Course Syllabus
Human Biology
Professor Information
Professor's Photo
Prof. Maureen Walter
Academic 1, Rm. 380, BBC
Office Hours:
When I am Online or by appt.
(305) 919-5898 You may call, but if I don't answer, send an email. Don't leave a voicemail message.
Course Description and Purpose

This course is designed in a format that divides the 12 Modules in half with Modules 1-6 open during the first half of the semester and then Modules 7-12 open during the second half of the semester. This results in a work load of ~ one Module per week.  Each Module contains 1-2 Chapters and each Chapter has its own Quiz.  Exams 1 & 2 are like 2 Midterm Exams, with Exam 1 covering the material in Modules 1-6 and Exam 2 the material in Modules 7-12.  If you have a smart-phone, I suggest you now place in your Calendar app the closing days and time for the quizzes and Exams and also include some alerts to remind you of these closings.


Jan. 7 (Monday) Spring 2013 starts (all material opens & closes 9AM throughout semester)
- Module 1 open to familiarize
- Student/Instructor Quiz open
Jan. 11 (Friday)
Feb.20 (Wednesday)
Modules 1-6 Quizzes open
Modules 1-6 close
9 quizzes total
Feb.20 (Wednesday)
Feb. 25 (Monday)
Exam 1 opens
Exam 1 closes
Feb. 26 (Tuesday)
April 10 (Wednesday)
Modules 7-12 open
Modules 7-12 close
7 quizzes total
April 10 (Wednesday)
April 15 (Monday)
Exam 2 opens
Exam 2 closes
Course Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Relate basic chemical structures to physical structures and processes of cells.

  • Identify the structures and functions of the systems of the human body.

  • Describe how the human body functions as a whole through the interactions of systems.

  • Recognize DNA as the basis for genetic control of life, growth and reproduction.

  • Critically discuss current news stories regarding human health examining the human biology involved and addressing controversies.

  • Explore concepts using the scientific method.



Major & Curriculum Objectives Targeted

This course assumes prior scientific knowledge of biology at the High School level, and thus serves for non-biology major students who wish to satisfy the Life Science requirement (lecture and separate lab) within the University Core Curriculum Natural Science category. BSC2023 may also serve as a prerequisite course for specific majors, such as Psychology.  The primary emphasis will be on the structure and function of the human organism including basic concepts, principles, and processes in human biology; chemistry, cells, genetics, reproduction, disease, evolution, and the anatomy and function of major organ systems in humans.

Natural Sciences

Our technologically dependent world requires an understanding of the processes that led us here. Learning the basic concepts and ideas of scientific fields provides contact with not just those fields but with how science is done. In these courses, students study the scientific method through examination of the foundational theories of modern scientific thought. Students apply scientific principles and theories to problem solving, evaluate scientific statements, and incorporate new information within the context of what is already known.

Emphasizing the essential connection between theory and experiment, the hands-on laboratory experience found in the BSC2023 Lab provides the context for testing scientific theories.  Students will be able to describe the scientific method through examination of the foundational theories of modern scientific thought.

Teaching Methodology

This course is divided into Modules.  Each Module includes 1 or 2 Chapters of included text that covers the different Human Biology topics. There will also be a "Guide to the Material" for each Chapter.  These Guides will help to lead you through the concepts covered in each Chapter and will also include links to outside material that will enhance your learning experience.  By utilizing the Guides and answering any included questions, you will be helping to prepare yourself for the Chapter Quiz and the Sectional Exam 1 (Modules 1-6) and Exam 2 (Modules 7-12).

Assurance of Learning

The College of Business cares about the quality of your education. More on the College's commitment to Assurance of Learning can be found at the following link: addons/Learning_Commitment.pdf


Please review the policies page as it contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU and additional information on the standards for acceptable netiquette important for online courses.

Course Prerequisites

For this course to fulfill the UCC requirement, students must also take the Lab component worth 1 credit. This is BSC2023L and can be taken online or in an actual lab environment on either campus. Any quizzes or Exams taken in this course has no impact on the BSC2023Lab grade.

For more information about prerequisites, click here.

This online section does not require an on-campus meeting and/or exam.

Technical Requirements & Skills

One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the "What's Required" page to find out more information on this subject.

