Welcome to Kate Brilakis' Learning Portal

 Welcome to Dr. Kate Brilakis' Learning Portal

BIO 111 Section 370 Syllabus Fall Semester, 2023
Instructor: Dr. Kate Brilakis
email:  brilakisk@durhamtech.edu
Text: 703.498.9997
Office Hours: virtual by appointment, before/after virtual classes, and in person after lab

Course Details:
Biology 111 Section 390 is a hybrid course.  
Lectures meet virtually via Canvas “Big Blue Button” Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 am
Labs meet in-person at DTCC’s OCC campus room 225 Wednesdays from 9:30 am - 12:10 pm
General Information:
General Biology: 4 credit hours
Prerequisites: DMA 060 (MAT 070), ENG 090 & RED 090 (or DRE 098).
The official course outline is available on the DTCC website at
Links to an external site.     Biology 111 will introduce you to the primary principles and concepts of biology. We will explore basic biological chemistry, cell structure and function, the processes of energy exchange, genetics and inheritance, and evolution. When you complete this course, you should have a good understanding of what constitutes “life”.   

This semester…
1. you’ll have the opportunity to reinforce our lecture topics during face-to-face laboratory classes at the OCC where you will get a real feel for the mechanics of science.
2. you’ll have access to virtual lecture classes which will meet online twice per week. These
virtual classes will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays for approx. 1 & 1/4 hours starting at 9:30am.
3. you’ll use Canvas as DTCC’s learning management system (LMS). Many of you might be familiar with blackboard or another LMS. If Canvas is new to you, please visit https://durhamtech.instructure.com/courses/5605/pages/student-resources
This fall, we’ll use Canvas to access our virtual “classroom” under the Big Blue Button tab. You’ll also be submitting assignments and verifying your grades on Canvas.   
4. you’ll have access to a course website I built and maintain which we’ll use as a learning and communication resource. This website offers loads of pictures, videos, tutorials, information outlines and more. You can access this website at:  http://www.katebrilakis.com/home.html
Links to an external site.                                               Please check this site often for updates! 
5. you’ll use our college email system called Connect. Please regularly check your DTCC email for class information and announcements and use your DTCC email for all course communications.
6. you’ll be referencing an Openstax text titled
Biology 2e. Register at  https://openstax.org/details/books/biology-2e?Student%20resourcesLinks to an external site.

College Policies
Durham Tech has established policies that support student learning and communicate high expectations for students. Please review the policies in the alphabetized list below, so you can successfully meet the college’s expectations.

Academic Honesty
Durham Technical Community College establishes and follows a process for defining and addressing academic dishonesty when it occurs either inside or outside the classroom.

Academic dishonesty is the participation or collaboration in specific prohibited forms of conduct. Participation or collaboration may be active (such as submitting a term paper that includes plagiarized work) or passive (such as receiving a copy of a test before class). Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:

Unauthorized copying, collaboration, or use of notes, books, or other materials on examinations or other academic exercises including:

Sharing information about an exam with a student who has not taken that exam.
Obtaining information about the contents of a test the student has not taken.
Unauthorized use of PDAs, programmable calculators, or other electronic storage devices.
Text messaging or other forms of communication during an exam.
Unauthorized or inappropriate file sharing and use of Internet and computer resources as specified in the Appropriate Use Policy.
Unauthorized use of translation software and assistance from native speakers or advanced-level students in foreign language classes.

Plagiarism, which is defined as the representation of another person’s work, words, thoughts, or ideas, including material from the Internet, as one’s own. This includes, but is not limited to, copying material and using ideas from an article, book, unpublished paper, or the Internet without proper documentation of references.
Unauthorized use and/or possession of any academic material, such as tests, research papers, assignments, or similar materials.

The Violation Procedure for the Academic Honesty Policy is available in the Catalog and Student HandbookLinks to an external site..  Please note that as the Catalog and Student Handbook is updated, campus policies may change.

