Biology 48 - Home / Announcements - Spring 2019
CRN #34243

Date Posted Announcements (in reverse chronological order)
19 Feb 2019 Exam #1 is scheduled for Thursday February 21st during lab.
Please refer to the study guide for information on exam times and exam composition (i.e. list of topics and proportions). Refer to the lab manual and the lecture outlines for a guide to what you need to know. Review the text, the lab manual and your notes as study resources (note: your real "study guides" are the lecture outlines, the lecture outline study questions, the lab reports (all of them) and your notes).
Grade reports are usually available 11/2-2 weeks following the exam. Check your grade here.
19 Feb 2019

If you are a STEM major please take the following survey --only STEM majors, please--
Link: STEM major Survey

14 Feb 2019 Data from Lab #6 - Membrane Transport: Diffusion / Osmosis (Feb 14) is now available for download from the lab data section of the "Downloads" page. Note: Two excel files are available - one for exercise A (osmosis) and one for exercise B (diffusion - simulated). Look for the tabs at the bottom of each spreadsheet to view different presentations of the data (only one graph from each exercise is needed in your report).
14 Feb 2019 Quiz #2 is scheduled for Tuesday February 19th at the end of lab (following the review).
Approx. Breakdown: 35% Cell Chemistry/Metabolism (see chpt 4 and labs 4 & 5), 60% Membrane Transport (see chpts 2, 3 & 5 and lab 6), 5% Cell Signalling (see chpt 6).
Remember, bring a calculator to all quizzes and exams (you may not use cell phones as calculators), refer to the questions at the end of the lecture outlines and in the lab manual for preparation.
12 Feb 2019 Data from Lab #4 - Cellular Chemistry: Enzyme Activity (Feb 7) is now available for download from the lab data section of the "Downloads" page. Look for the tabs at the bottom of the excel spread sheet to view different presentations of the data. Note: data in the tables that is highlighted in red is suspect. Read the notes (notes tab) regarding editing of the data.
1 Feb 2019 Quiz #1 is scheduled for Thursday February 7th at the start of lecture
Approx. Breakdown: 33% Introduction / Homeostasis (see chapters 1, 3, 6 & lab 1), 33% Biomolecules (see chapter 2) and 33% combined from the labs on metric system, data analysis & graphing, and concepts of bioinstrumentation (see labs 2, 3 & appendix A)
Remember, bring a calculator to ALL quizzes and exams (you may not use smart phones as calculators), refer to the questions at the end of the lecture outlines and in the lab manual for preparation.

Note: Quizzes are worth 15 points (approximately 15 questions), cover topics from both the lecture and the lab, and will include true/false, multiple choice, fill-in, problem solving (bring a calculator) and occasionally short essay questions. All questions will be answered on the quiz form (no scantron needed). You will have approximately 10-15 minutes to complete the exam.
30 Jan 2019 Data from Lab #1 - Introduction: Homeostasis (Jan 29) is now available for download from the lab data section of the "Downloads" page. Note: look for the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet to view different presentations of the data (pay particular attention to the "Distribution All" tab).
30 Jan 2019 Don't forget that you have two assignments due by Feb 12th (assignments can be completed and turned in any time up to the deadline):
1) Complete the Student Information Sheet passed out during the first class meeting (1/2 sheet of paper)
2) Take the Syllabus Quiz (download the quiz from the "downloads" page, print it and answer the questions).
30 Jan 2019

Biology 48 - Human Physiology - Study Tips:

Time and active repetition are key elements that cannot be overlooked when attempting to learn anything. The more time you spend actively reviewing the material, the more likely it is to stick. Note that this does not mean reading the same thing over and over again. What it means is, going over the same information in a different, thus an active, way (meaning, you have to think about it). Some of what you will learn in physiology will rely on memorization but a larger portion will depend on your understanding concepts so they can be applied. Memorization is primarily a result of rote repetition but rote repetition will not help you understand concepts. Understanding concepts depends on repetition AND active thinking. Ask yourself, "what is this similar to?", "have I ever experienced this?", "what would this look like?", "how does this happen?", "what must happen for X to occur?", "If X changes, what happens to Y" etc.

1st repetition - read the text assignment - while reading:
(a) think about what you understand and what you don't (mark what you don't understand and ask for clarification).
(b) think about what is important to remember, select that word, sentence or paragraph and highlight it,
The process of actively selecting out and highlighting sections provides a guide for future review, but more importantly the active role increases retention the first time you read it.
(c) think about how the information you are reading fits together, how it collectively explains the function of a cell, tissue, organ, organ system or the human body.
(d) think about experiences you have had that tie in with what you are studying (i.e. when studying cardiovascular physiology - how do your experiences taking a pulse. listening to heart sounds etc. tie into the cardiovascular physiology you are reading about). Establishinjg contect for what you are learning can make it more meaningful.
Note: do all of these things with each study repetition.

2nd repetition - attend lecture / lab and take notes - yes, it is the same material but presented in a new format. The process of taking notes (writing down selected lecture info, not writing everything that is said, is an active process - again you must be thinking about it). This is also an important opportunity to ask questions.

3rd repetition - review the text, the procedures manual and your notes and create a summary sheet (the lecture outlines are designed for this purpose). Again you will be reviewing the same information in an active way (you must think about how to write it in a summary format that is complete and makes sense to you).

4th repetition - participate in the lab activities - this is a chance to experience the concepts described in the text and the lecture. It is the ONLY time when you will be able to work hands on with real specimens, complete experiments and experience the dynamic processes of physiology. Reading about it alone will not work, use the lab time to actively participate in the experience. Its much more memorable that way. The lab is also the best time to get help from the instructor.

5th repetition - answer all of the questions in the lecture outlines and the procedures manual (generally not to be turned in) and practice solving all of the problems and equations. This is good practice and will help identify what you understand and what you don't. Many of the questions can be answered alone or can be answered as a group exercise as they can function as discussion points. This is good practice and will help identify what you understand and what you don't.

6th repetition - FORM STUDY GROUPS! - get together with one or two other students and review all that you have studied (caution: use study groups for review of what you have already studied, NOT as a way to study for the first time). Doing this weekly is ideal, the amount you will need to review will be smaller and more manageable than when study groups are used once just before the exam (although, an exam review is still beneficial).

This will all take a lot of time and effort. Expect to devote time to studying physiology EVERY DAY (close to 10-15 hours or more per week). Don't stop when you think you understand it, keep reviewing until you know it with confidence!

Additional - get assistance - tutoring is available through the tutorial center ( and/or you can ask questions during office hours.

30 Jan 2019 Note: Lab Manuals are needed for every lab. If you have not purchased your Lab Manual (i.e. you are waiting to see if you can add), you can download and print the first few labs from the course webpage. Please be sure to come to lab prepared:

Welcome to Biology 48 - Human Physiology (5 units)
Lecture 3 hours (3 units); Lab 6 hours (2 units)
Prerequisite: Biology 47 and Chemistry 002 or 030A or 001A.
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

Get a Head Start | Student Services | Purchasing Course Books

Physiology is the study of the organ systems of the human body and the physiological principles involved in normal function. Emphasis is upon cellular and organ system function, integration and homeostasis, and regulatory mechanisms. The laboratory includes experiments stressing function of the body systems. Some experiments will be carried out on the students themselves.


First Class Meeting - Tuesday January 29th, 2019 @ 5:45PM (Spring semester begins - MondayJanuary 28th)
Please DO NOT miss the first days of class! Enrolled students who fail to attend the first days of class may be dropped to make room for students trying to add.

Note: This class includes both lecture and lab. Lecture starts at 5:45PM followed by lab from 7:15-10:25PM every Tuesday and Thursday. Class will meet for the full scheduled lecture and lab on the first day!

Things to do to get a head start:

  1. Check that you are prepared for this course - take the Physiology Pre-Test.
  2. Read over the Syllabus (green sheet) before coming to class.
  3. Read over the Lab Safety Sheet.
  4. Print out and complete the Syllabus Quiz by the due date (Answer the questions after reading the syllabus. You must complete this before the end of the 5th or 6th class meeting).
  5. Read Lab 1 - Introduction: Homeostasis and Appendix A - Metric System in preparation for the first lab meeting. These will be provided as handouts on the first day of class, however, you can download these lab chapters in pdf format to preview (no need to print) from the downloads page.
  6. Purchase your books (see below for purchasing options) and start reading (see the syllabus for required books and reading assignments). Copies of the text and lab manual are also available at the reserve desk in the library.
  7. Learn your way around campus and the Science & Math building - see the campus map

Note: all of the above documents are available for download in pdf format from the "Downloads" page of this website.


Student Resources
As a registered student you have a host of resources on campus that are available to you, many free of charge. The following is a partial list (for a complete list please refer to the college catalogue or the Student Services section of the college web page).

Admissions and Records General Support Services Campus Facilities
Application for admission Counseling Center Bookstore
WVC Portal (registration) Health Services Library
  Financial Aid  
Academic Support Services  
CANVAS Learning Management System (LMS)
Tutorial Services  
Disability & Educational Support Program (DESP)  
Extended Opportunity Programs & Services (EOPS)  


Purchasing Course Books:
Required Books (see syllabus for additional recommended & optional books and supplies):

Silverthorn, D.U. Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach, 7th ed., Pearson, San Francisco, CA, 2016. (note: older editions may be acceptable, check with the instructor. The newest edition is available in the West Valley College bookstore in both hardbound and loose leaf formats).

Norris, N. Biology 48: Human Physiology Procedures Manual. (note: The lab procedures manual is required for the lab and is only available from the West Valley College bookstore)

Several options are available to you.

West Valley Campus Bookstore: You can Purchase all of the books listed in the greensheet directly from the bookstore located on West Valley campus. The bookstore also provides an online service in case you do not want to go there in person (WVC bookstore). NOTE: Books are not accessible on open bookshelves in the bookstore. To purchase books at the bookstore, students must have a printed schedule of their classes – course and section numbers. Bookstore employees use the printed schedule to pull books for the students; mobile devices – phones, tablets – cannot be used. Advice for students: Print your class schedule at home, bring it with you to the bookstore. Alternately - computers and a printer should be available at a kiosk in the Campus Center for students who need to print their schedule. Best Option: order your books on-line, pick up at the bookstore – no lines! West Valley College Bookstore page on our web site:

Note: bookstore profits help fund the campus center - purchasing your books from the campus bookstore will help support the campus center.

Books for Food: Borrow a copy of the book from the Books for Food program in exchange for 10 cans of donated food. See the Books for Food website ( for a list of available books and bring your donation to the WVC Library to borrow your book.

books for food

Digital Editions: The textbook may also be purchased as a stand alone digital subscription or as an eText coupled with Mastering Biology (not used in this course). Ask about this option in the bookstore of visit the Pearson website:

Ordering online (new or used): I am aware that book prices are exorbitant. If book prices are out of your budget there may be alternatives to buying new copies. One option to save money is to order books online from discount suppliers. The down side is that it can take several days, or possibly weeks, for your books to arrive depending on the vendor, and you will need the "required books" on the first day of class. Consequently, unless you have ordered your books several weeks in advance, this option may better serve you for the purchase of the "optional books" listed in your syllabus. The following online vendors may prove to be good resources:

Other Local Bookstores: A less commonly successful but useful alternate is to search the local new and used bookstores in the area (including other campus bookstores) for the books you need. I have periodically found useful resource books at a significant discount at used bookstores.

rate your professor