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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: BIOL134 Course ID: 4629 Credit Hours: 4 Level: Undergraduate

This course is the second in a two part biology series that is designed for students who intend to complete a degree that requires a majors-level biology course. Topics included in this course diversity of life on Earth, plant form and function, animal form and function, and ecology and behavior. The laboratory portion of this course will include hands-on as well as virtual laboratories that complement the topics and concepts covered in the lecture component. As part of the hands-on laboratory component, students are required to perform dissection of preserved animal specimens. Some of the laboratory activities require the use of glass or sharp laboratory instruments; therefore students must have a safe work area available to perform laboratory activities. Students must also have room temperature storage available in order to maintain laboratory materials and specimens. In addition, students must be able to document their laboratory work using still pictures and/or video. NOTE: This course requires the student to purchase additional materials that are not covered by the book grant. Please refer to the Course Materials section for additional details. (Prerequisite: BIOL133)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 10/24/21 Summer 2021 Session A 16 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 11/21/21 Summer 2021 Session K 16 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 12/26/21 Summer 2021 Session C 16 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 01/23/22 Fall 2021 Session A 16 Week session
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 02/20/22 Fall 2021 Session K 16 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • CO-1: Recognize the diversity of life including common structures, functions and development of protists, fungi, plants and animals.
  • CO-2: Recognize the ubiquity of the structure and function relationship as an organizing pattern of biological systems
  • CO-3: Explain plant structure and the basic mechanisms of plant physiology
  • CO-4: Explain the role and function of the nervous, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems in animals
  • CO-5: Explain the role and function of the digestive and respiratory systems in animals
  • CO-6: Explain the role and function of the circulatory and immune systems in animals
  • CO-7: Explain the role and function of the reproductive system and animal development
  • CO-8: Describe how organisms behave, interact and form populations and communities in nature.
  • CO-9: Explain the major ecosystems, how their biodiversity interacts with abiotic factors and why these organisms need to be protected
  • CO-10:Use basic scientific practices: math, graphing, writing, critical thinking, data collection and data analysis

Reading Assignments: There are weekly readings as described in the course outline, below. These readings are based out of the text, or will be provided to students within the resource tab in the electronic classroom.

Forum Assignments: Forum participation is required every single week of this course. Forum topics will be posted within the forum section of the class. Participation is mandatory and vigorous interaction is required. The posting requirements for these forums can be found in the forum description. Students will be evaluated by the instructor with grading guidelines attached to the forum description each week. Forums will be worth 100 points each.

Exams: There will be four exams throughout this course, during Weeks 4, 8, 12 and 16. Different exams will be weighted differently depending upon the number of chapters covered. The exams will mostly include questions in multiple formats, including multiple choice as well as short answer.

  • Exam 1 will cover seven chapters and be worth 100 points.
  • Exam 2 will cover seven chapters and be worth 100 points.
  • Exam 3 will cover seven chapters and be worth 100 points.
  • Exam 4 will cover six chapters and worth 100 points. Therefore, Exam 4 will not be cumulative.

Course Project: The Course Project is designed to focus the student on experimental design. As future scientists, the Course Project will entail designing an experiment using their Vernier instrumentation gas pressure sensor. The students will present the result of their research in an experiment report. The Experiment Design will be due Week 7 and the Course Project Experiment Report will be due Week 15. The Course Projects will be shared to the class Week 16 in the forum, and students will be asked to comment on the experiments.

Laboratories: The laboratories will mostly consist of hands-on lab experiments that will be sent to the student within a kit. There will also be internet based exercises that will apply the concepts learned in the course.

Please see the Student Handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

Required Technology

  • See the Technology Requirements section of the undergraduate catalog for the minimum hardware and software requirements.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available to APUS students for free. To sign up, visit If you have questions about accessing the software, please contact Classroom support at

Web Sites

In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain web sites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Web Site URL/Address

Crash Course in Biology

Science Friday


Click and Learn

Howard Hughes Institute free mobile app, for use on iPhones and iPads only


Khan Academy free mobile app, for use on all smart phones

Book Title:Bio Principles 2nd ed - available online, link provided inside the classroom
Publication Info:OpenStax
Book Title:If you received a kit for a previous registration of this course, a 2nd kit will not be provided. Please contact for any questions.
ISBN:eScience Note 2
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*
Book Title:Lab kits ship w/o any action needed, so your shipping address must be current. You may need to obtain items on your own (ex. gloves)
ISBN:eScience Note
Book Title:BIOL134 Gen Bio eScience Kit, 2nd ed.
Publication Info:eScience
Unit Cost:$165.00
Book Title:LabQuest 3 - This item is not covered by the APUS Book Grant; available to purchase here:
Author:Vernier Software & Technology, LLC
Unit Cost:$339.00
Book Title:Stainless Steel Temperature Probe - This item is not covered by the APUS Book Grant; available to purchase here:
Publication Info:Vernier Software & Technology, LLC
Unit Cost:$36.00
Book Title:Gas Pressure Sensor - This item is not covered by the APUS Book Grant; available to purchase here:
Publication Info:Vernier Software & Technology, LLC
Unit Cost:$89.00
Book Title:LoggerPro 3 Software - This item is not covered by the APUS Book Grant; available to purchase here:
Publication Info:Vernier Software & Technology, LLC
Electronic ISBN:LP-E
Electronic Unit Cost:$10.00

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.