Regular attendance to all classes is required for each student to fulfill our course requirements and receive the optimum benefit of instruction.
                     Attending virtual lecture classes via Canvas is required.                                          
                           Attending in person laboratory classes is required. 
In the event of an absence, it is the student’s responsibility to make up all missed work in the timeliest manner possible. I do not routinely offer make up tests since the testing period for each test is four days long. If you miss a test, it is your responsibility to contact the testing center to schedule an alternate test time. In you experience an emergency, please contact me so we can assemble a plan to get you back on track.   
Missing 5 labs will result in an automatic F. This is a DTCC policy. 

Student Initiated Withdrawals and Drop Period
Students may officially drop a DTCC course prior to the 75 percent tuition refund deadline of each semester (“drop period”) without the enrollment being shown on the transcript. To officially drop a course, log on to Self-Service, and click the DROP option for the course in the Plan & Schedule section. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the process if desired. 
Full tuition refund in-person         August 11th
Full tuition refund self-service      August 13th
Last day to drop                                August 23rd
75% tuition refund                           August 24th
Last day to receive a “W”                October 28th  

After the close of the drop period and prior to the 60 percent date in the semester, students may officially withdraw from one or all courses with a grade of W. To initiate an official withdrawal, complete an electronic withdrawal form by logging in to the eforms systemLinks to an external site..  Use your WebAdvisor/Self-Service username and password to log in to the system. It is best to use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari to access the forms.  It is the student’s responsibility to complete this process if desired. Refer to the college catalog for more information. (Student Withdrawals, Faculty Withdrawals, and Class AbsencesLinks to an external site. sections)

Disabilities Statement
Durham Technical Community College abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulates that no student shall be denied the benefits of an education "solely by reason of a handicap." Disabilities covered by law include, but are not limited to, learning disabilities, psychological disabilities, health impairments, hearing, and sight or mobility impairments. If you have a disability that may have some impact on your work in this class and for which you may require accommodations, please email Disability Services at disabilityservices@durhamtech.edu, call 919-536-7207, or visit the Phail Wynn, Jr. Student Services Center, room 10-209 for additional information regarding requirements for arranging accommodations.
Please let me know early in the semester how I may be of help to you.  

Inclement Weather
In the event of hazardous weather, including such events as hurricanes, heavy snow, or ice accumulation, Durham Technical Community College will communicate a decision to remain open or to close in these ways:

College's websiteLinks to an external site.
Durham Tech TwitterLinks to an external site.
Durham Tech FacebookLinks to an external site.
Main phone number of 919-536-7200
Notifying local media outlets.

If classes on the main campus are cancelled, classes will also be canceled at all other college locations. From time to time, however, the college may cancel operations at a remote location and still operate on the main campus.
To the extent possible, DTCC will make a decision to remain open or close by 9 p.m. the night before the anticipated weather event. DTCC will also make a decision regarding evening operations by 3pm the day of the weather event. Please realize, however, that inclement weather can occur at any time; thus timetables regarding a decision to remain open or to close are flexible. Online classes may still be held even if the campus is closed.

Student Code of Conduct
All Durham Tech students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible adults. Behavior that persistently or grossly disrupts the educational process or functioning of the college, whether it occurs on campus or at any college-sponsored activity, may result in disciplinary action. Examples of specific violations of and the grievance procedure for the Student Code of ConductLinks to an external site..

Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy
Durham Technical Community College is committed to providing a campus environment that is free of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence.  If you have encountered any form of sexual misconduct associated at Durham Tech, you are encouraged to report this to the College.  If you speak with a faculty member about an incident of sexual misconduct, including writing assignments and classroom discussions, the faculty member must share that information with the Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support (Christine Kelly-Kleese, Phail Wynn, Jr. Student Services Center, room 10-307). You will be contacted to discuss support services and investigation options/requirements. If you wish to file a confidential complaint with the Title IX Coordinator, please complete the Sexual Misconduct Complaint formLinks to an external site..

Use of ConnectMail
All Durham Technical Community College students have been issued a ConnectMail email account. This account should be used for all email communications between the student and the college, including all communications with instructors. This account must be used as your Sakai email account. Visit the Get ConnectedLinks to an external site. page for more information on setting up and using your ConnectMail account. Use your WebAdvisor/Self-Service username and password to access your ConnectMail.

Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This is a federal that applies to Durham Tech and protects the confidentiality of a student’s records.  These records will only be shared under specific circumstances.  Durham Tech will disclose records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:

Durham Tech officials with legitimate educational interest;
Other colleges to which a student is transferring;
Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the college;
Accrediting organizations;
To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; or
State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Grading Policy
Your overall grade in the lecture portion of this class is worth 70% of your final grade.
Spaced throughout the semester, you will complete four lecture assessments each worth 125 pts for a total of 500 pts = 50% of your Bio grade. An assessment will be taken at the end of each of the four sections we will explore this semester.
You will also complete four writing assignments. Each assignment will require you to do a bit of research and submit your write up (average 3 pages) online. You will have one week to complete each assignment.  There will be 4 such assignments each worth 50 points. Each will be designed to scaffold the topics we will explore in each of our four sections this semester. If you complete these assignments by submitting thoughtful, rational answers nlt their due date, you will earn a total of up to 200 assignment points = 20% of your Bio grade. So, 20% written assignments + 50% tests = 70% total biology 111 grade
     Our lecture assessments will be open-ended, not multiple choice. You will be permitted to answer these questions using your own words, drawings, bullet points…whatever works best for you respecting your unique learning style. Partial credit will be given for incomplete answers. I will work with you to create effective study guides to prepare for open-ended questions. I will hold review sessions where we practice answering open ended questions with examples you may use for reference. Each lecture class will offer goals and learning outcomes at the start of the class and periodic prompts during the class which will encourage you to enhance your understanding of the information we will explore.  
Lecture assessments will be taken at the CAE (Center for Academic Excellence) proctoring center on DTCC’s main campus. Each assessment period will be four days. You will be responsible for making an appointment with the CAE the week before each test period to arrange for a proctored timeslot that accommodates your schedule to take the assessment.                                      

Grading Policy cont.

The lab portion of this class is worth 30% of your final grade in the course.
You will complete two practical lab assessments, one lab report, one optional Field Trip Project,
and weekly pre-lab assignments. 
                                 2 Lab Assessments  option A    150 points   15.0% (75/75 points)
                                2 lab Assessments    option B    100 points    10.0%  (50/50)
                                     and Independent Field Trip   50 points     5.0%)
                                                                                              total =      15.0%

                               Weekly Pre-lab Assignments     100 points   10.0%
                               1 Lab Report                                   50 points     5.0%

                                        Total Lab Points               300 points     30%
                                       Total Lecture Points          700 points     70%
                                       Total Biology 111          1,000 points    100%

                             Letter grades will be assigned using a ten point grading scale:
             90 – 100% = A    80 – 89% = B     70 – 79% = C    60 – 69% =  D   <60% =  F

Late or Missed Work
If you miss an assessment due to a personal emergency, please contact me prior to your assessment day/time. You have an entire week to complete each assessment so it is your responsibility to contact the Testing Center to try to arrange a substitute test date/time before contacting me. I have NO control over the Testing Center’s schedule or their policies. Vacations/family/personal events are not valid reasons to miss an entire assessment period. If you miss an entire testing period due to an emergency, you will need to provide documentation when asking for a make-up assessment. This documentation should explain the nature of the emergency. Let me explain my reasoning…
A student tells me grandma has died and they need to attend the funeral out of state. I sympathize and then ask for details…where/when/what is the name of the funeral home. After many years as an educator, I’ve had one too many students bump off their grandmas only to find granny is alive and well and living in Greenville. Same with car accidents, dental emergencies, appendices that have burst…you name it, I’ve heard it. Please do not fib. Let Granny live…!   
If you are in fact diagnosed with a serious illness which keeps you in bed the entire week of the assessment, please contact DTCC’s Emergency/COVID Response Team before returning to class and provide me with their recommendation. We can then work out a plan.
             Online submissions for both lab and lecture assignments all have firm due dates.       
                Late work will not be accepted unless there is a documented emergency.
College Resources
The college has several high-quality resources that are available for free for enrolled students. Some of the most useful college resources are listed below.