For detailed information about the technical requirements, please click here.

Accessibility And Accommodation

For detailed information about the specific limitations with the technologies used in this course, please click here.

For more information about Blackboard's Accessibility Commitment, click here.

For additional assistance please contact our Disability Resource Center.

Proctored Exam Policy

Please note that the information contained in this section applies only if your course requires a proctored exam.

It is the student’s responsibility to determine whether this online course requires proctored exams by carefully reviewing this syllabus. For detailed instructions please visit our Proctored Exam Resources page on the FIU Online website.

Textbook cover

You will not need to purchase a textbook for this course. All of the required material is on the website.

Expectations of this Course

This is an online course, meaning that all of the course work (100%) will be conducted and completed online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same as for a traditional course; in fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills that can make them more demanding for some students.
Fully online courses are not independent study courses. Depending on the requirements of your specific course, you will be expected to interact online with the professor and your fellow students; to do any assignments; to meet deadlines; and in many classes, to work in virtual groups. In some fully online courses, you may be required to come to campus to take midterms and exams, but in most, you will take your tests online (as it is for this course BSC2023). It is expected that interactive learning and teaching will enrich the learning experience of all students, and that each student will work in partnership with the professor to create a positive learning experience for all. Student engagement is a necessary condition for an effective learning experience, and includes contributions to debate and discussion (if any), positive interactive learning with others, and an enthusiastic attitude towards inquiry. Everyone is expected to be a positive contributor to the class learning community, and students are expected to share the responsibility of teaching each other.

Assignments from the text and other resources are listed below for each class session. Students are expected to pace their completion of the coursework according to the posted course assignments. Very important: Students are expected to check their Blackboard Learn9 mail a few times a week to access all general announcements and messages sent by the instructor on a weekly basis, to read these announcements and messages thoroughly, and to follow the instructions on them carefully.


Students are expected to:

  • Review the How to Get Started information located in the course content.
  • Introduce yourself to the class during the first week by posting a self introduction in the appropriate discussion forum.
  • Take the practice quiz to ensure that your computer is compatible with Blackboard. I strongly suggest that you use Mozilla's Firefox browser instead of Internet Explorer.  It is free, easy to download, and seems to be much more compatible with Blackboard. 
  • Interact online with instructor/s and peers and keep up with all assignments.
  • Review and follow the course calendar.
Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via messages and announcements. You may also email me at my regular FIU email,  But be sure to put your name and course number in the subject line indicating you are an online student.

The course message feature is a private, internal Blackboard only communication system. Users must log on to the blackboard system to send/receive/read messages. There are no notifications in Blackboard to inform users when a new message has been received; therefore, it is recommended that students check their messages routinely to ensure up-to-date communication.

The announcements are messages sent to your registered email account.  This is typically your FIU account email.  The announcement messages are very helpful because I use this tool to inform the whole class about course issues such as material closing or any technology problems students have encountered.  I will be sending out an announcement the first day of class.  If you do not receive it, contact Technology Support (through link on left-hand menu) and ask them to change your email.

I receive many messages throughout the semester.  For some, I respond individually, but to others I will respond as a message to the whole class because I view it as an issue that everyone needs to know about.  And for some messages, I do not respond at all.  Some of these are the messages that request I reopen material that has closed.  Since the course guidelines are very clear on this matter, and since all students will have taken the Student-Instructor quiz covering these guidelines, there is no reason for me to tell the student what they already know:  the material will not be reopened.

I typically log in to the course 3 times a week, so you can expect to receive an answer to any messages within 72 hours.  If it is an emergency, send an email to my regular FIU email account.

Discussion Forums

Keep in mind that forum discussions are public, and care should be taken when determining what to post.

Will be used for class discussions and other postings of general interest that are directly related to the course. Keep in mind that forum discussions are public, and care should be taken when determining what to post.
• Students will make a total of 8 posts during the course in the Discussion Forum.  Four will be during the first half of the semester and four during the second half of the semester.  Out of each of these units of 4 postings, two will be original postings about the articles you read and the other two will be responses to another student's original postings.
• These postings will represent 5% of your overall grade.

