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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kimberly Williams-Guillen
B BIO 180
Bothell Campus

Introductory Biology I

For students intending to take advanced courses in the biological sciences or enroll in pre-professional programs. Mendelian genetics, evolution, biodiversity of life forms, ecology, conservation biology. First course in a three-quarter series (B BIO 180, B BIO 200, B BIO 220). Prerequisite: either B CHEM 142 or B CHEM 143.

Class description

This course is the first in the Intro Bio series, and forms the foundation from

Student learning goals

Students will master basic principles of experimental design to understand biological principles, with a focus on clearly articulating hypotheses, predictions, and designing studies to test hypotheses.

Students will begin a year-long process of understanding how biologists collect, analyze, and present data; in 180, we will focus particularly on how to make and interpret graphs of quantitative data.

Students will understand and be able to explain how natural selection functions in populations to produce evolutionary change over short and long time scales.

Students will master the principles of Mendelian genetics at the level of the gene, the organism, and the population. Students will be able to explain and recognize examples of Mendelian inheritance (e.g., systems of dominance) and explain patterns of inheritance with respect to the basic structure of genetic material.

Students will learn and be able to give examples of the history and diversity of life on planet Earth, with a focus on major evolutionary developments in different lineages of life as adaptations to the challenges of survival and reproduction.

Students will understand and be able to give examples of different types of interactions between organisms and their environment, and be able to explain how these interactions structure populations, species, communities, and biomes.

General method of instruction

This course uses a highly interactive and structured method of learning, in which students complete reading quizzes before lectures and labs, extensive in-class exercises based on clicker questions, and hands-on labs in order to develop an in-depth understanding of the various ways to answer one of biology's most fundamental questions: Why are there so many different kinds of life on earth, and how did they get to be so well suited for the environments in which they occur? "Lectures" are highly interactive and involve a lot of interaction with, and instruction from, the professor and peer groups. A high percentage of your course grade comes from the lecture sessions. In labs, you will build upon peer-based learning and assessment in order to explore complex topics in depth, using materials and methods that we can't use in a larger lecture setting.

Recommended preparation

Students interested in enrolling in the intro bio sequence must complete a number of prerequisites, including an intro chemistry sequence. See the Biology webpage ( for more information. Students should have mastery of basic algebra, as well as high school biology, in order to succeed in Bio 180.

Class assignments and grading

There are three main kinds of assignments/assessments in this course:

(1) Multiple-choice based quizzes, administered online through Catalyst and in-class through clicker questions. These assignments help keep you on track with reading and assignments, will help you determine areas of weakness or lack of understanding *before* tests. These tests will help you build your basic knowledge of concepts.

(2) Lab assignments and in-class assignments will allow you to explore concepts in depth, using various methods. You will usually work in groups for these assignments; however, all work that you turn in must be your own. Most work for these assignments will consist of short-answer questions. Your lab grade will also include one longer writing assignment. These assignments will help you cement basic concepts and explore them in more depth.

(3) Three exams, non-cumulative, administered after each major section of the course. These exams will include a number of question formats, including multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions, and will evaluate how well you have understood the material presented in lecture and labs.

Approximately 20% of your grade will come from reading quizzes and in-class clicker questions; approximately 20% will come from lab assignments; and approximately 60% from three exams.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kimberly Williams-Guillen
Date: 07/27/2011