BI206:  Introduction to the Biology of Human Reproduction


INSTRUCTOR:  James Sniezek, Ph.D.


OFFICE HOURS:  For an office hour chat with Dr. Sniezek, please email me at, and we will arrange a mutually convenient time.  Office hours will be reached via the Chat link on the left Navigation Bar.


All living organisms are capable of reproducing. This course will take a comprehensive look at this interesting and relevant process by examining the components of reproductive system and its processes in detail. While a variety of species will be used as examples, this course will concentrate on human sexual reproduction. Specifically, the course will examine the hormones necessary for reproduction to occur, the concepts of developmental and genetic sex, sexual differentiation, the process of puberty, and the processes resulting in the production, development and nurturing of offspring. While there are no specific prerequisites to take this course, reproduction either directly or indirectly involves all systems and functions of the body and therefore you should have a basic knowledge of biology.  This course requires extensive writing. 

Introduction to WebCT

For those of you using WebCT for the first time, it may be helpful to take this Distance Learning Orientation to assess your readiness to take classes at-a-distance.  Please visit this WebCT tutorial, which demonstrates the basic skills necessary to successfully use WebCT.  At this site, be sure to view the following tutorials on Reading and Posting Messages in the WebCT discussion area.   There may be some differences between the version of WebCT used in this course and the version described in the online tutorial but these differences are minor.  You may also want to view tips for success in online courses. 

For WebCT to work properly with your computer, you must ensure that your browser is properly configured to work with WebCT.  Click here and follow the steps.  If you need assistance, contact the WebCT Help Desk at (888) 691-5059 or Usage of online materials may require viewing PDF files via Adobe Acrobat.


If you need help, you can click on the WebCT Student Users Manual on the entrance page. Or, the WebCt Help Desk is available to all registered students.  Click Help Desk to learn about hours and anticipated response times.  Help is also available by phone at 1-888-691-5059 or online at


We will be using HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY 3rd Edition, Jones and Lopez, 2006, Academic Press:  New York.  This textbook provides a comprehensive overview of human reproductive biology.   The textbook is the foundation of the course and, to succeed in this course, you will need to carefully read the pages indicated in each module.

 Note: Do not let the level of detail in the book concern you. You are expected to develop a strong basic working knowledge of reproduction, but not to memorize each detail from the book.


This course consists of 11 “Modules” which will be released approximately weekly  (see CALENDAR).  Each module consists of Goals, Text Readings, links to Internet sites, and pop-up type pages that define unfamiliar terminology.  Most Modules require you to complete an Assignment worth 10-44 points, or a quiz worth 15 points.  There is no Assignment for Modules 6, 8 or 11.  Each student also will Post an Introductory Email (2 pts), participate in a Group Project (80 pts), and take a midterm and a final exam (both multiple choice, 99 pts each).  All Module, Assignment, and Exam availability and closing dates are posted on the CALENDAR

PLEase check the course calendar for the course schedule and ALL due datesI suggest that you stay on top of your assignments.  Good luck, learn and enjoy. 


I have designed modules to be completed weekly as indicated on the CALENDAR.  Each module consists of that module’s goals, relevant text readings, assignment directions, glossary terms and Internet links to key course concepts.  You must complete an assignment for most modules (see ASSIGNMENTS section below). 

I have designed the Internet component of each module to supplement the text, by choosing sites that present chapter topics in unique ways.   The links provide key concepts in alternative visual formats, which can enhance your understanding of the course content.  Please review each link thoroughly, unless directed to a specific location on the website.  Relying solely on information provided in the modules without reading the assigned pages in the text will NOT result in successful completion of this course.  The sites listed under the Sites for Further Information Section of each module are for your interest only, and are not a testable part of the course.  If you find a new link that you think is useful, or might be an improvement for our class, please post it in the Discussion Section: Websites to share.  Sometimes Internet links disappear during our course – if you find a dead link, please email me with the Module number and the dead link’s address as soon as you can. 


Always refer to the Calendar on the left Navigation Bar for coursework availability and due dates.  NOTE:  Assignments are generally due at 10 PM.  Check the Calendar for specific due dates on assignments. 

Introductory Post: 2 Total Points

Although we expect the majority of the work for this course to be completed independently, there are times when you will be interacting with other course members.  To facilitate “meeting” other classmates, we ask that each of you post a brief introduction in the Discussion: Introduction Space.  Place your introduction into the Introduction Space by 2 DAYS AFTER CLASS BEGINS.   In your posting, please identify yourself, your career ambitions, whether you are a freshman, sophomore etc., and INCLUDE your email address   You will receive 2 points for your introductory post.

Plagiarism Tutorial:  10 Total Points

Plagiarism is a serious ethical infraction.  To make sure that everyone understands what constitutes plagiarism, you must read through the Montgomery College tutorial Plagiarism:  what it is and how to avoid it” located at this site.  You must complete the quiz at the end of this review.  The quiz due date is indicated on the Calendar.   To earn 10 points, you must score 100%.  IF YOU SEE A SCORE OF 0, then you have answered at least one question incorrectly.  To receive 10 pts, YOU MUST RE-TAKE the quiz within 7 days of the score’s posting.  Quizzes with a score of less than 100% must be repeated until you score is 100% in order to receive 10 points.  Check your “My Grades” section frequently for your score.  If you have re-taken the quiz, but still see a 0 in the quiz column up to 5 days after you have submitted your quiz, email me to confirm that I have received your re-submitted quiz score from the library. 

