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Syllabus

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Course Materials
Assignments
Exams
Grading

BYU Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and compare the functions and molecular structures of DNA, RNA, and protein, and explain the processes and regulatory mechanisms governing the synthesis of each.
  2. Explain a variety of molecular biology techniques, and interpret experimental results obtained using the various methods.
  3. Solve unfamiliar problems by applying the information and principles mastered through learning outcomes 1 and 2.
  4. Collaborate with other students to solve challenging problems, to clarify ideas and concepts, and to learn from one another in a spirit of cooperation and integrity.

Prerequisites

Before you take this course, you will need to have taken one of these pairs of courses or have equivalent skills.

This course is challenging and having a solid foundation in biology and chemistry is essential for this course. Please do yourself a favor and brush up on basic chemistry and biology if your feeling less than confident in either of those areas.

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Course Materials

You may also use the first edition of this textbook, as the chapters are basically the same. The format (electronic or hardcopy) of the textbook doesn’t matter.

If you choose to use a different molecular biology textbook than the one recommended, please be aware that the organization and some of the topics may not match, and you will have to search to find the relevant topics.

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Course Organization

This course is divided into 14 units. Each unit corresponds to about a unit of lecture (so this course takes one academic semester to complete). Each unit includes one to three lessons and a unit quiz. Every lesson has a lecture video with corresponding lecture slides for you to use as you study. (See How to Succeed for details on how to get the most out of this course—you will be glad you did!)

Assignments

Movie Quizzes

There are 12 movies you are assigned to watch as you go through the lessons. A quiz accompanies each movie and consists of a few multiple-choice questions that are based on the assigned movie. You should watch the movie before you take the quiz. If you watch the movie and pay attention, the questions should be relatively easy.

Unit Quizzes

There are 14 quizzes that are based on the lecture videos and readings. These quizzes are timed. While you can use your book or notes to help you on the quizzes, you will have approximately 1 minute per question. Please prepare sufficiently beforehand so that you don’t run out of time.

Research Paper

You will write a research paper on a current topic in molecular biology. It is worth 100 points. I have intentionally not specified a particular number of pages; I have, however, provided a rubric and detailed instructions to guide you. I suggest that as soon as you start this course, you go to the research paper instructions (in unit 14), read them, and start thinking about a topic.

You will submit your research paper as a Word document through Turnitin. As soon as you submit it, you should complete the one-question assignment called Turnitin Assignment Verification. This assignment does not count as part of your grade, but it will show me that your paper is ready to be graded.

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Exams

There will be three exams: two midcourse exams and a final exam. The exams consist of multiple-choice, matching, and essay questions. To answer the essay questions, you will need to be able to explain and apply what you have learned. The midcourse exams should each take about 1–2 hours to complete.

Exam 1 should be taken at the end of unit 4. Exam 2 should be taken after unit 10; it covers both the new information and the content from exam 1. The final exam should be taken after unit 14 and is comprehensive, although emphasis is placed on the content presented since exam 2. While this may sound daunting, remember that these concepts build on each other. Hence, the earlier concepts that were challenging at first will become simpler and, hopefully, second nature to you as you progress in this course.

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Grading

Your grade will be based on this breakdown:

Assessment Percent
Research Paper

14%

Unit Quizzes

6%

Movie Quizzes

9%

Midcourse Exam 1

~21%

Midcourse Exam 2

~21%

Final Exam

~29%

Total

100%

Grading Scale

Your final grade will be determined by the following grading scale:

Grading Scale
A 85–100%
A- 80–84.9%
B+ 77–79.9%
B 73–76.9%
B- 70–72.9%
C+ 67–69.9%
C 63–66.9%
C- 60–62.9%
D+ 57–59.9%
D 53–56.9%
D- 50–52.9%
E (fail) 49.9% and below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.

Assignments

12 computer-graded movie quizzes, 14 computer-graded timed quizzes, and 1 research paper. (No resubmissions are allowed.)

Exams

2 proctored, instructor-graded midcourse exams and 1 proctored, instructor-graded final exam (no retakes allowed).

You must pass the final exam to pass the course.

Getting Help

For assistance, please contact Independent Study.

Please note: BYU standards expect English language proficiency for all courses, including Independent Study courses. Therefore dictionaries of any kind will not be allowed for testing.

Course Duration

$COURSEDURATION$

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

BYU Copyright Notice for TEACH ACT

COPYRIGHT NOTICE
The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.
“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment…
Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy.

Copyright notice for specific, individual copies
All copies are intended for non-commercial, educational purposes in connection with this registered course and only for students enrolled in this course. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws.