BIO1130: Organismal Biology


This is the BIO1130 Home Page and it's were you're going to get the latest news on what is happening in the course. Hopefully this page is book marked already in your favourites and you'll drop by regularly to see what's new. (Just so you know this page was last updated on: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 )

PLEASE NOTE: This website is optimized for Internet Explorer and contains Adobe Flash files that may not display properly on some web browsers and devices.


Homework assignment
Homework assignments are posted here with a link to the assignments along with when they are due.

How good is your study technique?
The Globe and Mail published an article "Why your teenager is studying the wrong way". Here are some suggestions.

  • Don't waste your time reading notes or the textbook over and over again
  • Mix up your subject matter
  • Put material such as a scientific definition in your words...
  • Learn the reason behind the fact
  • If studying is easy, you aren't learning

--Read more

Web updates
This is the seventh year that I've offered  the course. After feedback from former students last year I made major revisions to the Organization of the course. The content hasn't changed, just the sequence in which is presented. I'm placing all the history and basic biology together at the start of the course.  When we are introduced to a major biologists discovery we will also study it in depth. Once we are done that we'll examine the history of Biodiversity from the Big Bang to today. There will be some minor adjustments and updates and I hope to keep a week or two ahead so that various resources will be available in a timely fashion. If I fall behind please be patient. Any updates will appear here.

  • Midterm and final exams for 2012 and 2013 have been uploaded (Sep 17)
  • Dates for four of the homework assignments have been set (Sep 17).

Marks look up
The marks from various parts of the course are collected in this one location. This is a secure site and when you click on it you'll go to the login area on InfoWeb to enter your student number and password and then to the marks page. If you receive an error refresh this page or clear your cache.

Use this link to see how you're
doing in the course.

Mass email updates.
There will be times when I need to contact the whole class and to do that I will be using an email notification system provided by the University.  I'll also post the emails here as well.

That's old news
As different things that are posted on the Home Page of the course became a few weeks old they don't disappear. They are moved to the "That's old news" page. There you can check for any announcements and things that you might have missed.

In the lecture we took a look at keywords and strategies for working with them. If you missed our discussion, a copy of that part of the podcast is available. Keywords can be checked by using the glossary in the ebook or using web sources. The library has an excellent list of Dictionaries available online and the Oxford Dictionary of Biology is a good general reference for Biology terms. More specialized dictionaries are also available.  (Sep 25).

Organismal Biology in the news.
There are always stories related to biology in the news and I'll highlight some of the more interesting ones here for you.

Voices from the past: Survival Guide 2013
At the end of the course I ask the students to give some advice to  next years students on how to do well in the course. Unfortunately we ran out of time last year but here are the the survival guide from the class of 2013, 2012 2010, 2009 and 2008. It has some great ideas about how to study and work with the course materials. Take a look (Sep 4)

Midterm exams
With a class this big and multiple sections the only way we can hold a midterm exam is to have it on a Saturday. Midterm exams will occur between noon and 5 pm. You should keep these days clear and arrange any work schedules accordingly.

  • Midterm 1: October 4, 2014
  • Midterm 2: November 8, 2014


First Midterm Exam.
Grades for the first midterm exam have been posted on the marks lookup page and a component break down is available. Performance on the written part of the exam was not very good, especially with the short answer questions. Many of you simply listed facts - or worse didn't answer the question - in part why there are so many E and F grades. You need to be able to write a good explanation or comparison to answer the questions.

What I have done is dropped the total score of the exam by 7 points. Doing that the class average is at 61% with the lowest mark being 9% and the highest 102%. If the grades of the F students are removed from the calculation the class average would be 66%. (Oct 16)

Midterm exams can be picked up in the document drop area (where you hand in lab reports) starting Oct 16. If, when you get your exam back, you have a question about the marking please take a look at the answer template to be sure you understand how the question was to be answered. If you still think the mark isn't correct please explain why in a short note and hand it in to me along with your exam. This way I'll go over all your comments at one time. Please do this by Oct 31. (You might want to look over some of the comments from the requests for remarking from the first midterm exam last year.) (Oct 16)

If you missed the exam for medical reasons please provide me with a note by October 24th. If you do not provide a note you will receive a grade of zero (Oct 7)

Recent Adobe PDF uploads
Watch here for the latest uploads of lecture handouts and other Adobe documents that you'll need for the course. There are a variety of different tools that allow you to make notes on and annotate a PDF File. Find out more.

Lecture podcasts
This year we are taking advantage of some special equipment in the Marion auditorium that allows us to record the lectures and deliver them as podcasts. A complete list of the lectures is available on the podcast page. We'll do our best to get the lecture up with 24 hours, Friday lectures by Monday.

SpeedBump - Dave Coverly

Office hours
Office hours are an opportunity for you to come in and ask questions about the course and the material that we have been covering during the course. So drop on by. You'll find my office in the Bioscience wing of the Bioscience complex (the same wing of the building where the labs are) in BSC 108.

  • Monday, 10:00 - 11:30
  • Wednesday, 11:30 - 1:00
  • Friday, 10:00 - 11:30

If it is impossible to make any of the schedules office hours check this copy of my schedule and we'll try and find an alternative time when we can meet. Send me an email with some alternate times to meet.

Please note: Office hours are cancelled the Friday before a midterm exam for preparations associated with the exam.

E-mail questions?
If you have a question you can use e-mail t o ask it. I would ask that you place the course code in the subject line of your message. There is so much garbage e-mail that my SPAM filter may discard your e-mail; if BIO1130 is in at least a part of the subject line you can be sure that I'll get it.

Have you ever thought about how you come across in the e-mail you write? There is a whole netiquette to it and it is very different from text messaging. How you talk to your friends, compared to your parents or a professional differs. It's the same for e-mail. You want to look your best and that applies to when you write to a professor or anyone that takes any form of communication as an indication of your mastery of it. Find out more about Netiquette.

I don't sit glued to my computer waiting for e-mail so don't expect an immediate answer. If I've got a back log of e-mail I'll try and have it answered by the next scheduled office hours.

Questions about the textbook?
Drop by the course component page of the course guide to see what you require as a textbook.  In short you must have the two electronic books and you have the option of buying the access codes for the ebooks only or pay more and get the codes plus a hard copy of the book (Aug 20).



© Jon G. Houseman. Permission required to reproduce or display this material