MCDB 1111 coreBioI – fundamentals

Fall 2017 MWF 10-10:50 in MCDB A120 (GOLD)


Prof. Mike Klymkowsky (aka Prof. or Dr. K)
Office: Porter Bioscience B425 Office hours: by appointment - I am flexible
e-mail me @

Learning Assistants:
Aidan Barker (office hour: TBD Learning Lounge: Porter B0054

Teaching Assistant
: none for this class

For policies on disabilities, religious observances, classroom behavior, sexual harassment, and the honor code : click here

INFORMATION:MCDB 2222 uses an interactive on-line text (through nota bene) and beSocratic tutorials. Full text can be downloaded here:

Read the text first (in NB) and then work through beSocratic activity, note those points you find confusing.

In NB, try and help members of your group with questions & answers; generate a short list of questions you would like to discuss in class.

Please note, I get an email for every comment made.

Tweet #biofundamentals

learning lounge

This course may be different from what you are be used to. There is no co-seminar and all exams are held during scheduled class periods. Our goal is to help you learn biology, not to sort you - so please take that into account.

  • text book is free and on-line (pdf)
  • get lost? google biofundamentals
  • You need access to the web for both NB and beSocratic

Because the class involves active discussion about materials covered, we have a few rules (many based on research on how students learn).

  • Computers and phones in class: In class minimize use of computers; attempt to suppress your cell phone useage (turn off ringer).
  • Reading and reacting to the text before class: come to class prepared to question and discuss the materials presented (that means to raise, answer, or respond to questions). I will tend to wander around the classroom and may tap on the shoulder and ask for your opinion or answer.
  • For this reason, we use an interactive web-based text.
    • You will receive an e-mail (to your official university e-mail address) from nota bene; sign up to establish an account.
    • We will go over how to use NB in class.
    • Please note: 10% of your grade is based on your using NB to interact with the text and your fellow students before class. I will be using your comments to structure in class discussions, so they are both important and valuable.
  • Footnotes within the text are not required reading.
  • Office hours:
    • I have office hours from 3 to 4 every Thursday, feel free to drop in. You can also e-mail to arrange an appointment. My office is 425 Porter BioSciences (in the back of the lab).
    • There is also the MCDB Learning Lounge (Porter B0054) where students from a number of different classes often hang out [map], feel free to use it, since it is for you.
  • Syllabus: The syllabus may change depending on our learning rates. Please check it if you have questions about your study/travel plans.
  • Exams: This course builds from one concept to the other -- therefore all exams are cumulative, but primarily focused on the topic of the section leading up to the exam. There are three midterms and a final (dates can be found on the syllabus).

EVALUATION (GRADES) : Your grade is determined by three independent measures.

  1. Interacting with the text (through NB) and beSocratic activities (50 points): You will be expected to comment on, answer, or help answer the questions in the text. Your responses are captured by the system. At the end of the semester, you will be awarded full points if you engage the text and your group in an active and substantial manner. Similarly there is a beSocratic activity due prior to (almost) each class period.
  2. Classroom participation may be used to resolve letter grade boundaries if necessary.
  3. Term project / paper or video (50 points)
  4. Exams: Your exam scorse account for 350 points. Exams are not curved.

    I know it now exams: These will be offered with the final, and your IKIN scores will be added to your midterm scores (for midterms 1, 2 and 3).

Summary: A > 90%, B > 80%, C >60% D>50%. F>40%

Accommodation for Disabilities: f you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit your accommodation letter from Disability Services to your faculty member in a timely manner so that your needs can be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities in the academic environment. Information on requesting accommodations is located on the Disability Services website ( Contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or for further assistance. If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, see Temporary Medical Conditions under the Students tab on the Disability Services website and discuss your needs with your professor.

Religious Holidays : Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to deal reasonably and fairly with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. In this class, talk with me, and we will make appropriate arrangements.

Classroom Behavior: Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation or political philosophy. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. For more information, see the policies on classroom behavior and the Student Code of Conduct.

Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment and/or Related Retaliation: The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment. CU Boulder will not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment or related retaliation against or by any employee or student.  CU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, intimate partner abuse (dating or domestic violence), stalking or related retaliation. CU Boulder’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy prohibits discrimination, harassment or related retaliation based on race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation or political philosophy. Individuals who believe they have been subject to misconduct under either policy should contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) at 303-492-2127. Information about the OIEC, the above referenced policies, and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment or related retaliation can be found at the OIEC website.

Honor Code: All students enrolled in a University of Colorado Boulder course are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy. Violations of the policy may include: plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, lying, bribery, threat, unauthorized access to academic materials, clicker fraud, resubmission, and aiding academic dishonesty. All incidents of academic misconduct will be reported to the Honor Code Council (; 303-735-2273). Students who are found responsible for violating the academic integrity policy will be subject to nonacademic sanctions from the Honor Code Council as well as academic sanctions from the faculty member. Additional information regarding the academic integrity policy can be found at the Honor Code Office website.