ASM events
This conference is managed by the American Society for Microbiology

Learning Objectives

Course:  Human Biology at City College of San Francisco

  • 3 hours of lecture, 3 hours of laboratory each week
  • non major students (fullfills "science lab" requirement for transferring to a 4-year institution)
  • about 36 students (same students for lecture & lab)
  • General Biology with a focus on topics related to humans

My “Dream Objectives”

  1. Establish a foundational knowledge to evaluate scientific issues that are “hot topics” or in the media.
  2. Be excited about or interested in scientific information….maybe even share or talk about scientific information with friends/family.
  3. Wonder about (and evaluate) the evidence that underlies health/science claims that they may hear from friends/in the media.  Be able to recognize valid or invalid (pseudo-science) information from these sources.
  4. Collect data, analyze it, and effectively communicate it – recognizing the flaws inherent to any data collection/analysis.


Assessment ideas based on above:

2. Pre-post assessment on scientific "attitude".

3.  Thread throughout the course by bringing up appropriate topics and analyzing the data/evidence in class (or through a "forum" on Moodle).

4.  Collect data about others' perspectives/opinions on scientific issues (i.e. evolution, stem cell research, water quality, high fructose corn syrup, etc.), make a graph, and present data to class.


Topic:  Human Population/Ecology/Environment

  1. Describe how and why global human population and the populations of different geographic regions (or countries) have changed over the past 10,000 (2,000) years.
  2. Recognize the consequences that occur when a population reaches carrying capacity. Evaluate the impacts of overpopulation and if the human population is reaching Earth’s carrying capacity.
  3. Describe the connections between organisms in a food web and the movement of energy and chemicals through living and nonliving systems (carbon cycle and biological magnification).
  4. Evaluate the scientific data related to Climate Change Theory and other environmental or ecological issues in the news (i.e. oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, energy, waste, pure water, food, overconsumption, land management, endangered species, public health like asthma, etc).
  5. Analyze your ecological footprint and determine where you can decrease your impact on the Earth’s resources.
  6. Describe ways that humans (or you) can minimize their impact on the earth and strive for sustainability.

Assessment ideas based on above

  1. Sketch a graph of human population over 10,000 years.  List various factors that affect births and deaths.
  2. Identify cultural, economic, and political factors that can alter birth and death rates.
  3. Respond to this statement:  Human Population can continue to grow at the current rate indefinitely.
  4. (and 5) A survey in class that for analyzing each person's ecological footprint, brainstorm in groups about ideas to decrease impact.


Topic:  Scientific Method

  1. Formulate a hypothesis and design a controlled experiment to test it using scientific method.
  2. Draw valid conclusions based on data.
  3. Identify confounding variables and difficulties in studying living organisms and humans.
  4. Differentiate between correlation and causation.
  5. Explain the process for using a double-blind, place clinical trials and for obtaining epidemiological information.
  6. Analyze scientific claims using critical thinking.

Assessment ideas based on above

6.  Examine advertisements and discuss what type of data would be needed to make such claims.

Topic:  Evolution

  1. Eliminate misconceptions that students have about evolution (i.e. why giraffe necks are long, humans evolved.
  2. Describe what contributes to variation and how "new" traits can arise.
  3. Describe how the interaction of the environment and a genetic trait leads to natural selection.
  4. Evaluate the data supporting the Theory of Evolution.

Topic:  “Current Event Assignments”
Infer the control and experimental groups from scientific studies.
Identify and describe the relationship between the independent and dependent variables in scientific studies.

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