BSC-2023 - Department of Biological Sciences

Florida International University
BSC 2023 U01
Human Biology Fall 2012
Instructor: Steven Reinhardt
Office: OE 215
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: Monday through Friday; 9:30AM - 11:00AM
(Please make appointments in advance)
Office phone: 305-348-7614
Meeting Time / Place:
Lecture: Monday, Wednesday & Friday; 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM / SCH. INTER. & PUBLIC AFFAIRS, 125
Learning Materials:
Text; Visualizing Human Biology, 3rd Edition, K.A. Ireland
Course Description:
In Human Biology (BSC 2023) you will learn the key concepts governing the scientific method and human
body structure, function, variation, and evolution. In addition, you will learn how to apply these concepts to
solve problems related to human biology. We will examine a broad scope of topics including homeostasis
and communication mechanisms of the body, movement and support, reproduction, growth and
development, genetic variation, and environmental plasticity. The course is primarily designed for nonscience majors, and there are no prerequisites for the course. A separate laboratory course (BSC 2023L) is
taught in conjunction with this course and is recommended.
Grading policy and Assessment:
Your grade will be assessed based on your performance in three exams, one 10% assignment,
one final cumulative exam, (if you take it) and PLTL (if you decide to participate). The final exam
is not obligatory unless you miss a previous exam. If you miss an exam, you have to take the
final exam. PLTL is not obligatory and will not count against you if you do not participate. PLTL
and the final exam can only improve your final grade not reduce it.
Three Exams and Final Examination will consist of multiple-choice, matching, and true-false
questions answered on computer-graded forms (Scantron).
Grading scale:
A 90% - 100%
B 80% - 89%
C 70% - 79%
D 60% - 69%
F <60%
Grade Distribution:
30% - 1st Exam
30% - 2nd Exam
30% - 3rd Exam
10% - Assignment
100% - Total
Exam Dates:
Exam 1 – Sept. 6th Monday
Exam 2 – Oct. 5th Monday
Exam 3 – Nov. 26th Monday
Assignment due no later then Nov. 26th
FINAL EXAM – Dec. 3rd Monday, 12pm-2pm
If you miss an exam, the final exam is obligatory and will account for 30% towards your final
grade. If you take all 3 exams and take the final exam, your lowest exam grade will be omitted.
Grading policy:
There will be no make-up exams administered unless circumstances beyond the student’s
control arise and are IMMEDIATELY accompanied by the appropriate documentation:
-Death of an immediate family member requires official bereavement statement.
-Student/immediate family member with acute/terminal illness require an official hospital/clinic
-Traffic accident requires official accident report.
-Jury duty requires county clerk summons.
-Military duty with official documentation.
The aforementioned will be taken into consideration or, if applicable, allow students to request
an “Incomplete” grade. Candidates for grades of “Incomplete” include those students that have
completed 60% of the course work satisfactorily (C grade or higher) and cannot justifiably finish
the course (pre-planned vacation/business trips do not constitute a serious interruption).
Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL):
PLTL: BSC 2023-U01, students have the option of participating in the Peer-Led Team Learning
(PLTL) sessions. Registered students will have weekly meetings with a PLTL leader along with a
small group of students. The PLTL leader’s role as facilitator will guide students through assigned
activities that can only enhance comprehension of human biology. If you decide to fully
participate in PLTL, your PLTL score will be converted to 100 points and averaged into your
lowest exam score (If the final exam is taken or if you opt-out of the final exam, the 3 highest
exams grades will be recorded and of these 3, the lowest exam will be combined with the PLTL
points accumulated. i.e., lowest exam score + 100 PLTL points/2=adjusted lowest exam score).
All students are encouraged to utilize the PLTL resources to the utmost; however, students
opting not to fully participate in PLTL will not accrue any semester points.
PLTL can not hurt your grade it can only help it.
The Day of the Exams:
All other materials will have to be placed at the front or back of the class, so it is best not to carry anything
to the room on exam day. NOTE: this includes hats, phones, computers, purses, backpacks, tissues, sweaters
and jackets, calculators, lunch boxes—everything except pencils. Please turn off all phones. You will be asked
to remove your hats.
We will check your student ID before you are allowed to turn-in your test and leave. Please do not forget to
bring ID.
You may write on the test sheet. You will be supplied a scantron. I use a database to record the grades. The
identifier is your Panther ID Number/Student Number. If you incorrectly bubble in your Student Number,
you will receive no grade for the exam. You must also bubble in your name correctly (Last name first, First
name last).
When you are finished, your name must be written on the test and turned in with the scantron sheet,
whether filled-out or not. The scantron will not be accepted unless they have returned the test with it.
