You are here: Home Undergraduate Portal Academic Planning Resources Syllabi BIOL 141- Malcos

BIOL 141- Malcos

Main Content

BIOL 141 – Introductory Physiology – 2014 SPRING


Instructor Information

Jennelle Malcos Office:  158 North Frear (office hours only)

Email: Office Hours: Wednesday 1-2PM, Friday 10-11:30AM

Learning Assistant Office Hours are posted in ANGEL


Suggested Textbook

This textbook is suggested, not required.  Other textbooks, such as Anatomy and Physiology by Saladin, are also acceptable.  Textbooks will be used as a study tool.  There WILL NOT be assignments from the book.

Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology  By Martini and Nath


Learning Goals

1.   Develop a knowledge base (memorization/remembering) of key physiological terms and processes.

2.   Understand how key processes work together to maintain homeostasis.

3.   Apply and analyze knowledge to understand how changes to homeostasis can cause diseases.

4.   Learn to discuss complex physiological concepts with peers.


Learning Assessments (matched with above goals)

1.   A knowledge base will be achieved by completing the “Vocab Worksheet’ at the start of every Powerpoint presentation.  You can use any physiology textbook, Wikipedia, or the Powerpoint notes to help.  The worksheet can be taken to any LA office hour for feedback on its correctness.  This is an ungraded assignment.


2./3./4.  In lecture we will be examining the foundation information in more depth with the help of worksheets and clicker questions.  These activities will ask you to make connections between concepts and think about physiology as a complete process, rather than memorizing individual components. They will also encourage you to work in groups to discuss complex processes.  Additionally, weekly scientific literature reading will help emphasize application of material taught during lecture.  Discussion is a fundamental method scientists use to gain insight and improve understanding.


1./2./3./4. Foundation information, application and analysis will all be tested during the course through five tests (described below).


Grading Policy

Grades for this class are based on: four eTests, one non-cumulative final worth 100 points each, and 10 weekly scientific literature readings/ANGEL quizzes

Four tests (100 points each) + One final (100 points) + Sci Lit Quizzes (50 points) = 550 points total

We will be using clickers during class.  Clicker questions are worth one point each. I will be posting weekly clicker scores on ANGEL for you to check to ensure that your clicker is working properly. You total clicker point score from the semester can be used to replace your lowest test (the test will only replaced if it is beneficial to your overall grade). Your clicker score cannot be used for the final; everyone must take the final. A maximum of 8 clicker questions will be graded per week for a maximum total of 120 clicker points (8pts x 15 weeks; fewer may be offered).  Only 100 points can be applied to replacing a test and the remaining 20 points are buffer points for absences, technological issues or forgotten clickers.

I CANNOT ADJUST SCORES FOR FORGOTTEN CLICKERS or IGNORED TECHNOLOGICAL ERRORS because of the buffer points. The use of multiple clickers will be considered an academic integrity issue (see below).

The cut-offs for each grade are listed below.   There is no "rounding up". For instance, if you earn 89.6% of the points, you are still below the 90% cut-off for an A-, so your grade would be a B+.

A = 92% and above, A- = 90%, B+ = 88%, B = 83%, B- = 80%, C+ = 78%, C = 70%, D = 60%, F < 60%

If the class mean is below 75%, then grades will be assigned with the mean being a “C” and the standard deviation used to guide the assignment of the other letters grades.


Scientific Literature Reading/Quizzes

Beginning on Week 3, there will be a weekly Sci Lit article posted with a corresponding ANGEL quiz worth 5 points.  The quiz must be completed on Friday by 9:05AM.  NO LATE SUBMISSIONS ACCEPTED.  There will be a total of 13 quizzes and only the top 10 will be used in determining your Sci Lit grade total (50 points).



Tests will contain multiple choice, multiple check, and true/false questions.  Each test is worth 100 points will be 50 minutes long in the eTesting Pollock Test Center.  Test questions will be variable in value, with low stakes questions (focused on remembering foundation information) worth less than high stakes questions (focusing on application and analysis of foundation information).


You are responsible for signing up for each eTest upon receiving an email from the Testing Center.  Format of the final will be announced and dependent on space available at the testing facility.


Attendance Policy

I do not take attendance, however I believe it is advantageous to attend lecture.  If you miss a class, you are responsible for the material covered that day.  I will not necessarily review or summarize lecture material.


Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is not limited to simply cheating on an exam or assignment.  The following is quoted from the "PSU Faculty Senate Policies for Students" regarding academic integrity and academic dishonesty: "Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception and is an educational objective of this institution.  Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating of information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students".  All University and Eberly College of Science policies regarding academic integrity apply to this course and the students enrolled in this course.  Academic dishonesty can result in assignment of "F" by the course instructors or "XF" by Judicial Affairs as the final grade for the student.


Examination Policy

All tests will cover the material presented in the lecture.  Material discussed may not necessarily be in the lecture notes/presentation slides.


Missed tests will receive a score of 0 points.  A make-up exam will be administered only if I excuse the absence BEFOREHAND.  It is NOT acceptable to miss a test and then call or send me an email with an excuse.  There will be no make-up tests for this situation.  Documentation in the form of a note from Health Services, receipts, etc., may be necessary.  Please speak with me ahead of time about documentation.  THERE WILL BE A TEST FINALS WEEK; PLAN TRAVEL ACCOMMODATIONS ACCORDINGLY.


Additional Information

Please, no cell phones or private discussions during lecture.  It is disrespectful to the students around you.

I will be posting class material on Angel and sending emails to your PSU accounts.  It is your responsibility to make sure computers and emails are functional.  Non-functioning computers are NOT an acceptable excuse.

If you have any problems that prevent you from performing at your full potential during this class, please speak with me as soon as the problem arises.  I want to see my students succeed and it is often easier to fix problems sooner than later.


Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Office for Disability Services (ODS) Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus: In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation: If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter.


Tentative Schedule



Pages - Martini

M 1/13



W 1/15

Chemistry of Life


F 1/17

Cellular Structure


W 1/22

Cellular Structure


F 1/24

Nervous Tissue and Electrophysiology


M 1/27

Peripheral Nervous System

430-1, 448-456, 529-552

W 1/29

Peripheral Nervous System


F 1/31

Central Nervous System


M 2/3, T 2/4

eTest 1 (Includes all above topics)


M W 2/3, 2/5

Skeletal Muscle Structure and Function


F 2/7

Circulatory Introduction and Heart


M,W 2/10, 2/12

The Heart – Conduction and Cardiac Cycle


F,M 2/14, 2/17

Blood Vessels


W, F 2/19, 2/21

Blood Composition and Functions


T 2/25, W 2/26

eTest 2 (Included above topics after Test 1)


M 2/24

Blood Composition and Functions


W 2/26

White Blood Cells and Lymph System


F,M 2/28, 3/3

Immunity System


W, F 3/5, 3/7

Respiratory System (Ventilation and CNS Control)


M, W, F 3/17 -21

Digestive System


W 3/26, R 3/27

Test 3 (Includes above topics after Test 2)


M 3/24, W 3/26

Cellular Respiration


F,M 3/28, 3/31

Urinary System


W, F 4/2, 4/4

Fluid/Acid Balance


M, W, F 4/7-11



T 4/15, W4/16

eTest 4 (Includes above topics after Test 3)


M 4/14                                    

Reproductive System Introduction


W, F 4/16, 4/18

Male Reproductive System


M, W 4/21, 4/23

Female Reproductive System


F, M 4/25, 4/28

Fertilization and Pregnancy


W, F 4/30, 5/2



M 5/5-5/9

Final (Includes above topics after Test 4)