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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: BIOL240 Course ID: 4731 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course introduces students to the fundamental principles associated with the structure and function of the macromolecules that sustain living systems. The course will begin with a general introduction to organic chemistry including the molecules and functional groups that set this category of chemistry apart from the others. Topics will then move on to more specific molecules such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids along with the cellular processes involved in building and metabolizing these macromolecules. Additional details regarding biology at the cellular and molecular level will include topics such as nutrition, body fluids, pH and cellular respiration. (Prerequisites: CHEM134 and BIOL134)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

The successful student will fulfill the following learning objectives, and upon completion of this course, should be able to:

CO-1 List and apply the principles, history, and terminology of organic and biochemistry.
CO-2 Distinguish between classes and behaviors of organic functional groups.
CO-3 Identify and describe the macromolecules involved in sustaining life (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids).
CO-4 List the basic functions of biochemical micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
CO-5 Describe some of the important reactions of metabolism and the Central Dogma of biochemistry.
CO-6 Differentiate between expected reactions of biomolecules based on cellular needs and the various molecular concepts of normal and abnormal cellular function.
CO-7 Describe the importance of body fluids and the special role of water in biochemical systems.
CO-8 Apply the concepts of organic and biochemistry to the study of drugs, drug interactions and other relevant biotechnologies.

Four types of graded assessments/activities will be assigned to enhance your understanding of biological chemistry principles. Participation in all of the activities is essential for developing problem solving skills and concepts presented in the course. Your course grade is based on your performance on the following activities:

Discussion Forums (20%):

You are to post a thoughtful post(s) after reading the instructions for each forum topic, expressing critical thought and analysis. You are then required to post a response to the post of at least 2 of your classmates as well. There will be a total of 8 discussion forums, each worth 2.5% of your course grade (thus, discussion forums collectively make up 20% of your grade in this course). Please do not plagiarize your answer (i.e. do not copy paste directly from the internet or any other source) or you will not receive credit. There are many tools available for instructors to help catch this, so please don’t try it.

NOTE: Brief statements, saying something very vague, or congratulatory or acknowledgement-type postings will not count towards adequate participation credit. They do not contribute to an understanding of the material, raise important issues regarding the material, or forward the conversation about the content.

See the link in the Lessons area for due dates and the rubric posted within the instructions for each forum to see expectations and how the discussion forums will be graded.

Homework Quizzes (20%):

There will also be homework assignments for each weekly lesson to help you and your professor guide and assess your learning of the course material. These will be in the format of a quiz to simplify answer submission and to ensure immediate feedback (multiple choice, matching, T/F, etc.), but these are not timed quizzes. You will be allowed a maximum of two submissions for each homework quiz. If you submit more than once, your recorded score in the gradebook will be the average of your two scores. Upon submission, you will receive your score immediately, and be notified which answers are incorrect, if any, but you will not be shown your answers or the correct answers upon submission. There are 8 homework quizzes, each worth 2.5% of your course grade (thus, homework quizzes collectively make up 20% of your grade in this course).. Homework quizzes can be found in the Tests & Quizzes section of the classroom.

Tests (30%):

There will be a timed test every 2 weeks in the course. The chapters included within each test are as follows: (Week 2) Test 1: Chapters 1-4, (Week 4) Test 2: Chapters 5-8, (Week 6) Test 3: Chapters 9-12, and (Week 8) Test 4: Chapters 13-15. Depending on the test, these may or may not include multiple question formats (multiple choice, short answer, matching, essay, etc.). The format will be very similar to the homework quizzes. There are 4 tests, each worth 7.5% of your course grade (thus, tests collectively make up 30% of your grade in this course). You will have 90 minutes to complete each test—after 90 minutes, the assessment will be submitted automatically and you will only be able to receive credit for what you have completed at that time. You will be allowed only one submission for each test. Tests can be found in the Tests & Quizzes section of the classroom.

Nutritional Research Analysis Course Project (30%):

The course research project will span the duration of the course. It will begin in Week 1 with your topic choice (and a few other items related to your choice) that you will post in the first discussion forum. After you select and post your topic (and the other required items) in Forum 1, the project is then broken up into 4 separate assignments: client profile (2.5%, due Week 3), a nutritional analysis (10%, due Week 5), a dietary recommendation (7.5%, due Week 6), and a multimedia presentation (10%, due Week 7). Please see the Course Project Guide for more specific information about each individual assignment within the Course Research Project, parameters for selecting a topic, etc.

Please see the student handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

NameGrade %
Forum 1 2.50 %
Topic 1: Introductions 1.25 %
Topic 2: Project Topic 1.25 %
Forum 2 2.50 %
Lesson 2: Problem Solving 2.50 %
Forum 3 2.50 %
Lesson 3: Problem Solving 2.50 %
Forum 4 2.50 %
Lesson 4: Teaching for Understanding 2.50 %
Forum 5 2.50 %
Lesson 5: Teaching for Understanding 2.50 %
Forum 6 2.50 %
Lesson 6: Current Biochemistry 2.50 %
Forum 7 2.50 %
Lesson 7: Teaching for Understanding 2.50 %
Forum 8 2.50 %
Lesson 8: Presentations 2.50 %
Homework Quizzes 20.00 %
Homework Quiz 1 2.50 %
Homework Quiz 2 2.50 %
Homework Quiz 3 2.50 %
Homework Quiz 4 2.50 %
Homework Quiz 5 2.50 %
Homework Quiz 6 2.50 %
Homework Quiz 7 2.50 %
Homework Quiz 8 2.50 %
Tests 30.00 %
Test 1 7.50 %
Test 2 7.50 %
Test 3 7.50 %
Test 4 7.50 %
Course Project Assignment #1 2.50 %
Client Profile (Week 3) 2.50 %
Course Project Assignment #2 10.00 %
Nutritional Analysis (Week 5) 10.00 %
Course Project Assignment #3 7.50 %
Dietary Recommendation (Week 6) 7.50 %
Course Project Assignment #4 10.00 %
Multimedia Presentation (Week 7) 10.00 %

Additional Resources:

You will also need Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Adobe Reader and a scientific calculator. A free, open-source alternative to Microsoft Office may be downloaded from A free download for Adobe Reader is available from

Required Technology

See the Technology Requirements chart on the APUS website, which outlines the minimum technical requirements for the hardware and software needed to access your course work. Also included in the chart are recommended requirements, which if followed, will make your online learning experience more fulfilling.

Book Title:Organic and Biochemistry for Today, 8th ed. - the VitalSource e-book is provided inside the classroom
Publication Info:VS-Cengage
Author:Seager & Slabaugh
Unit Cost:$236.89
Electronic ISBN:9781305218376
Electronic Unit Cost:$32.00

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.