Class rules during exams; No looking around or talking after the exam has started, even if you are not
cheating I will take your test and you will receive a zero for that exam.
Cheating, you will fail the course (see below).
Arriving late for exams:
If you arrive to an exam more than 30 minutes late, or after the first person finishes the exam (whichever
comes first) you will not be allowed to take the exam. You must take the exam during your registered class.
Checking your grades :
Grades will be will be sent to your Panther email account on-line as soon as I receive them and
can enter them into my database. Please do not email me asking what your grade is or when
the grades will be posted. After posting the grades if your grade is not on the list or you did
not receive the email, then email me: [email protected] and I will send it to you.
Cheating policy :
Cheating (i.e. possession of crib sheets/notes, glaring at another’s paper) during any of the
administered exams is a direct violation of FIU’s student conduct code and will not be
tolerated in this course. The instructor will be proctoring exams diligently; violators will either
receive a failing semester grade or be subjected to university administrative action. This policy
adheres to the following:
“Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting
knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of
ideas, and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an
equitable opportunity to learn and honestly demonstrate the quality of their learning.
Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which
demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the
University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found
responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct
procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Handbook.”
Tips on the successful completion of this course:
-Attendance is mandatory. Poor attendance can only result in poor grades. The lecture topics
will have “objectives” that will only be posted during the class and not available on moodle. I
will also cover some topics in class that might not be on power point moodle presentations and
these topics could possibly be on exams
-Make emphasis on careful note-taking and pre-reading skills.
In the case of missed lecture days or impending absences, students are responsible for
obtaining lecture notes and in-class announcement information from fellow classmates (do not
summon the instructor for this).
-All electronic equipment should be silenced (i.e. phones, computers, I-pads), computer are not
allowed on in class unless they are used to take notes or augment the lecture in some manner
and should be silent. Please be considerate with the use of computers so as to not encumber
the learning and thinking process of others.
-Disruptive behavior during lectures/exams is deemed inappropriate and will not be
If any of the preceding information elicits a conflict of interest, you are strongly urged to DROP
the course.
Please be advised that the course syllabus schedule of events is subject to change at the
instructor’s discretion.
1st week:
August 20 – 26
Review Course Syllabus
PLTL Presentation
What is life and how do we study it? (Chapter 1)
Scientists Approach Questions Using the Scientific Method (Chapter 1)
• The Scientific Method Leads to Theories
• Critical Reasoning Is Useful in Human Biology
2nd week:
August 27 – September 2
Where do we come from and where do we fit? (Chapters 2)
• What are the Origins of Modern Humans?
Chemistry of Life (Chapter 3)
• Atomic structure and bonding
• Water - Life’s essential chemical
• Organic Chemicals
3rd week:
September 3 - 9
Monday 3rd, Labor Day Holiday, University Closed
Cells: Organization and communication (Chapter 4):
• What is cell?
• Cell membrane
• Cell organization; the components of cells
• Cell communication
Friday 7th, Book-check due
4th week:
September 10 – 16
Tissues and Organs (Chapter 5)
• Basic tissue types
• Organs, organ systems, and the organisms
Students group generated test questions
5th week:
September 17 - 23
*EXAM 1(unit I) – Monday, 17th
6th week:
September 24 - 30
The Nervous System (Chapter 7)
• Central and Peripheral neuronal system
• Neurons
The Special Senses (Chapter 8)
7th week:
October 1 - 7
Immunity and the Lymphatic System (Chapter 9)
• Overview of the Immune System
• Skin and mucous membranes
• Innate Immunity
• Adaptive Immunity
8th week:
October 8 - 14
Infectious Diseases (Chapter 10)
• Bacterial and Viral Infections Basics
• HIV and AIDS
The Skeleto-Muscular system (Chapter 6)
• Functionality and dynamic of the system
• Bone tissue and the skeleton
• Skeletal muscles
Students group generated test questions
9th week:
October 15 - 21
*EXAM 2 (unit II and III) - Monday, 15th
10th week:
October 22 - 28
The Cardiovascular (Chapters 12)
• The heart and circulatory pathways
• Blood
Respiratory Systems (Chapters 13)
• Respiratory tract
• Transport of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide
11th week:
October 29 – November 4
Digestive System (Chapters 15)
(October 29th the last day to drop with a “DR” grade)
• Digestive tract and digestion
Urinary System (Chapter 16)
• Kidneys
• Maintains the body’s fluid and solute balance
12th week:
November 5 - 11
The Endocrine System (Chapters 17)
• Hormones and the Endocrine glands
Reproductive System (Chapters 18)
• Male and Female Reproductive systems
13th week:
November 12 - 18
Monday 12th, Veterans-Day, University Closed
Inheritance, Genetics and Molecular Biology (Chapter 20)
• Traits are inherited in specific patterns
• Modern Genetics and the Central Dogma; genes direct the formation of proteins
14th week:
November 19 - 25
Students group generated test questions
Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th , Thanksgiving Holiday, University Closed
15th week:
November 26 - December 2
10% Assignment due: Monday, 26th
*EXAM 3 (unit IV and V) th
Summary and review of Human Biology
Students group generated test questions
16th Week: Finals Week
December 3 - 7
(No classes except for the day of the final)
• FINAL EXAM: Monday, December 3rd, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Assignment, 10% of final grade
“Drawing to Learn in Science”
1. Choose a book and have it checked off. From the list provided or check with me first if you have a book you
think will be appropriate for a Human Biology class. Bring the book to class or by my office before September 7th
(Friday). When I see the book I will check your name off on a list (if you do not bring the book by to get your
name checked off you will not receive credit for the report).
