Frequently Asked Questions about BIO 111 Principles of Biology INET/Online
Is this course transferable? Yes, BIO 111 Principles of Biology has the same outcomes and objectives and a very similar sequence of laboratory activities as traditional face-to-face sections of BIO 111. Safety approved hands-on laboratory experiments ensure that the course is transferable as a lab science general elective. BIO 111 should transfer as a lab science credit to most colleges and universities. For specific transferability visit: https://www.delta.edu/academics/transfer/course-transfer-tools.html
What is the workload? Accomplishing the same outcomes and objectives as traditional BIO 111 students, who spend six hours sitting in class each week (seat time) requires time and organizational skills. Most BIO 111 students spend 6 hours in class each week plus an additional 6-12 hours outside of class reading chapters, completing homework, writing up labs and studying for quizzes and exams (Total @12 hours per week) BIO 111 online has been designed with those time frames in mind. In other words, expect to spend the same amount of time learning BIO 111 as students in the face-to-face sections. The weekly learning cycle in this online course includes video explorations with discussion posts, interactive homework on McGraw Hill Connect, video lectures, weekly quizzes and hands-on laboratory activities conducted at home using a customized kit from eScience Labs. The weekly learning cycle takes approximately 6-12 hours per week depending on your technical skills and science background. Bottom line: If you can dedicate 6-12 hours a week you should do well with this online science lab class. If you do not have this kind of time in your schedule this semester this is NOT the class for you. You might want to wait until you can devote yourself to learning biology and completing hands on labs or enroll in a face-to-face class. More info on this topic is available in the online overview
Do I need a background in biology or specific computer skills? This is an introductory non-majors survey course that touches on biology topics from cells to ecology with no formal prerequisites. However, evidence suggests that the added dimension of learning both science content (lecture) and process (lab) online is best undertaken by students who: 1) have a background in science, 2) are tech savvy (some eLearning experience) and 3) are motivated to learn in the online environment. Prior eLearning experience is very helpful. A reliable high-speed Internet connection is essential. You should expect the same level of involvement (hours per week) and rigor as experienced in a face-to-face class.
What do I need to purchase to take the course in terms of course materials? There is both a lecture and laboratory component to this class so you will need to purchase both a lab kit from eScience and either a textbook or eBook plus access to McGraw Hill Connect.
1) Lab – Can be purchased from the bookstore or direct from eScienceLabs. Create an account with eScience Using the redemption card purchased in the bookstore or buy direct at http://www.esciencelabs.com/
Your custom lab kit will contain safety equipment and laboratory supplies for twelve hands-on labs and will take up to a week to arrive. NOTE: Due to COVID 2020 sections will order the following in place of the custom lab kit.
- Option 1 – register for the 14 day Courtesy Access if you are unsure about online learning http://connect.mheducation.com/
- Option 2 – ebook + access to CONNECT & option to purchase 3-hole-punch full color copy of textbook.
Option 3 – hard copy textbook + access to CONNECT.
More detailed instructions for purchasing course materials and registering for both eScience Labs & McGraw Hill Connect will be sent to your Delta email one week before classes begin.
Can I work ahead? How flexible are the due dates? YES, it is possible to work ahead as all assignments are available under the Content section of eLearning with homework available on MG Hill CONNECT. However most students find it difficult to work ahead until they become proficient with the weekly learning cycle. The workload is such that students rarely work ahead until the last 2-3 weeks of the course. Due dates are available on the course eLearning site along the right column. Weekly checklists are also available under Toolkit and on the weekly Content pages. Homework due dates are somewhat flexible and will be accepted up until the end of unit. Discussions, Quizzes and Exams must be completed on time.
How is the course taught? The course will be available on eLearning (Delta College LMS) one week before the start date. We will be using several different biology related websites to take advantage of the “best of the web” in terms of an online learning experience. I think you will find it engaging and challenging – yet doable. I have attempted to integrate all of these online resources into our eLearning site and have created checklists for each chapter to make it as easy as possible for you to stay on track each week. The Learning Cycle is organized into weekly modules that are listed in the CONTENT area of eLearning and available throughout the semester. BIO 111W is a writing to learn course. The W indicates that we will use writing to learn methods especially on the Discussion Boards that provide an opportunity for connecting science concepts to the world around you.
Here is an overview of the main websites we will be using throughout the semester:
- McGraw Hill CONNECT – most of your homework will be completed using the publishers web resources.
- LearnSmart – Check out this video for a short preview of adaptive learning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_UdoSv01OQ
- Smartbook – will be used to learn bio concepts and check your learning as you read each chapter. Check out the advantages of Smartbook http://youtu.be/8qwUIgrYhi8 Get inspired to Learn Without Limits here http://youcanlearnwithoutlimits.com/
- Bozeman & CrashCourse Video Lectures – I’ve selected lessons that correspond to each chapter from two outstanding open sources. MontanaTeacher of the year Paul Anderson has been producing outstanding online biology lectures for several years in Bozeman, MO. Check out this sample video lecture: Metacognition – Learning to Learn (if this link does not work copy/paste it into the YouTube Search box). CrashCourse is produced by brothers Hank and John Green. Check out their revolutionary biology course that is taking the INET by storm That’s Why Carbon is a Tramp:Crash Course: Biology #1
- TED-Ed Web Assignments – free online site that allows teachers to create “lessons worth sharing.” I’ve created a number of TED-Ed flips that will give us an opportunity to apply what we are learning and dig deeper into how biology impacts our daily lives. We will be posting what we learned to the Discussion Board in order to help each other learn biology – the goals is to build a community of learners that you will touch base with weekly. You will not be alone in cyberspace in this class! For an example check out Scientific Discovery just for the fun of it.
- Hands-on Labs from eScience – a Colorado based company offering comprehensive lab kits for online learners. Once you purchase a custom eScience lab supply kit coupon (redemption code) from the bookstore you can redeem it at eScience Labs. To see more detailed information or to purchase a lab kit direct from eScience go to: http://www.esciencelabs.com/students Finally – be sure to watch the safety video before conducting your first hands on lab eScience Lab Safety Video
Is the orientation mandatory? Absolutely, there are very few hands-on science laboratory classes offered online due to the difficulty of coordinating both lecture and lab activities without student contact. A single-two hour orientation session at the beginning of the semester is essential to ensure your success in this course. Be sure to make arrangements to join me the first Monday of the semester as listed in the Course Schedule Notes. Students who do not attend the mandatory face-to-face orientation risk begin replaced by students on the waitlist who do attend the orientation. As a preview here is a four-part BIO 111 Video Overview to give you a better idea of what to expect so you can come prepared with questions.
BIO 111 INET Orientation Series
- Part 1 Welcome and Secrets of Success
- Part 2 eLearning and Workload
- Part 3 Lab Kit and McGraw Hill
- Part 4 Goals and Grades