Also, please refer to the section: What is plagiarism? below for further information.

Weekly Assignments: 144 Total Points

For most modules, you will need to complete an assignment associated with the topics presented in that module.  An "Assignment" refers to any work that is to be completed in association with a module.  In some modules, your assignment will be a written thought question (found under the Assignments button on the left navigation bar).  In other modules, your assignment will be a quiz (found under the Assessments button on the left navigation bar).  You will never have both a written assignment and a quiz in one week. 

In most cases, you will find that the assignments are not directly drawn from the readings that you are assigned.  They are designed to extend your learning to more "real-world" topics than that presented in the modules. 

You are responsible for checking the Assignments link and the Assessments link to find your assignment for each module.  There is no assignment for Module 6, Module 9 or Module 11.  You will have one or two weeks to complete the assignments, as indicated on the course Calendar.  Assignment due dates are indicated in the Assignment Space and the Calendar.

Assignment Sources:  Unless otherwise directed, you are to use sources to help you complete each assignment.  Begin with our textbook as the first source of information for your answer, and then use the Internet for other related resources.  Please be sure to only use websites from respectable sources, such as those linked in the modules, educational institutions, government links, or online journals.  You must cite at least 2 references in your answer (using our textbook as one reference), and include these citations in a separate reference section following your discussion (lack of citations will result in lack of points). 

Assignment Content:  Unless otherwise directed, any written answer should be submitted in paragraph format.

As a reminder, this is a science course, and you are expected to support your statements with facts.  For example, if you use the general term "fertility drug," then you must elaborate to identify what that drug is, and what its purpose is, both to receive full credit and for your education.  To find that information, you may need to turn to other comprehensive sources (see Using the Internet, below).  

All answers to any assignment must be paraphrased.  Lack of paraphrasing will result in a “0” for that assignment.  You are responsible for understanding how to paraphrase information from your sources.   Copying and pasting from an internet source or our textbook on any assignment will result in a score of 0 for that assignment, EVEN IF YOU PROPERLY IDENTIFY THE SOURCE.   Attempts to copy and paste from sources that you do not identify will also result in a score of  “0.” No exceptions.  Further, assignment answers that are submitted as a list, in bulleted format, or in quotes are not acceptable and will be given a “0.”  Repeated violations will result in an “F” in the course.  For further information, see ORIENTATION page section: What is plagiarism? 

Assignment Format:  The following are NOT acceptable in your submissions:  footnotes, bullets, quotations, or copying and pasting your source without paraphrasing.  Use of these formats will result in a score of “0” for the assignment.  Please use section headers in bold type to identify different parts of your written answer, if indicated in the instructions of each Assignment.  Include your name on your assignment file, and submit your assignment using the drop box in .rtf format with your LAST NAME INDICATED IN THE FILENAME (i.e., Smith_Mod1.rtf). 

Viewing Grades:  Grades will be posted to your my Grades link up to 2 weeks after submission of materials.  You can view my comments on your submission by returning to the assignment in the Assignments or Assessments link, clicking the “Graded” tab, and clicking the assignment or assessment of interest.   

How to Cite Sources in your Assignments:  If you use an idea from another source, you must give credit to the original author of that idea.   English papers use footnotes, but scientific writing uses a different format.  Scientific writers use “citations” to give credit to the source of the idea(s) or facts in your sentence or paragraph.  In this course, if you use an idea from another source, you must “cite” that source’s name and year of its publication in parentheses following the sentence.   To “cite” an original author, you put the author’s last name and year of the article’s publication in parentheses following the sentence.  For example, the author and date are shown as a citation in the following sentence:  Women who give birth via caesarean section are twice as likely to choose a c-section than vaginal delivery for subsequent births (Smith, 2003).  More than one source of information for your sentence can be included within the parentheses.  If this is the case, they are listed alphabetically.

If you use a website as a source, then you would use the format shown in the following example:  Women who give birth via caesarean section are twice as likely to choose a c-section than vaginal delivery for subsequent births (www.scientificwebsit/

The use of the format shown above (author, date) is the only style of citation that is acceptable in this course.  Other styles are not acceptable and will result in point deductions.   

Failure to use citations in your written assignments will result in a loss of points.

Using a Reference Section

In addition to using citations in following your sentences in your submission, all sources must also be listed in a Reference Section.  In your English classes, you may have written papers and included a “Works Cited” list.  Scientists call their lists of sources “Reference Lists.”  These Reference lists must be in a specific format, called APA style.  References may be from journals or from respectable internet cites. 

