BI 131- Introduction to Biology

Course Description– A general course for the non-science major that stresses the basic principles of life, including cell biology, genetics, cancer, and AIDS as unifying integrative concepts. Special attention is devoted to the study of human structure and function.

Role and Innovation- This was my first course taught at B-CU beginning as an adjunct in 2013. I have taught the course at least once per year, every year since. I have instructed face-to-face sections and online sections, both for 16 week and 8 week semesters. This course originally included a lab section, which I instructed for several semesters and assisted with the preparation and design of laboratory exercises.

Course sections can range in student sizes from 20-100 students, and I have instructed at both extremes. Large sections have challenged me to maintain my student-centered learning style, maintain group in class activities, and to maintain rigor in homework assignments while being realistic about time requirements to grade and provide meaningful feedback to students.

Since teaching the course I have transitioned the lectures and materials from a hard copy book, to a digital book with publisher software, to an open source textbook with instructor generated online assignments. Online homework has been generated in Blackboard and Jenzibar learning management systems. I have provided materials I have created with all instructors. I have provided training to other professors on how to develop and edit online homework created in our learning management system.

I have served as a coordinator multiple times for this course, which entails scheduling beginning and end of semester meetings, ensuring assessment has been completed in the correct format and time frame, orientation of new faculty members, and being available for questions.