1. Course Introduction
Table of Contents
Welcome to Biology 30
In Biology 30 you will learn more than facts. You will be encouraged to develop positive attitudes and to acquire and use knowledge and skills in responsible ways. Your studies will lead you to achievements in each of the following four areas prescribed by the Alberta Program of Studies.
Attitudes: Students will be encouraged to develop attitudes that support the responsible acquisition and application of scientific and technological knowledge to the mutual benefit of self, society, and the environment.
Knowledge: Students will construct knowledge and understandings of concepts in life science, physical science, and Earth and space science and apply these understandings to interpret, integrate, and extend their knowledge.
Science, Technology, and Society (STS): Students will develop an understanding of the nature of science and technology, the relationships between science and technology, and the social and environmental contexts of science and technology.
Skills: Students will develop the skills required for scientific and technological inquiry, for solving problems, for communicating scientific ideas and results, for working collaboratively, and for making informed decisions.
This course builds upon the scientific concepts from
Grade 8 Science, Unit B: Cells and Systems
Grade 9 Science, Unit A: Biological Diversity
Science 10, Unit C: Cycling of Matter in Living Systems
Biology 20, Unit A: Energy and Matter Exchange in the Biosphere
Biology 20, Unit B: Ecosystems and Population Change
Biology 20, Unit D: Human Systems
Biology 30 is composed of four units. These units are
Unit A: The Nervous and Endocrine Systems
Unit B: Reproduction and Development
Unit C: Cell Division, Genetics, and Molecular Biology
Unit D: Populations and Community Dynamics
Biology 30 Textbook, Other Resources, and Website Support
The textbook for Biology 30 is Inquiry into Biology, McGraw-Hill Ryerson. This textbook will help you add depth to your understanding of the topics you study. You will find additional support at the textbook’s online website, www.albertabiology.ca. Here, you can use unit pre-quizzes, web links, chapter highlights, study tips, research tools, and other opportunities for further learning.
Other resources that you may find invaluable are
- The Key
- Student Notes and Problems Workbook: Biology 30
Both are available through LRC. They can be ordered at discount prices by calling 310-0000 from anywhere in Alberta (toll-free). Then, dial 780-427-2767 to arrange free shipping within the province. These resources are also available from any bookstore at full price.
For other resources, check out LRC’s website at www.LRC.education.gov.ab.ca. Enter the search term “SNAP” to review resources such as the study guide available for Biology 30.
Biology 30 Partners
Learning in an Online Environment
This course is delivered to you in an online environment. You can look forward to using resources, such as interactive multimedia, and the Internet for various activities. You will also have access to computer simulations, computer multimedia, computer graphics, and electronic information to support your learning.
LearnAlberta.ca is a protected digital learning environment for Albertans. This Alberta Education portal, found at http://www.learnalberta.ca/, is a place where you can support your learning by accessing resources for projects, homework, help, review, or study.
For example, LearnAlberta.ca contains a large Online Reference Centre that includes multimedia encyclopedias, journals, newspapers, transcripts, images, maps, and more. The National Geographic site contains many current video clips that have been indexed for Alberta Programs of Study. The content is organized by grade level, subject, and curriculum objective. Use the search engine to quickly find key concepts. Check this site often as new interactive multimedia segments are being added all the time.
If you find a password is required, contact your teacher or school to get one. No fee is required.
Alternative Learning Environments and Distributed Learning
Distributed Learning is a model through which learning is distributed in a variety of delivery formats and mediums—print, digital (online), and traditional delivery methods—allowing teachers, students, and content to be located in different, non-centralized locations. Biology 30 students will be completing this course in a variety of learning environments, including traditional classrooms, online/virtual schools, home education, outreach programs, and alternative programs.
The learning model used in Biology 30 is designed to be engaging and to have you participate in inquiry and problem solving. You will actively interpret and critically reflect on your learning process. Learning begins within a community setting at the centre of a larger process of teaching and learning. You will be encouraged to share your knowledge and experiences by interaction, feedback, debate, and negotiation.
This course uses the following structure and instructional design to connect you to the relevant curriculum and scientific concepts in Biology 30. These components are used consistently throughout the course and will help you in seeing the context and overall content of the program.
Big Picture provides a brief introduction to the module while connecting to your prior learning and personal knowledge. It refers to the essential questions of the module and invites you to reflect on the "big picture" within your own context.
Discuss provides opportunities for you to interact with your peers and teacher. Discussion topics and collaborative activities should be independent of delivery mode, given the variety of technology access and delivery methods in schools.
