Course Syllabus


Welcome to BIO 181, the second semester of a two-part introduction to the basics of biology and learning at a university level.

In this course, students will study topics in the following areas:

  • Ecology
  • Genetics 
  • Evolution

This course is a prerequisite for most other upper-division courses in biology. If students are planning on taking more courses in biology, they will most likely also be required to take the BIO 181 Lab (currently only available on campus). Refer to the Accompanying Lab section below for more information.



  • BIO 180

If you successfully completed BIO 180, you understand the amount of time and dedication it takes to be successful in this course.

Accompanying Lab 

If students are planning on taking more courses in biology, they will most likely be required to take the BIO 181 Lab, an additional course currently only available on campus. Students can take the lab portion either while they are enrolled in BIO 181 or after they complete it. However, if students are taking this course as a prerequisite for certain programs, such as dental programs or certain master's programs, they may or may not be required to take the BIO 181 Lab.

Required Resources

This course uses the following study tool:

You will also need a computer with a functioning camera and microphone. You are expected to attend a synchronous study session each week via Zoom. During that session, you will interact with others. 

Proctored Exams and Assessments

This course will use an online proctoring software called Proctorio. This makes it possible for students to take assessments and exams without a human proctor present. Proctored exams can be accessed like any other exam once the software has been installed. Exams will be recorded by Proctorio and reviewed by the BYUI Testing Center. Any questionable exams will be forwarded to the instructor for further review.

You will need to bring a calculator to every exam and quiz.

For step-by-step instructions on Proctorio installation, please refer to Student Help: Proctorio in Canvas.


Course Outcomes (CO)

  1. Be able to effectively communicate important biological concepts and principles with correct terminology.
  2. Be able to form hypotheses, analyze experimental evidence, derive conclusions, and rationally support derived conclusions.
  3. Be able to read and derive conclusions from scientific figures including tables, charts, equations, and illustrations.
  4. Apply the University Learning Model to learning Biology.
  5. Prepare to enter higher division coursework by successfully completing this course.

Major Assignments

The table below is meant to help you see the relevance of each major assignment as it pertains to the course outcomes (CO).

Major Assignment Description
Exams There are three unit exams (Weeks 05, 09, and 13).
Final There is one comprehensive final (Week 14).

Weekly Patterns

The table below displays typical weekly activities, due dates, and activity descriptions. 

Due Date* Learning Model Activity Title Description
Midweek Prepare Study Topics/  Each week you will have 2-3 topics to study. You should start your study early in the week and review throughout the week. 
End of Week Teach One Another  Study Session  Each week you should attend at least one study session with an instructor or a TA. In that session, you will teach what you have learned to either the instructor or other students attending the session.
End of Week Ponder and Prove  Quiz/ Exam Each week you will have a timed quiz that allows you to demonstrate your mastery of the study topics.

*Set your time zone within user preferences so the dates and times for course activities will display correctly for your time zone.

Learning Model

You will be given weekly opportunities to follow the BYU-Idaho Learning Model: (1) Prepare, (2) Teach One Another, and (3) Ponder and Prove.

Prepare: You are expected to study 2-3 topics each week. You will be provided with a mix of lectures and textbook readings to help you study these topics.

Teach One Another: You are expected to attend a synchronous study session with either an instructor or TA each week. There will be a variety of time slots available for you to attend. You are welcome to attend as many study sessions as you would like, but you are required to attend at least one. During this session you will be asking questions AND answering other students' questions so you are teaching one another. 

Ponder and Prove: You will be given a quiz or an exam each week. Both are timed and allow you an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the topics of study from the week or unit.


Study Session Attendance Reports (100 points) 

Each week, starting in Week 02, the instructor and TA will offer several study session times. Students must attend one study session with either the instructor or TA each week for at least 10 weeks throughout the semester. This allows students to miss two weeks for personal issues that may arise.

When students attend, the instructor or TA will help them master the material by asking students to teach what they know and helping them learn what they don't, similar to Madison's experience with Brother Bailey. Using the study session attendance report quiz, students will report every week on whether or not they attended and taught a topic. At the end of the semester, the instructor will drop the lowest two grades from these quizzes.

Preparation Quizzes (150 points) 

Each week you will have a quiz that covers the topics you studied. These quizzes are timed; you have 15 minutes to complete them. You also have three attempts on each quiz, with your highest score being kept. These quizzes pull from a bank of questions, so it is unlikely you will see the same combinations of questions twice. On weeks when you have an exam, the preparation quizzes will be practice quizzes and will not count towards your final grade. 

Unit Exams (450 points)

Each unit of study will have a corresponding exam. There are three units of study (ecology, genetics, and evolution), so there are three exams. Each exam is 150 points and will consist of both a multiple choice section and short answer questions or mathematic calculations. These exams are proctored and timed. You only have one attempt at each exam.

Final Exam (100 points)

The final exam is comprehensive, meaning it will cover material from the entire semester. The final is 100 multiple choice questions. It is is also timed and proctored. 

Relative Weight for Assignments 

Unit Exams (3  x 150 points) 450 pts
Final Exam 100 pts
Preparation Quizzes (10 quizzes x 15 points) 150 pts
Study Sessions (10 weeks required) 100 pts
Total 800 pts



The majority of assignments are auto-graded, and you will receive feedback immediately. Sometimes exams receive a curve. If a curve is given, it could take up to seven days for the curve to be assessed. 


This is a three-credit course. In order to complete all the required work and master the material, it is anticipated that you will work a total of three hours per credit for a total of nine hours per week. Each week, you are expected to study selected lectures and textbook readings. Anticipate needing up to three hours per topic covered to master the needed concepts. You will also participate in at least one weekly study session. Plan to attend the session for at least 30 minutes. Each week will have a timed quiz. Anticipate needing at least 30 minutes to study for and take that quiz.

Group Work

There is no formal group work in this course, just weekly study sessions that might also be attended by your peers. In those sessions, plan on cooperating with others.

Late Work

As a sign of professionalism and respect, you should complete your work on time. However, your instructor has the discretion to accept late work or extend due dates as appropriate. If you feel you have an extenuating circumstance, reach out to your instructor on a case-by-case basis.


Weeks without an exam have a quiz. You have three attempts for the quizzes. Exams do not have multiple attempts. 

Extra Credit

Your instructor may elect to award up to 15 points of extra credit at their discretion. 

Grading Scale

Letter Grade Percent
A 100% - 93%
A- 92% - 90%
B+ 89% - 87%
B 86% - 83%
B- 82% - 80%
C+ 79% - 77%
C 76% - 73%
C- 72% - 70%
D+ 69% - 67%
D 66% - 63%
D- 62% - 60%
F 59% and lower

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due