Quizzes and Exams

In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

Please note that the semester is divided into two periods:
January 11 - February 25             9 Quizzes, Exam 1, 4 Discussion postings
February 26-  - April 13                7 Quizzes, Exam 2, 4 Discussion postings 

Each student will be required to enter into a "course contract" with the Instructor by taking the INSTRUCTOR-STUDENT CONTRACT QUIZ found on the Course Content page and under Assessments. This contract specifies that you have read the Syllabus and therefore understand the time frame for completion of the Exams, Quizzes, and Discussion Postings. You do not receive points for this quiz. But completing it and earning a perfect score is a requirement for being able to take Exam 1.  You may take the quiz as many times as is required for you to earn a perfect score. 

While the on-line format of this course will offer the student a degree of flexibility in when they participate in the work, it requires self-discipline to stay on track through the semester.  You will receive Announcement emails indicating where you should be (ideally) in the work and how much you should have completed by that time and each student is responsible for keeping up with their work. The suggested work pattern is to do one Module per week.

If you have an Exam scheduling conflict, let me know. While I cannot customize the course to fit your schedule (and in the case of the quizzes since each quiz period lasts 6 weeks there should be no conflict) I can open an exam early.   YOU MUST NOTIFY ME IN ADVANCE OF A CONFLICT, NOT AFTER THE EXAM HAS CLOSED! Baring hurricanes and other natural disasters, there will be no extensions on the closing dates for the Chapter quizzes (Feb. 20 for Modules 1-6 and April 10 for Modules 7-12), for the Exam 1 (Feb.25) and Exam 2 (April 15).

Each student is allowed to take a quiz or Exam 2 times.  But if they do take it two times, they receive the average of the two scores.

If you choose to wait until the last few hours to complete your work, you are taking the chance of having something preventing you from completing the work, much to your unhappiness, since the work will not be reopened.


Course Requirements     Weight
Exam 1     25%
Exam 2     25%
Quizzes (16 Quizzes Total)     45%
Supplementary Exercises/Postings     5%
Total     100%


RAnge Letter
Range Letter
A Above 93 B- 81-83 D+ 67 - 70
A- 91 - 92 C+ 77 - 80 D 64 - 66
B+ 87 - 90 C 74 - 76 D- 61 - 63
B 84 - 86 C- 71 - 73 F < 61
Module Weekly Schedule
Date Tasks
Jan. 7 Welcome to Human Biology - Read information on Homepage and Syllabus and familiarize yourself with the Blackboard Learn9 online course structure by looking at Module 1 (quizzes will not open until Jan. 11).

- Take Student-Instructor Quiz (You may take this as many times as is necessary to earn a perfect score of 15.  While this score will not be part of your grade, Exam 1 (Feb. 20-25) will not be available for you until the perfect score is earned.)
1st Period
Jan. 11-Feb. 20

Module 1:
Chapters 1&2

Module 2:
Chapters 3 & 4

Module 3:
Chapter 5

Module 4:
Chapter 5

Module 5:
Chapter 7&8

Module 6:
Chapter 9
Chapter quizzes (9) and Articles (for Discussion Postings) are located in each Course Content's Module and will close 0900 (9:00 AM) on Wednesday, Feb. 20
You need to post 2 original and 2 response to other student's original postings on any of the Articles included in these Modules (4 total by Feb. 25). These postings are on the Discussion Forum under the specific Module/Article listing.
Feb. 20 - Feb. 25

EXAM 1 opens 0900 (9:00 AM), Wednesday, Feb. 20; closes 0900 (9:00 AM), Monday, Feb. 25

2nd Period

Feb. 26 - April 10

Module 7:
Chapter 10

Module 8:

Chapter 11

Module 9:
Chapter 12&13

Module 10:

Chapter 14

Module 11:
Chapter 15

Module 12:
Chapter 16
All Chapter quizzes (7) from Modules 7-12 will close 0900 (9:00 AM), Wednesday, April 10.
You need to post 2 original and 2 response to other student's original postings on the Articles included in these Modules (4 total by April 15).
These postings are on the Discussion Forum under the specific Module/Article listing.
April 10 - 15


EXAM 2 opens 0900 (9:00 AM), Wednesday, April 10; closes 0900 (9:00 AM), Monday, April 15.