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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: SCIN403 Course ID: 4352 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course will provide an overview of plant growth and development as it applies to the disciplines of agriculture, forestry, and horticulture. Topics presented will include plant production for food, fiber and fuel, the influence of soils on crops and plant propagation, biotechnology applications, pesticide use, impacts of insects and disease, the influence of genetically modified plants on agriculture, invasive species management, and the implementation of sustainable practices in agricultural and forestry operations. (Prerequisites: SCIN130 or BIOL134)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

The successful student will fulfill the following learning objectives:

CO-1: Explain the role of plant science as a discipline in the biological sciences.
CO-2: List the factors that influence plant growth and development for cultivated species.
CO-3: Explain how modern technology has changed agricultural methods and practices.
CO-4: Assess the impact of insects and disease, invasive species, genetically modified plants, and biotechnology on the field of plant propagation.
CO-5: Identify the philosophies, policies, and practices of sustainable agriculture and forestry.
CO-6: Analyze the complex, interdisciplinary problems that impact plants and plant propagation.
CO-7: Understand nursery and greenhouse production of woody and herbaceous plants, and turfgrass growth and care.
CO-8: Evaluate constructed landscapes in the urban environment utilizing woody and herbaceous plants, including sustainable landscape practices.
CO-9: Understand the future of field crop plants for the use of food, fiber and fuel.

You will be provided with lessons, resources and guidance, and instructor assistance in this course. You, however, are ultimately responsible for managing your time, completing all readings and assignments on time, making sure you submit the correct assignments, and contacting your instructor for guidance when necessary. This is only an eight-week course – all material must be learned in this time, which means you must be diligent with your time.

For the purpose of this course, a “week” is defined as the time period between Monday and Sunday. All work due for a particular week must be submitted by Sunday at 11:55 pm EST for the particular week, or the late penalty will be applied (see below). You are required by the University to log into the class several times a week to check announcements, assignments, forums and to successfully complete all activities in this course. Please plan accordingly.


The student will be responsible for participating in eight discussion forums throughout the course. Students will provide an initial posted response of 250-words by Wednesday of the assigned week, and then reply to a minimum of two other postings by other students with at least a 100-word response by Sunday (earlier is better). Students must submit their work within the ‘Forum’ section of the class. Specific instructions for each of the eight discussion forum assignments can be found inside the APUS electronic classroom under the “forum” link.


Each of the six quizzes will cover the reading material assigned for that week from the required textbook or other supplementary assigned readings. Each quiz will be multiple-choice, true/false, or short answer in format. These quizzes are open-note, and non-proctored. Keep in mind that you should already know the material, however, as you will not have enough time to look up each answer. Each quiz is timed and you will have 45 minutes to take each quiz. 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 on the quiz. In addition, once you have accessed the quiz, make sure you do not leave the quiz at any time until you have completed it; do not hit the “back” button while taking the quiz; be sure to disable your “pop-up” blocker while taking the quiz; and make sure you only view the exam in one window (do not have any other browser windows open while taking your exam).

Research Power Point Project

The topic for your paper should come from one of the topics listed within the details of the assignment found in the “assignments” section of the electronic classroom. Please read all the specific details of the assignment listed in LESSON 1 (DUE LESSON 8) to receive full credit for this assignment.

Final Examination

The final examination will cover the reading material from the plant science textbook assigned during the last four weeks, and content from any required supplementary readings outside the textbook. The examination will consist of 50 questions in multiple choice, true/false, matching or other similar formats. It will be open-notes and will NOT necessitate a proctor. You will have up to two hours to complete the final examination once you open it, and you may only open the exam one time. Even though this exam is open-book, it is to be of an INDIVIDUAL EFFORT. You have until 11:55 PM EST on Sunday night of week 8 to complete this examination. You have one full week to find a block of time to take this examination; late submissions will result in a ZERO and there is no opportunity to complete the exam after the official course end date. So, please be sure to use this time wisely and best of luck!


The four assignments throughout the semester will consist of several different virtual lab activities. You will perform each of the assigned activities following the criteria given on each of the assignment documents to receive full credit. PLEASE NOTE that you must submit your assignments as a “Microsoft Word” document rather than a Word Pad, Works, etc. type of document, otherwise you will not receive credit for your work.

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

NameGrade %
Forums 15.00 %
Forum 1 1.88 %
Forum 2 1.88 %
Forum 3 1.88 %
Forum 4 1.88 %
Forum 5 1.88 %
Forum 6 1.88 %
Forum 7 1.88 %
Forum 8 1.88 %
Assignments 30.00 %
Fruit and Vegetable Crops - Week 6 7.50 %
Integrated Pest Management - Week 5 7.50 %
Soil Management Activity - Week 2 7.50 %
Photosynthesis Activity - Week 3 7.50 %
Quizzes 25.00 %
Quiz 1--Week 1 4.17 %
Quiz 2--week 2 4.17 %
Quiz 3--Week 3 4.17 %
Quiz 4--week 4 4.17 %
Quiz 5--week 5 4.17 %
Quiz 6--week 6 4.17 %
Research Powerpoint Project 15.00 %
Final Power Point Project - Due Week 7 15.00 %
Final Exam 15.00 %
Final Exam--Week 8 15.00 %

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:Plant Science: Growth, Development, and Utilization of Cultivated Plants (student value edition) - the VitalSource e-book is provided inside the classroom
Publication Info:VS-Pearson
Author:Margaret E. McMahon, Anton M. Kofranek, Vincent E. Rubatzky
Unit Cost:$119.21
Electronic ISBN:9781269517706
Electronic Unit Cost:$35.00

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.