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Flex 8-Week Courses

Biology A

Course Description

This .5 credit course covers the study of life and the reactions that drive biological processes.

Course Requirements

To earn credit for this course by the deadline, the following requirements must be met:

  • All mastery test modules must either be marked exempt or mastered
  • All modules without mastery tests must be completed, including pretests, posttests, semester tests, and drop box assignments

Time Requirements

This semester course contains 47 modules and is designed to fulfill the state-required 60 contact hours. Students should spend 7.5 hours per week, completing at least 6 module(s) each week of the 8-week program. Each bulleted item in the assignment list below is a module. TIP FOR SUCCESS: It is best to work on your course consistently to allocate time for technical and/or content assistance, if needed.

Grading Scale

An average of all scores on all modules will be calculated to determine a final grade. All modules are equally weighted. There are no + or – grades issued.

A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69% (or 0-69% on post/end of semester tests)
I = Incomplete (course requirements have not been met)


Pretests provide an opportunity to exempt out of modules within the unit based on prior knowledge; the pretests are not included in the final grade. You may take the pretest one time. While you are not required to master modules that have been marked exempt, the unit posttest or end of semester test may contain questions from these modules; therefore, you may choose to master these modules to prepare for the posttests. The grade for a module that has been marked exempt is 100% whether you master it or not.  Not all courses will have pretests.             

Tutorials and General Tips

Most lessons include a tutorial. The purpose of the tutorials is to help prepare students for the mastery tests. This is similar to lessons in traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms. Work in the tutorials will not be graded. If a mastery test is locked, reviewing the entire tutorial will automatically unlock the mastery test and allow you to retake it. The cycle of completing the tutorial to unlock a mastery test can be completed as often as needed until the required minimum 80% score is earned on the mastery test.

Utilize the blue toolbar on the left side of most tutorials. The toolbar options may include helpful resources such as notes, reading tools, calculator, translation, and highlighting options. 

For the Edmentum/PLATO courses, 60 minutes within the same URL such as a tutorial or test, may cause progress to be lost. The best practice is to save and close and then relaunch the activity if the end of the hour is near to be sure work is saved. As the URL or webpage changes, such as moving from one tutorial to a different tutorial, the 60 minute clock is reset.

Mastery Tests

The minimum score required for each mastery test module is 80%. You may take the mastery tests multiple times. To unlock a mastery test, go back through the preceding activities for that module. You have unlimited attempts on the mastery tests, and each mastery test must be mastered or exempt in order to earn credit for the course. Review and retake each mastery test until you have earned at least 80%. The score for a module that has been marked exempt is 100%.

For any module that does not have a mastery test, all parts of the module must be completed.

Posttests/End of Semester Tests

The score for each posttest or end of semester test will be 0-100%. Each of these scores is factored into your final grade. You may take these tests one time. Not all courses have posttests or end of semester tests.

Assignment List

Each bulleted item below is a module. Each module marked with an asterisk (*) contains a mastery test. To receive credit, you must:

  1. Complete all modules
  2. AND earn a minimum 80% score on all mastery tests (mastery tests must be retaken to earn the 80% score)

NOTE: An indication of 100% complete in Edmentum/PLATO is NOT a guarantee of credit if the above criteria are not met. If a course no longer shows on the home screen, select "All My Work," then on your course select "All Activities." Select the yellow "Completed Not Mastered" to see the mastery tests that must be redone. If you think you have met all requirements to earn credit for the course, immediately email your advisor for verification.

Unit 1: Nature of Life

  • Pre Test: Nature of Life
  • What Is Biology?*
  • Conducting Biology Research*
  • Communicating Your Results*
  • The Chemical Nature of Biology*
  • Water: An Essential for Life*
  • Carbon: A Central Building Block*
  • Post Test:  Nature of Life

Unit 2: The Chemistry of the Cell

  • Pre Test: The Chemistry of the Cell
  • Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins, and Nucleic Acids*
  • Transforming Energy*
  • Enzymes*
  • Cells: Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic*
  • Post Test: The Chemistry of the Cell

Unit 3: Cell Structures and Functions

  • Pre Test: Cell Structures and Functions
  • Overview of Cell Structures and Functions*
  • Osmosis, Diffusion, and Cellular Transport*
  • Energy in Cells*
  • Photosynthesis*
  • The Cell Cycle*
  • Regulating the Cell Cycle*
  • Post Test: Cell Structures and Functions

Unit 4: Descriptive Genetics

  • Pre Test: Descriptive Genetics
  • Sexual Reproduction*
  • Meiosis in Life Cycles*
  • Mendelian Genetics*
  • Gene-Based Inheritance*
  • Chromosomal Inheritance*
  • Post Test: Descriptive Genetics

Unit 5: Molecular Genetics

  • Pre Test: Molecular Genetics
  • Overview of DNA*
  • DNA and Genes*
  • Mutations of Cells*
  • Genetic Control*
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Post Test: Molecular Genetics

Unit 6: Evolution

  • Pre Test: Evolution
  • Darwin and Natural Selection*
  • Gene Frequencies*
  • Microevolution*
  • Adaptive Evolution*
  • Speciation*
  • Macroevolution*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Evolution of Life on Earth*
  • Post Test: Evolution

End of Semester Test

  • End of Semester Test: Biology A