Spring 2011, Lecture: MWF 9:05 – 9:55 am, room 307 Biology Unit I

Weekly Help Session: W 6:30 - 7:30 pm, room 2057 Life Science (KIN)


Office Hours 1-3 M  and by appt.
Professor: Dr. Debra Ann Fadool
Office: 3008 Life Science Building  - Ext. 4-4775
Lab: 3014 Life Science Building
Required Text Book: Biology, eighth edition, 2008;
Campbell and Reece


1. Rationale for the Course:


Biology is the study of life. A scientist can explore life on many levels; the cell, a molecule of DNA, a protein structure, an organ, the organism, the interaction of organisms within their environment.....and at each level there are regulatory mechanisms that provide a constant dynamic balance of life. “Biology is the scientific extension of the human tendency to feel connected to and curious about all forms of life. It is a science for adventurous minds.” Campbell 2008.


2. Course Objectives:


This course will cover four major units in introductory biology: 1) Atoms and biological molecules, 2) Energy transformations, 3) Molecular genetics, and 4) Animal exchange, transport and regulatory systems. It is my intension to provide a broad foundation in general biology that the student can build upon in advanced courses depending upon their career interests and sub- specialties. A solid knowledge base is vital for the student of modern biology. During an era of information overload and heightened accessibility, our objective will be to establish a diverse base upon which the young biologist can draw from in later academic years as the information presented is refined and narrowly tuned. This course will permit an understanding in cellular biology in its broadest sense so that the young student finds excitement in exploring many niches of biology as a foundation of their general biology education.


3. Course Evaluation: You will be graded based upon the following -
Exam I - 100 pts.       Grading Scale     90-100 4.0
Exam II - 100 pts.                        80-89 3.0
III - 100 pts.                       70-79 2.0

Quizzes - 50 pts.                         60-69 1.0

Discussion Groups – 25 pts.               <59 0

Final Exam - 100 pts.


For grading I use a 10 point scale where half-grades are also assigned.  I use a combination of different testing formats within a single exam. This is designed to NOT test your ability to take exams, but rather to tell me what you have learned and what you can apply.  You can expect that the examination will be formatted as multiple choice, true/false, calculations, fill in the blank, and short answer.  It will be important to apply your knowledge on examinations as well as recall memorized facts in this introductory course.  Examinations will be based upon lecture material, text book readings, study guide questions available at our class website, and calculations/self quiz sections at the end of your assigned chapters.  Examinations will NOT cover discussion group literature (see next paragraph).  Quizzes can come at any time and can deal with lecture material or text readings. They will be short 10 pointers to keep you frequently studying facts and concepts. There are NO makeups for quizzes. Please don't be afraid to ask questions either in class, during office hours, or during the weekly help session.  If your schedule conflicts with my hours please make an appointment to see me, I am happy to meet with you.  I will frequently hold an additional help session prior to the major examinations for further clarifications after deep study.


Honor’s Curriculum:  In the Wednesday evening session, we will be discussing and presenting short articles that will be assigned as supplementary outside reading.  These readings will be original research manuscripts or lay articles written about a public scientific issue. Learn to read these more difficult assignments. Do not memorize experimental designs but rather take home global concepts.  It is my intention that these will help foster translation of your training in biology to society.  These will be posted in the “Interesting Literature” link on our course website in the form of pdf files.  You will work within small groups for 20 minutes of the hour using a guided question from me and then each group will give a 2-5 minute presentation based upon discussion lead by the group.  We will read 8 such articles over the course of the semester and you will have the ability to earn a total of 25 participation points (5 per article – you select which 5 of the 8 articles to read based upon personal preference).  If you fail to read the assigned article you may elect to stay for the second half of the evening (review/help session), but you will not be given participation credit within a discussion group.  The remainder of the hour will thus be utilized to review difficult concepts presented in the lecture classroom or work practice calculations from the end of each chapter that will reflect examination content. 


Extra Credit:  Due to the fact that this is an introductory course with a large proportion of freshman taking their first college biology course, I understand that you have to develop study skills that will bode you well throughout your four years at FSU.  Sometimes a tested strategy fails and you have to re-examine, re-direct, or increase your study habits.  Therefore, you have the capacity to earn 25 extra credit points equally throughout the semester to assist you if you falter a bit.  (5 points on each examination, 1 point on each quiz).  I also look at the trend in your academic performance over the course of the semester to judge significant improvement in calculating your final course grade. 

4. Calendar of Assigned Readings (Click for Link)

5. Course Outlines (Click for Link)


6. Student Responsibilities:


I will direct the content of the lecture material around classic principles in biology to allow you to begin to formulate your own critical line of thinking. This is essential for you to be successful as scientist, a professor, a medical professional, a scientific writer, or any number of professions that branch from a degree in the Biological Sciences. The textbook readings are required readings that will provide greater details of the work synthesized in lecture. It is my expectation that there is no substitute for text reading and reviewing lecture notes for applying and acquiring knowledge. For every hour I have with you in the classroom, you can expect 3 hours of reading, thinking, and self-study. It is the student's responsibility to come prepared to each class meeting by having the reading completed and prior lecture notes reviewed.  It is useful to print out the course outlines (Item 5 above) so that you have it in front of you while taking notes about unfamiliar terminology. 


To prepare for good performance on examinations, it is expected that you have worked through all study guide questions posted on our class website and the self-quiz problems at the end of each assigned chapter in your text book.   These are not turned in for homework and some students find it helpful to work in pairs or small groups.  Students requiring more self practice should utilize the Campbell website, the CD-ROM associated with the text book, or the paperback study guide associated with the Campbell text.  All are exceptional resources as are your two tutors assigned to our section and the resource room in Biological Science that is staffed 8 hours per day with tutors.  It is my expectation that you prepare for your examinations after EACH lecture and NOT cram your studying efforts into a 3 day window prior to the examination.  Students that perform well on unannounced quizzes are typically the same students that perform equally on examinations because they have learned the fundamentals of consistent self-study. 


7. Florida State University Honor Code:


Students are expected to uphold the Academic Honor Code published in The Florida State University Bulletin and the Student Handbook. The academic honor system of The Florida State University is based on the premise that each student has the responsibility (1) to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in the student's own work, (2) to refuse to tolerate violations of academic integrity in the university community, and (3) to foster a high sense of integrity and social responsibility on the part of the university community.


8. Class Attendance:


Class attendance is required. Data support the idea that class attendance improves learning. It is very difficult and as well as uninspiring for me to help a student who does not attend lecture. What is created in the classroom cannot be reenacted.


9. Policy on Missed Material or Missed Exams:


There will be NO exam makeups without PRIOR notice of a VERIFIED university excused absence (illness, death of family member, academic society meeting, subpoena to court, varsity athletics, or religious holiday). If you are ill, you must have a signed statement from the treating physician. The student must contact the instructor prior to the exam if they anticipate an university excused absence on the day of the exam. Final grades will be determined from the weighted average of all exams and quizzes and a curve will be established in the event of a low class average (an overall class average of less than 70%). In the case of borderline grades, the pattern of class performance, level of continued effort and academic growth, and student development will be taken into consideration by the instructor.


10. American Disabilities Act Policy:


Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center, and (2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class.