Explore encourages you to investigate new concepts through preparation and presentation (Read), multimedia interactions (Watch and Listen), hands-on simulations (Labs), and explorative activities (Try This). Components within this section often do not follow a specific order. For example, you can do Watch and Listen after Try This or do Labs before Read.
Get Focused encourages you to focus on the task at hand and the outcomes to achieve. It includes a list of knowledge outcomes, STS outcomes, and/or skills outcomes. It prepares you for the upcoming lesson by providing a lesson rubric, a list of assessment items, and a list of required equipment and materials.
Going Beyond gives you the choice of challenging and enriching your knowledge beyond the lesson.
Labs include hands-on activities with available equipment/materials and/or multimedia simulations of a lab.
Each lesson consists of the main learning content from which you explore, reflect, and connect. The length of each lesson is defined by content that covers at least one measurable outcome.
Each module consists of content developed around a general or major outcome. Modules are comprised of lessons and include the introductory sections Big Picture, Challenge, In This Module, and Module Summary and Assessment.
The Read component uses textual material to convey concepts to you. This material may appear directly within this component. Alternatively, it may be presented indirectly through another resource. For example, you may be sent to your textbook or provided with a link to a website.
Reflect and Connect
Reflect and Connect provides you with opportunities to check your understanding of concepts introduced in the lesson (Self-Check) and to make connections to prior learning and personal knowledge (Reflect on the Big Picture). It also provides you with opportunities to interact with your peers and your teacher through communication and collaboration (Discuss).
Reflect on the Big Picture
Reflect on the Big Picture, part of Reflect and Connect, provides connections to the Big Picture introduced at the beginning of the module. It connects and adds to the initial essential question(s) and situates the concepts of the lesson within the Big Picture context.
There are course, unit, module, and lesson summaries. All lesson summaries build toward the unit and course summaries and make connections to the Big Picture introduced at the module level. Each summary provides you with information about what you have accomplished.
Self-Check provides you with opportunities to check your understanding of new concepts learned in the lessons and to make connections to prior learning. These may be in auto-marked form or may require teacher feedback.
Try This includes opportunities to practise and apply learned concepts outside of a lab environment. These can be simulations, questions, webquests, or other activities that provide you with a space to explore different ways of applying new concepts.
The units of study are identified in the Program of Studies. Units are defined by subject matter and are not limited by quantity of content or time of study. Each unit is comprised of modules (usually one for each general outcome), includes a general introduction and a visual representation of content structure (e.g., concept organizer/site map) as well as a list of general outcomes to be addressed, and includes a unit summary and assessment.
Watch and Listen
Watch and Listen includes both passive and interactive multimedia content (podcasts, videos, interactive Flash activities, etc.).
Visual Cues (Icons)
You will see icons throughout the course. These icons are clues regarding the type of activity you are about to begin.
Each unit in the course has a different colour theme, and the icons will change colour to match. For example, here are the four different colours of the Big Picture icon that appear in Units A to D, respectively.
The icons and their meanings are given.
Reflect and Connect
Reflect on the Big Picture
Watch and Listen
Special Learning Activities: Labs and Simulations
This course includes experiments for you to perform. To avoid the need for specialized apparatus and chemicals, you will be provided with computer multimedia simulations to provide a hands-on experience. For example, you will have the opportunity to use a simulation of a dissection of the eye.
Reference (Data Tables)
In this course you will need numerical and scientific data for reference. The Biology 30 Data Sheet from Alberta Education contains the reference data. You will be allowed to use a copy of the Data Sheet when writing the Biology 30 Diploma Examination. That is a good reason for becoming familiar with the Data Sheet. The Data Sheet can be downloaded from www.education.alberta.ca/admin/testing/diplomaexams.aspx.
A biology glossary—an alphabetical list of biology terms and their meanings—is provided in this course. Your textbook, Inquiry into Biology, also has a glossary for you to refer to.
Lesson Answers (for students)
For many items, answers are provided through a “Check your work” link. Questions that are suggested for additional practice or assigned from the text can be discussed with your teacher. Some items, especially assessment items, are to be marked by your teacher. For these items, you will be asked to submit your work to your teacher.
Tips for Success with Assignments
The module and unit assessments in Biology 30 will give you the opportunity to practise the type of questions that you will be asked to respond to on the Diploma Exam. There are four types of questions that will be used in your assessments and on the Diploma Exam.
