Welcome Online Biology 101 Student!
I’m Professor Ross, your instructor for the next semester. I’d like to discuss with you
a little bit about what the class will be and what it will not be, so that we can all begin
the term on the same page.
1. The course is a university-level Biology 101 course that is equivalent to the in-
person Biology 101 course taught at Prince George’s Community College. I
have taught the in-person version of this course for five years, and so am quite
familiar with both the material and the pacing of the course. I love biology and
hope that somewhere during this semester, you start to do the same!
2. The course is a laboratory course. As such, you will be required to complete
lab exercises in your own home, using some household materials, along with
some materials you will need to purchase, as well as the items contained in the
Laboratory Kit you purchased at the beginning of the term from the PGCC
3. The course is not a self-paced class that allows you to work ahead on
assignments. You are, of course, free to watch any lectures anytime you wish.
However, assignments and exams are all tied to particular weeks, and so you
will be expected to complete those assignments during the week(s) they are
due. We will have ongoing discussions about topics we are covering, as well
as virtual chat sessions and laboratory sessions that demand that everyone be
working on pretty much the same material at the same time. Therefore, the
class is paced to go along with this.
4. The class will take time. Expect to put as much time into this class as you
would an in-person class. A rough guide to this is that you should plan on
spending about six hours per week on lectures and labs, along with about
another six hours for studying and completing assignments. Please don’t be
fooled into thinking that because this class is taught online that it is easier than
the in-person version. It is absolutely not easier.
5. Online Biology 101 requires that you be very organized and plan your time
well, so that you can score high on assignments and exams. Give yourself
enough time to do well. Don’t short-change yourself.
6. This class is an opportunity for you to meet other people. You’ll be working in
groups throughout the semester, as assigned by Professor Ross, which will
allow you to meet other people who are going through the same experience of
taking Biology 101 online! Use these new contacts to talk about ideas,
problems, or just about anything you like. Sometimes it’s easier to meet
people online than it is in person, so if you’re shy, this might be your chance
to make some new friends.
7. This course does require that you take good notes on lectures and virtual chats.
You should also get in the habit of making notes while you’re on the Internet,
so that your research goes a little easier. Buy a 3-ring notebook and use it.
8. Online Biology 101 will be a lot of fun, and I hope the most exciting course
you’ve taken in a long time.
See you soon online,
Andrew R. Ross