Honors Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity (4) Honors study of the evolution of the major groups of organisms including the fundamental concepts of biology.
BIOL 110H Honors Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity (4)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
This is the first biology course taken by students who intend to major in biology. It provides a foundation for the basic concepts that govern life. In addition, these concepts are used to explain the processes of evolution that contribute to the biodiversity that we observe today.
The course objectives have remained unchanged and seek to provide students with a fundamental understanding of: 1) features of life; 2) how basic genetic processes provide continuity between generations; 3) how genetic variation arises and contributes to evolutionary processes; 4) how structure relates to function; 5) how the diversity life is studied and explained by evolution.
Current evaluation methods in the lecture part of the course include three "mid-term" exams and a comprehensive final exam. Evaluation methods in the lab portion of the course include in-class quizzes, one or more lab reports on experiments or data analysis conducted in lab sessions. Points earned on lecture exams typically comprise 70% of the total points, whereas points earned in lab typical comprise 30% of the total points earned in the course. However, we have developed an extensive set of web-based interactive tutorials for this course (see http://www.bio.psu.edu/bio110mellon/index.jsp) that contain an instructor reporting feature and in future years student on-lone performance may comprise 10% of the grade (with a proportional reduction in exam points).
The Honor's version of the course will differ in a number of ways from the parent BIOL 110 course. First, there are more opportunities to discuss current applications of the information. In addition, a unique project (either in lab and/or lecture) will allow students to explore a specific area of the course in more detail (e.g., a biodiversity project in which student groups present detailed information about a given taxon). Where appropriate, students will be exposed to current research in specific areas. The evaluation for the course will be modified from that of the parent course in accordance with the changes in assignments.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.