2. Read and write. A minimum 2 page summary of the contents and main idea or theme of the book. If you want,
give your perspective on the topic at the end of the summary (not counted in as the 2 page summary).
3. Illustrate. Through this illustration explain the main idea or what you believe is the theme of the book, as if you
are teaching it to someone else and you had to explain it to them with just your illustration. You will NOT be
graded on artistic ability but content will be a major part of the overall grade. Drawings, paintings or whatever you
feel comfortable with. No computer assisted drawings, use your hands. You should be able to look at the
illustration alone and determine the main idea without the written summary. See student examples provided on
my Moodle class site and the references below for more clarity if needed.
4. Deadline. November 26th (Monday). If you turn the project in early I will grade it and give it back, time
permitting, you can correct anything that may be needed and resubmit it for an upgrade. If you turn the project in
on or close to the deadline I will not give the project back and you will not know your grade until after the final
exam (I will email the grade to you) You can pick up your project after the term is over and I have recorded the
grade by coming by my office during office hours (see syllabus for office hours).
References and further explanation and examples:
* Free Podcast; Science Update Podcast, August 26th, 2011; Fears, Lies & Shrinking Brains
* Journal; Science; August 26th, 2011. Vol. 333, Issue 6046. in the section; Science Education, pgs. 1096-1097. Article title;
“Drawing to Learn in Science”. (Reserved in FIU Library)
* Website;
“Drawing to Learn in Science”
Book list
Title; Authors
1. A Short History of Nearly Everything; Bill Bryson, (there are two versions of the book, one for adults
and one for children, obviously do not choose the children’s book)***
2. The Paleo Diet (Revised Edition); Loren Cordain, (Two other books; The Paleo cookbook & The
Paleo Diet for Athletes, are not on the list but are also good follow up books for self interest)*
3. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution; Richard Dawkins***
4. The Selfish Gene; Richard Dawkins***
5. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies; Jared Diamond***
6. Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom; Rick Hanson &
Richard Mendius*
7. Proust was a Neuroscientist; Jonah Lehrer**
8. The Hidden Brain; Shankar Vedantam**
9. The Social Conquest of Earth; Edward O. Wilson***
10. Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human; Richard Wrangham**
The level of astride (*) will delineate the level or length of the book;
* = Not Difficult, ** = Moderately Difficult, *** = Difficult
“Drawing to Learn in Science”
Tips; After looking online at a detailed summary of a book you might be interested in (maybe and you obtain the book, look in advance at how many chapters the book has,
divide how many weeks you have left in the term and set a plan on the number of chapters
you must read a week. Leave a couple of weeks before the deadline (Monday, November 26th)
to do the summary and illustration. Some books have extensively more pages then others and
some have more difficult concepts and require more thought and, or time. I will take this into
account when grading.
I have a few donated copies of each of the above books if you want to borrow one but they go
quick. If you want to donate your book after doing the project it would be greatly appreciated!
Suggested Weekly Podcast: free downloads
1. Nature Podcast; Highlighted content fro the week’s edition of the science journal Nature
2. Science Update Podcast; Highlighted contents for the weekly edition of the AAAS, Journal of
3. PRI’s, The World: Technology Podcast; Weekly technology podcast highlighting the latest and
greatest news in global technology.
4. 60-Second Mind, Scientific American; Weekly one minute commentary on the latest
developments in the science of brain and behavior.
5. NPR: Planet Money Podcast; Biweekly podcast with a staff of economist explaining and
discussing the rapidly changing global economy in an interesting and humorous format.
6.; TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984)
as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment,
Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Click on “Talks” and you can view short
informative lectures. Free subscription and the talks will be sent to you.

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