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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: BIOL241 Course ID: 4733 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This cell biology course will provide a detailed understanding of the fundamental processes of cellular functions. The course will include aspects of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells as both often share similar mechanisms. In the first half of the course, the focus is on the macro-­-level with an exploration of basic cell characteristics, cellular membranes, cellular respiration and how cells interact with the environment. In the second half of the course, the focus is on genetics with a look at chromosomes, genes, gene expression, how cell accomplish DNA replication, repair errors that can result in DNA, how cells reproduce, how cells communicate, and finally we will explore the relationship between cancer and the immune system at the cellular level. (Prerequisites: BIOL134 and CHEM134)

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
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 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:

  • CO-1 Explain the characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells to include enzyme activities.
  • CO-2 Compare and contrast biological membranes to include both the plasma membrane and cytoplasmic, organelle, membranes.
  • CO-3 Describe cellular respiration in both animal and plant cells.
  • CO-4 Illustrate the extracellular matrix, the interaction of cells with their environment and the cytoskeleton.
  • CO-5 Summarize chromosomes, the genome, genes, and gene expression.
  • CO-6 Explain control of gene expression, DNA replication and repair.
  • CO-7 Evaluate cellular reproduction, signaling, and signal transduction pathways.
  • CO-8 Describe cancer and the immune response.

Forum Assignments (8)

The student will be responsible for participating in Forum activities in which each student will respond to questions posed by the instructor, offer his/her feedback to the questions posed, and respond to at least two of his/her classmates’ posts.

Evaluation/Grading of each Forum Assignment: Postings will be evaluated on their quality and the degree to which the postings promote discussion with classmates. Participation on all forums is required. Points are allocated based on the original posting and replies (Total of 100 points):

The initial post is due by Wednesday of the assigned week.

Forum responses are due by Sunday of the assigned week.

Online Quizzes (7)

Each of the quizzes will cover the reading material from the Karp textbook. Each quiz will be open book format and non-proctored. You will have 2 hours to take each quiz which will contain 20 questions from the Karp textbook.

Do not click on the quiz until you are ready to take the quiz! You may only access the quiz one time! If you attempt to access the quiz before you are ready to take it and then try to go back and access it again later, you will be locked out of the quiz and will receive a ZERO. Once you begin the quiz, the timer will begin running continuously for the 2 hours; therefore, you have 2 hours from when the timer begins to complete your quiz. The quiz will auto-submit if you go over this limit and record a zero. Be sure not to exceed this limit.

Specific Karp chapters covered for each of the quizzes can be found in the Course Outline section of the syllabus below and inside the electronic classroom in the weekly Lessons.

Weekly Assignments (8)

Each week you will complete a weekly assignment to submit for grading inside the assignments area of the classroom. The list of questions will cover material relevant to the weekly reading in the Karp textbook chapters, the weekly discussion forum, and/or any additional reading or reference material(s) provided for the assignment. The questions must be answered completely using full sentences. Typically, three to five (or more) sentences will be required to provide an adequate response to the assignment question to receive full-credit.
The weekly assignments are application-type questions and are designed for you to think critically about the reading material. For example, you will be asked to propose hypotheses, design experiments, and/or interpret results in these weekly assignments to apply the knowledge you have learned from your weekly readings and discussions in the forums.

Evaluation/Grading of the Weekly Assignment Questions: Grading of your Weekly Assignment Questions will be based on;

  • (20%) Complete and thorough response to each question
  • (35%) Use of concepts from the Karp textbook and/or additional references or resources provided
  • (35%) Accurate use of concepts
  • (10%) Spelling, grammar, and punctuation

Final Exam

A Final Exam for the course is a comprehensive exam that will cover concepts integrated throughout the course. The Final Exam will become available in the tests and quizzes section of the electronic classroom on Monday of week 8 and is due by the last day of the course or Sunday of week 8 at 11:55 PM. The Final Exam will be 50 questions, open book and open note, not proctored, and you will have 3 hours to complete the exam once you begin. The Final Exam is worth 23% of the final course grade.

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

NameGrade %
Forums 24.00 %
Forum 1 3.00 %
Forum 2 3.00 %
Forum 3 3.00 %
Forum 4 3.00 %
Forum 5 3.00 %
Forum 6 3.00 %
Forum 8 3.00 %
Forum 7 3.00 %
Quizzes 21.00 %
Quiz 1 Week 1 3.00 %
Quiz 2 Week 2 3.00 %
Quiz 3 Week 3 3.00 %
Quiz 4 Week 4 3.00 %
Quiz 5 Week 5 3.00 %
Quiz 6 Week 6 3.00 %
Quiz 7 Week 7 3.00 %
Weekly Assignments 32.00 %
Assignment 1: Week 1 4.00 %
Assignment 2: Week 2 4.00 %
Assignment 3: Week 3 4.00 %
Assignment 4: Week 4 4.00 %
Assignment 5: Week 5 4.00 %
Assignment 6: Week 6 4.00 %
Assignment 7: Week 7 4.00 %
Assignment 8: Week 8 4.00 %
Final Exam 23.00 %
Final Exam 23.00 %

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
Book Title:Karp's Cell and Molecular Biology, 8th ed - the VitalSource e-book is provided inside the classroom
Publication Info:VS-Wiley
Unit Cost:$99.90
Electronic ISBN:9781119227656
Electronic Unit Cost:$30.00

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.