General Botany

I.     Course Prefix/Number: BIO 108

       Course Name: General Botany

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Laboratory course focuses on biological aspects of the plant kingdom, with topics ranging from sub-cellular processes to ecological roles.  Content includes structural and physiological adaptations, present and past diversity, reproduction, genetics and evolution, and ecological interactions.  Recommended: One year of high school biology.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Describe the steps of the scientific method and how to apply them in defining problems, constructing hypotheses, and analyzing and  interpreting data from lab or lecture experiences.
  2. Describe cell ultrastructure of plants.
  3. Describe plant tissues and their functions
  4. Describe photosynthesis, plant growth and development, and reproduction.
  5. Describe mitosis, meiosis, and DNA replication.
  6. Explain the process of evolution including the mechanisms by which it takes place and the evidence which exists for it.
  7. Describe ecosystems and ecology as it applies to plants.

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of your biology courses at Oakton, you will have gained the experience to.....
  1. Think critically – identify, define, analyze, interpret, and evaluate ideas, concepts, information, problems, solutions, and consequences. This includes the ability to compute and comprehend quantitative information and to engage in the scientific process.
  2. Communicate – communicate ideas, concepts, and information through written and oral means. Collaborate with people of diverse backgrounds and abilities.
  3. Demonstrate literacy – demonstrate the ability to read critically within content areas. Use technology to locate, evaluate, and communicate data, information, ideas, and concepts. Assess, critique, and select from a variety of information resources.
  4. Demonstrate responsibility – demonstrate an understanding of personal responsibility and ethical behavior in one’s own academic and civic life.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Lecture Outline:

Unit I – Life of the Cell

  1. Introduction: Classification, Characteristics of Life, Scientific Method, microscopy
  2. Cell Structure and Function

Unit II – Plant Tissues and Water in Plants

  1. Stems
  2. Roots
  3. Leaves

Unit III – Plant Metabolism

  1. Photosynthesis
  2. Plant respiration

Unit IV – Classification of Plants

  1. Nomenclature
  2. Algae
  3. Bryophytes
  4. Pteridophytes
  5. Gymnosperms
  6. Angiosperms

Unit V – Genetics

  1. Mitosis and Meiosis
  2. Molecular Genetics
  3. Population genetics

Unit VI – Evolution and Ecology

  1. Mechanisms of Evolution
  2. Evidence for Evolution
  3. Ecology

Lab Topics:

  1. Classification and Characteristics of Life
  2. Scientific method and microscopy
  3. Cell Structure and Function
  4. Plant Structure: Roots, stems, and Leaves
  5. Photosynthesis
  6. Respiration
  7. Plant Diversity and Life Cycles: Algae and Pteridophytes
  8. Plant Diversity and Life Cycles: Gymnosperms and Angiosperms
  9. Seed Germination and Plant Development
  10. Mitosis and Meiosis
  11. Molecular Genetics
  12. Population Genetics
  13. Mechanism for Evolution
  14. Evidence for Evolution
  15. Ecology

VII.  Methods of Instruction

The course will be presented by way of three hours of lecture and a three hour laboratory period each week.  The course will also feature audio-visual aids, class discussion, quizzes, exams, a research project and home work assignments.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

May vary depending on instructor, but may include:

  • mandatory attendance during lectures
  • satisfactory performance in written lecture and laboratory tests or quizzes
  • Written assignments (including critiques of relevant journal articles) and homework exercises
  • Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Linda E. Graham, James M. Graham, and Lee W. Wilcox. Plant Biology (2nd edition). Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.

Almuth Tschunko. Plant Biology Laboratory Manual. Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

May vary depending on instructor, but may include:

  • attendance at all class sessions
  • satisfactory classroom and laboratory participation
  • submission of all written assignments on time and in proper format
  • attainment of passing grades on examinations, quizzes, and homework assignments

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.