Course Exam—BIOL 207 (Principles of Biology II)

BIOL 207 (Principles of Biology II) is the second of two introductory courses in general biology that prepare students for most senior-level biology courses offered at Athabasca University. This course is designed to help students learn more about the nature of life.  The main topics include the diversity of organisms, including fungi, plants, protists, animals, and bacteria. The course will emphasize evolution as the overriding biological principle. To register in BIOL 207, students must successfully complete BIOL 204 (Principles of Biology I) or equivalent for professor approval. Students should note that this course also includes a mandatory five-day, in-person lab component that is usually offered in the summer months in Athabasca, Alberta.

If you would like to learn more about Principles of Biology I, read my Course Exam article for BIOL 204.

Principles of Biology II is made up of thirteen chapters, two assignments weighing ten percent each, simulation exercises worth ten percent, lab evaluations weighing twenty-five percent, a midterm examination weighing fifteen percent, and a final examination for thirty percent. The thirteen chapters within this course cover plants, protostomes, animal nutrition, Darwin, prokaryotes, fungi, viruses, and more. The simulation exercises of evolutionary processes will include dog domestication and sickle cell alleles in African malaria areas (using SimBio software). To receive credit for BIOL 207, students must achieve a course composite grade of at least a “D”, or fifty percent, and a grade of at least fifty percent on the final examination.

The midterm and final examinations for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation center. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation center can accommodate online exams.

Victoria Reid is from Edmonton, Alberta, and is a licensed practical nurse working in the operating room at the University of Alberta Hospital.  She is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program with a major in Health Sciences.  She explains that she “originally enrolled in 2015 in the LPN-BN bridging program.  After about a year I decided I was actually craving a new career entirely and transferred into the science program.”

When asked to explain BIOL 207 to students who have yet to take it, Victoria states “BIOL 207 is a continuation of BIOL 204, which covers biodiversity, micro and macro evolution, and conservation. Both courses are prerequisite for nearly every higher-level biology course at Athabasca University and other institutions. This course gives the foundation of knowledge needed to study further biology courses.”

As for the structure of the course, she states “There are assignments, which are combinations of short answer, definition/comparison, and multiple-choice questions. There are also mandatory in-person labs, two lab reports, two simulation exercises, a midterm examination and a final examination. The textbook for this course is necessary in order to be successful. All of the learning is from the required readings, and there are no supplemental materials. The study guides are not comprehensive.”

When asked if she would recommend this course to other students, she states that she “found BIOL 207 much easier than BIOL 204, and the course work more interesting as opposed to the dryness of BIOL 204.”

As for tips and tricks to completing BIOL 207, Victoria advises you to “hold on to your coursework from BIOL 204. It comes in handy when writing the lab reports and for succeeding in the in-person labs.”

Victoria’s tutor for BIOL 207 was a “lightning fast marker” who “wasn’t overly critical and made sure to make the appropriate corrections when necessary.”

Whether BIOL 207 is a degree or program requirement of yours, or the topics discussed above are interest to you, this course will have you learning a lot of interesting material surrounding the principles of biology.