Computer Labs
There are several computer labs on Durham Tech's campus that students may use for educational purposes. Lab Monitors are on duty in several labs to assist with basic computer questions. All labs offer Internet access. Labs will be closed on Durham Tech holidays. View the Academic CalendarLinks to an external site. for a listing of important campus dates. To see the locations, policies, and hours for Durham Tech’s labs, visit computer lab schedule webpageLinks to an external site..

All three Durham Tech campuses feature a library with a variety of print and electronic resources for students. Please review the library’s webpageLinks to an external site. for a complete list of library services.

Canvas is DTCC’s LMS (Learning Management System). I will use Canvas to post announcements (you’ll receive email updates for each), post grades, post assignments and hold classes via the Big Blue Button. https://durhamtech.instructure.com/courses/5605

Center for Academic Excellence (CAE)
The CAE has a great tutoring service and is located in the Phail Wynn, Jr. Student Services Center, room 10-308 Main campus. Professional and peer tutors are available to assist students with a variety of subjects, including writing, math, Spanish, and computers. This term’s schedule of free tutorial services is available in the CAE, on the CAE webpage, and on bulletin boards around campus. Free online tutoring is also available 24 hours a day in these same subjects and in more specialized subjects via UpswingLinks to an external site.. For more information, call the CAE at 919-536-7232, ext. 2404, or consult the CAE webpageLinks to an external site..

  Biology 111 Lecture/Lab Schedule

The lecture portion of our hybrid course constitutes our online/virtual component. We will meet virtually twice each week. Attendance is mandatory.
   Our virtual classes will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays for approx. 11/4hrs starting   
                          at 9:30am sharp. Please enter our virtual classroom nlt 9:30
     As you enter the classroom, you’ll post your name in the chat box. This will serve as my attendance roster for that day. If you enter the classroom late, you will be marked as such. If you

 are late or absent one or two times don’t stress. Everyone has a day or two that doesn’t work out.                                                                                                                                                                                                            I will record each virtual lecture and post the recordings on our Canvas page.
     In order to encourage timely attendance, I’m offering each of you 20 supplemental points (+2%) which I’ll add to your final lecture point total for regularly attending our lecture classes. I do this because regular attendance is soooo strongly linked to student success. For each absence or instance of tardiness after the second absence, you’ll simply forfeit 5 of those extra points.
           We will meet via the “Big Blue Button” link available on our Canvas page.
Please review the instructions accessed via the link below before our first class on Tuesday, August 15th at 9:30am. It might be a good idea to enter the meeting early just in case you need extra time to get yourself situated. I'll be in our virtual classroom 15 minutes prior to our start time if you ever want to ask a question before class. I will also stay after our class time to review or answer additional questions you may have. https://durhamtech.instructure.com/courses/5605/pages/student-resources
     Our lecture course will be divided into 4 sections. Each section will culminate with a lecture assessment which you will take at your convenience at the testing Center as previously described. Only that information specifically discussed in our lecture classes will be on the lecture assessments so again, come to class!
     At the beginning of each class, we’ll have a review of the previous class’s information, I'll offer prompts and goals for that day's topics, then we'll explore our new information. We’ll finish each virtual class with wrap-up questions designed to get you prepped for our lecture assessments. We will use the course website I designed during each of our virtual classes. Since I update this website after each class, we can work together to introduce new ideas that may surface during the previous class. The website has a lot of pictures and videos that will assist you as we explore so many cool biology topics.

