, 17,18,,20, 21, and 24.