- multiple choice
- numerical response
- closed-response written question (data based)
- open-response written question (essay)
Multiple-choice questions are often preceded by a context box that contains background information relevant to the question. This information is then followed by the multiple-choice question or a series of multiple-choice questions relating to this information. Additional information is sometimes provided in another context box, which will help you with the next question.
Numerical-response questions involve using a maximum of four numbers to record your answer on the form provided. These questions are of three types:
- calculation question and solution: This type of question involves a calculation and also involves applying the rules for significant digits, manipulation of data, and rounding rules. Information on these procedures, with examples, can be found on the website listed below.
- selection question and solution: This type of question involves listing the correct choices from a longer list of potential answers.
- correct order question and solution: In this type of question, students must determine the correct order of, or sequence of, a series of events.
Make sure that you follow the instructions in the question about how to record your answer, for example, the number of significant digits required in the correct response.
Closed-Response Written Question
The data-based closed-response written question is based on a scientific article provided in the question. In the scientific article, you will be presented with research and data. After reading the article, you must answer a series of related questions based on the information in the article. To solve each question, you will apply your knowledge of Biology 30, including your understanding of the scientific method and your skills with manipulating data.
Open-Response Written Question
The essay-response question requires that you read a scientific context box. You will apply your understanding of the science of biology, technology, and societal issues to address a series of questions in an essay response. To be successful in this type of question, you should be familiar with the “directing words” used in the question. They are definitive in terms of what is expected in your answer. For a list of these directing words and their definitions, check out the website listed below, or read pages 760 to 761 of your textbook.
For additional information on how to prepare for your exams, for examples of these types of questions, and to look at actual diploma exams with answers and examples of scoring guides, check out the following website:
Look at sites such as “Students First” and sample diploma exams.
Using the Biology 30 Course Folder
The Biology 30 course folder serves as the organized collection of your work in Biology 30. It exhibits to others your efforts, achievements, self-reflection, and progress throughout the course. When you want to show your friends or family what you’ve been learning, your work is all there.
You will be expected to put all of your work into the course folder. If you are unsure of the process, your teacher will walk you through it. Throughout the course you will be asked to add things to the course folder.
In addition to being able to show others what you have done, the course folder lets you see your progress. It lets you see how your knowledge, skills, and understandings are growing. It also lets you review and annotate work you have already completed. You may find your course folder useful in preparing for tests and quizzes.
Periodically, you will be asked to share items from your course folder with your teacher. This is not always for grading, as often your teacher may use these items to learn more about you and your interests or as a way of tailoring other work assigned to you.
Minimum System Requirements
- Intel(R) Pentium(R) III or AMD-K6(R)-2 processor-based computer
- 450 MHz CPU
- Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000/XP
- 512 MB RAM
- monitor capable of 1024 x 768 screen resolution and 16-bit colour
- 16-bit sound card and speakers
- 1x DVD-ROM drive (for print version)
- A printer is recommended.
- Power Macintosh(R) G3
- 500 MHz CPU
- Mac OS(R) X
- 512 MB RAM
- monitor capable of 1024 x 768 screen resolution and thousands of colours
- 16-bit sound card
- 1x DVD-ROM drive (for print version)
- A printer is recommended.
Minimum Software Requirements*
For All Platforms
- Adobe(R) Reader(R) 6.0 (Download from http://www.adobe.com/downloads/)
- Adobe(R) Shockwave(R) Player 8.5 (Download from http://www.adobe.com/downloads/)
- Adobe(R) Flash(TM) Player 9 (Download from http://www.adobe.com/downloads/)
- Microsoft(R) Office Excel(R) 2003
- Microsoft(R) Office Word 2003
- QuickTime(R) Player 7.0 (Download from http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download)
- Euclid fonts for clear viewing of equations in Microsoft(R) Office Word 2003 (Download from http://www.dessci.com/en/dl/fonts/getfont.asp)
For Windows(R) 2000/XP
- Microsoft(R) Internet Explorer 6.0 for Windows(R) (Download from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie6/downloads/default.mspx) OR
- Mozilla(R) Firefox(R) 2 (Download from http://www.mozilla.org/download.html)
- Java(TM) 2 Platform Standard Edition (J2SE 1.4.1) (Download from http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp)
For Mac OS(R) X
- Safari(TM) 1.3
- Java(TM) 2 Platform, Standard Edition, version 1.4.1 for Mac OS(R) X (Download from http://apple.com/java)
* Please note that vendors may have a more current version of their players and/or plug-ins available, which you can download from their sites, than the minimum software requirements listed above.