CCOG for BI 213 Summer 2024

Course Number:
BI 213
Course Title:
Principles of Biology III
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Includes the process of science, evolution, systematics, and ecology. The third of a three-course sequence for students majoring in biology and the sciences, including pre-medical, pre-dental, chiropractic, pharmacy, and related fields. Prerequisites: BI 212. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Portland Community College Biology Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.
Science is a fundamentally non-dogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation Ascience@ is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation Ascience@ is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).
Biology instructors of Portland Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Biology Subject Area Curriculum Committee at Portland Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Apply biological theories and concepts to novel problems in evolution, systematics, and ecology.
  2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of scientific studies in evolution, systematics, and ecology and critically examine the influence of scientific and technical knowledge of these topics on human society and the environment.
  3. Develop and effectively communicate evidence-based positions on issues in evolution, systematics, and/or ecology, while considering the ethical implications for a diverse community.
  4. Communicate concepts in evolution, systematics, and ecology using appropriate terminology in both written and verbal forms.
  5. Apply concepts from evolution and systematics to their lives and community (personal, work, and career).
  6. Develop informed positions and opinions on contemporary issues in evolution, systematics and ecology, while considering ethical, scientific, community, and cultural implications.
  7. Use an understanding of the processes of mutation, selection and genetic changes to explain how the diversity of life has evolved over time. 
  8. Use modeling and simulation of living systems to explain their interconnected nature.    

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment Tasks may include:
o open-ended essay questions and multiple-choice exams;
o scientific papers that follow standard scientific format presenting independent investigations and may include peer-review(s);
o oral presentations of biological information, informed positions on contemporary issues, and/or laboratory results;
o classroom assessments, such as, quizzes, one minute summaries, pre-test/post-tests, etc.;
o major independent projects, such as, experiential learning plus journals, botany collections with ecosystem reports, library research term papers, and field journals;
o scientific article critiques;
o laboratory practical exams;
o and small projects and homework assignments.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes and Concepts include:

  • Evolution: The diversity of life evolved over time by processes of mutation, selection, and genetic change.

  • Systems: Living Systems are interconnected and interacting.

  • Vision and Change National Competencies (Brewer & Smith, 2011)

    • Ability to apply the process of science.

    • Ability to use quantitative reasoning.

    • Ability to use modeling and simulation.

    • Ability to tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science.

    • Ability to communicate and collaborate with other disciplines.

    • Ability to understand the relationship between science and society.