Looking for a complete online biology course or just extra information on a topic or two to supplement material you already have? A few ideas for assignments and activities that students can do on their own? Hippocampus’ Non-Majors Biology may be just what you’re looking for. This one-semester course is an introduction to the grand sweep of life on Earth and provides a basic understanding of the processes that shape and sustain it. It describes the ecological ties that bind organisms to one another and to their environment and explores the promising, perilous dance of humans and nature.
Topics include the science of biology, the structure and function of cells, tissues and organs, cellular processes, cell division and the life cycle, principles of inheritance, evolution, the diversity of life, and ecology.
After completing this course, students should understand:
• The scope and methods of biology
• The internal organization of living organisms
• The life cycle of cells
• The flow of energy and matter through organisms and ecosystems
• The evolution and diversity of life on Earth
• The principles of ecology
All that, and like all the content on Hippocampus, it’s free too. Non-Majors Biology is the result of social authoring. Three biologists (I was one of them) wrote the chapters independently, so there are some gaps and some overlaps as well as variations in style and tone, but all the basics are covered.
By the way, if you’ve never tried social authoring, it’s worth a shot. As in all writing or teaching projects, I learned and relearned a lot of biology in the process. And it was eye-opening to see what other teachers thought belonged in a basic biology course and how they organized and explained important scientific principles. There’s definitely more than one way to skin a cat.