The lab portion of our course meets in person weekly at the OCC’s Biology lab room 225 at 9:30am. Attendance is mandatory. Please arrive on time. A bit early is even better. I will take attendance promptly at 9:30. We will review the protocol before beginning our lab exercises for the day so if you are late you will miss this additional instruction and it’s unfair to your lab partners to have to explain to you the details of the protocols. In order to encourage attendance and punctuality, you’ll each receive an additional 10 points (+1%) added to your lab point total. For each absence or instance of tardiness, you’ll simply forfeit 5 of those points.
In the event of illness or bad weather, we may complete an online lab in lieu of meeting in person. You’ll be notified in advance if our lab class will meet online.  
         You’ll submit weekly pre-lab assignments prior to each lab session via Canvas.
                                           Late pre-lab assignments will not be accepted.
     Each week, the protocol for that week will be posted on the lab subpage of our course website and the pre-lab assignment will be posted on Canvas.
After our lab is completed, we’ll review the pre-lab assignment as a class along with any conclusions we may have drawn during our lab. The weekly pre-lab assignments will serve as a useful study guide for your assessment at the end of the semester.
Please bring in a hard copy of each protocol OR a tablet/laptop with the protocol downloaded. The use of phones will not be permitted in lab so please do not rely on reading the protocol using your phone.

Lecture schedule:
Section 1: 
          8/15    Intro to our course…What is life?
          8/17    Basic Chemistry: atomic structure-covalent/ionic/hydrogen bonds
          8/22    Organic Chem: mono/polymers-anabolism/catabolism  
          8/24    Organic Chemistry: carb/fat/protein structure/function
          8/29    Cell Structure: Eukaryote v Prokaryote
          8/31    Cell Structure/Function I/Membranes-Organelles
            9/5    Cell Structure/Function II/ Membrane Proteins    
                      Assessment #1 on Section 1 at the OCC Thursday, 9/7
Section 2:
         9/12     Metabolism: Energy Mechanics         
         9/14     Metabolism: Enzyme Function/Malfunction
         9/19     Metabolism: Cellular Respiration Part 1-oxidative phosphorylation
         9/21     Metabolism: Cellular Respiration Part II-chemiosmotic phosphorylation
         9/26     Photosynthesis Part I  The Light Dependent Reaction
         9/28     Photosynthesis Part II The Light Independent Reaction
                       Assessment #2 on Section 2 at the OCC Tuesday, 10/3
Section 3:
        10/5      Nucleic Acid Structure
                       Fall Break: Tuesday 10/10, Wednesday 10/11, Thursday 10/12
        10/17     DNA Replication and Repair   
        10/19    DNA Function: Gene Expression/Transcription
       10/24    DNA Function: Gene Expression/Translation
       10/26    Gene Regulation: Prokaryotes/ The Lac Operon
       10/31    Gene Regulation: Eukaryotes/Transcription Factors & Epigenetics
       11/2      Genetics: Alleles/Mendelian Inheritance 
                      Assessment #3 on Section 3 at the OCC Tuesday, 11/7
Section 4: 
       11/9       Darwinian Evolution/Natural Selection
       11/14     Speciation
       11/16     Evolution Data Sets I  
       11/21     Evolution Data Sets II
                        Thanksgiving Break: Thursday 11/23
       11/28     Human Evolution/African Origins
                       Assessment #4 on Section 4 Tuesday, 11/30
         12/5      Semester wrap-up

Lab Schedule:
Lab #                        Date                                                Lab Topic
Lab  1                        8/16          Understanding the Scientific Method & the Metric System

Lab 2                         8/23                       Serial Dilutions and Spectrophotometry          
Lab 3                         8/30                                           Ph and Buffers

Lab 4                         9/6                                         Enzyme Mechanics

Lab 5                         9/13                                            Microscopy

Lab 6                         9/20                                     Diffusion/Osmosis 

Lab 7                         9/27                                         Fermentation
Lab 8                        10/4                                          Photosynthesis 
no lab                       10/11                                            Fall Break   

Lab 9                        10/18                                     Lab Assessment I

Lab 10                      10/25                                          Cell Division      

Lab 11                       11/1                                                PCR

Lab 12                      11/8                                               GMO I

Lab 13                      11/15                                             GMO II

Lab 14                      11/22                                  Genetics/Inheritance

Lab 15                      11/29                                           Sequencing 

Lab 16                      12/6                                        Lab Assessment II