Biology for Non-Majors I

Biology for Non-Majors I introduces students to the basics of the scientific process, the chemical foundations of life, cell structure and function, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, genetics and inheritance, and evolution. Designed for non-life science majors, this course is the first in a two-part series that completes a survey of biological principles.

This course was developed by Lumen Learning, with contributing work from Veronica Amaku and Renu Jain of Houston Community College, with additional work by Shelli Carter. Primary sources for course materials include the OpenStax textbooks, Concepts of Biology and Biology, supplemented with relevant materials from Khan Academy and videos from multiple sources. Original practice activities were authored by Shelli Carter and Lumen Learning.

This course was updated on February 2021. The content for Biology for Majors I & II has been updated to include recent changes found in the primary source of content, OpenStax Biology 2e. Additionally, improvements to the course include:

  • Each course in the biology series now contains in-page practice questions with immediate feedback for each learning outcome.
  • Each course in the biology series has a number of interactives addressing the more challenging learning outcomes or topics of current interest. For example, see our new interactive for the SARS-CoV-2 module here.
  • We have swapped Cerego for H5P flashcards. A login is no longer required to view this study tool.
  • Virtual Lab recommendations.

Lumen OER courses apply learning science to engage students and better support the learning process. Lumen materials aim to deliver an active learning experience. They include text, images, videos, assessments, directed feedback, practice questions, simulations, and other interactives that invite students to apply their knowledge, improve their understanding, and perform better. Term over term, Lumen’s Waymaker courseware makes it possible to use learning data to identify where content improvements are needed. We work collaboratively with faculty and subject matter experts to develop and test iterative, continuous improvements aimed at increasing efficacy and learning.

Additional Course Features

These course materials include:

  • Waymaker Courseware: User-friendly Waymaker learning tools improve success for at-risk students with personalized study plans, automated study tips and nudges, and early alerts to identify and help struggling students.
  • Outcome-aligned OER: Designed to replace expensive textbooks, this course curates the best available open educational resources (OER) aligned with learning outcomes. Teach it as-is or customize to fit your needs.
  • LMS Integration: This course is delivered with seamless LMS integration and automatic grade return for Canvas, Blackboard, Brightspace, and Moodle.
  • Accessibility: Lumen is 100% committed to providing learning materials that are accessible to all learners. Lumen course materials are mobile-friendly.

Teaching with Lumen Course Materials

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  • Replace expensive textbooks: Ready-to-adopt open educational resources (OER) include text, videos, simulations, self-checks, and other interactives.
  • Choose affordability: Low cost to students.
  • Use better content: Continuous, data-driven improvements make OER content more effective at supporting learning.
  • Simplify access: Easy access to course materials in your LMS (Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, and Moodle) plus automatic grade return.
  • Improve student outcomes: Research shows Lumen course materials can improve academic performance, passing rates, and course completion.

FOR INSTRUCTORS

  • Save time: Start with curated, outcome-aligned OER and supplemental instructor resources like quiz banks, assignments, slide decks, etc. 
  • Customize your course: Freedom to tailor course content to fit your learning outcomes and instructional approach.
  • Enjoy awesome support: Faculty-friendly onboarding, training, and support. 

See OER pioneer David Wiley’s overviews of Lumen courseware.

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FOR STUDENTS

  • Learn by doing: Online homework, self-check activities, and other interactive tools strengthen learning.
  • Engage from day one: Avoid falling behind with access course materials from the first day of class.
  • Retain materials: Download a digital copy of course content to keep forever.
  • Become a better learner: Real-time feedback guides students on where to focus and how to improve.

Three Steps to Teaching this Course in Your Class

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Wondering what it’s like? Watch a faculty roundtable video