To properly reference journals in the APA format, you must list:  Author. (year of publication).  Title of article.  Journal Title, vol. No. (issue), pages.  Note that the journal title and volume number are in italics.  If your journal reference was retrieved from an internet cite, then you simply added the following information after the journal information:  retrieved month, day, year, from url.  When listing websites in your reference section, you must reference the specific page that you used – homepage addresses are not acceptable.  If you use more than one reference, they are listed alphabetically.

Refer to Montgomery College’s website at for examples.

Failure to include a Reference Section in your written assignments will result in a loss of points.

Using the Internet

As an online course, I expect you to utilize the information available on the internet through our course modules, and during your own research for assignments.  NOT ALL WEBSITES ARE SUITABLE.  Please be sure to only use websites from respectable sources, such as those linked in the modules, educational institutions, government links, or online journals.  Websites designed for the layperson, such as, or, are not appropriate research tools for this course. 

Group Evaluation Project: 80 Total Points

This will be a group project due towards the end of the semester (see CALENDAR).  As part of your learning experience you will evaluate two presentations, one as a Microsoft Word module and one as a PowerPoint file, concerning material relevant to this course. You will be assigned to a group several weeks before the semester ends – group memberships will be posted as an Announcement.  The presentations for evaluation are located under the Discussion Space:  Group Projects link.  They will be large attachment files that you need to download to your computer to view.  Labeled spaces for working on your group project with other group members are also located in the Discussion space. 

In your review, you must 1) state two positive comments, and 2) state two constructive criticisms that you think would improve each section of the project. This must be submitted in outline form.  Your group should also supply a list of sources supporting your comments if you use any outside references.  Please be sure to identify the members of your group in each of your evaluations.  Completed evaluations need to be uploaded into the folder named “Group Projects” located in the Discussion space.

Working together with your group is an important component of this project.  If you have not contacted your group and begun participation by Day 3 of this assignment (see Calendar), you will be excused from your group and expected to complete the project as an individual.  Additionally, you will be penalized 10 points, which will be deducted from your individual grade.  Detailed instructions for completing this assignment will be posted in the Group Projects space later in the semester.  The Group Project is worth 80 points (40 pts per evaluation).

Exams: 198 Total Points

There will be two exams, a midterm and a non-comprehensive final.  Each is worth 99 points.  Because the exams are intended to be an extension of the learning process, as well as a test of what you have already learned, you may need to research the correct answers to some questions.  These exams are “open book,” but you are not allowed to discuss or interact with another student or person when taking the exams or answering the questions.  The exams will be multiple choice and/or matching, and you will be given several days to complete the exam.  There is no fixed time limit within the exam window, which means you may leave and come back to finish the exam at any time within the time block.  Exams will be accessible via the Assessments link.  REFER TO CALENDAR FOR DATES.

Late Policy

No late assignments will be accepted.  If you know that you will be out of town at a time when an assignment is due, please contact me ahead of time and we will make accommodations.  Failing to contact me ahead of schedule will result in an automatic 0 for that assignment. 

Anytime you submit an assignment thru the Assignment dropbox, you should receive an email confirmation indicating that your assignment has been submitted.  If you do not receive this email, then you should assume that your submission was not received by the system, and you will receive a grade of 0 points for your missing assignment.  If you do not receive a confirmation email, try to submit again, AND email your assignment to Dr. Sniezek at for grading. 

Grading Policy

Please be sure to keep track of your points and to contact me via email if points that you earned do not appear after 2 weeks. 

Midterm grades will be assigned according to the following (includes Module 1- Module 5, and Midterm Exam, excludes any extra credit points):

               A             90-100 %               171-191 points

               B             80-89 %                 152-171 points

               C             70-79%                  133-152 points

               D             60-69%                  114-132 points

   F             less than 60%          113 and fewer points


Final grades will be assigned according to the following:

               A             90-100 %               391-434 points

               B             80-89 %                 347-390 points

               C             70-79%                  303-346 points

               D             60-69%                  260-302 points

   F             less than 60%          263 and fewer points


You can view my comments on your submissions submitted thru the Assignments link by returning to the assignment in the Assignments link, and clicking “graded.” 

What is Plagiarism? 

Plagiarism is a serious ethical violation that occurs when you copy exact words from your references without paraphrasing or re-writing the idea in your own words.  Allied health professionals and research scientists affect patients’ lives, requiring that honesty and reliability are paramount.  All students are expected to achieve their academic goals honestly.  Montgomery College and your instructor are committed to imposing appropriate sanctions for breaches of academic honesty.  Plagiarism is not tolerated and your submissions will be checked for plagiarism.  Copying and pasting from an internet source on any assignment without citing the source is plagiarism, and will result in a score of 0 for that assignment.

All written materials submitted in this class MUST be written in your own words.  This is called paraphrasing.  Lack of paraphrasing is plagiarism.  What is paraphrasing and how do you do it?  Paraphrasing is using information from a source but re-writing it into your own words.  As a hypothetical example, let’s suppose you read the following sentence in your reference and you want to use this information in your own writing:  Caesarean sections are chosen over vaginal delivery twice as frequently by multiparous women who delivered by c-section in their first birth (Smith, 2003).  An example of acceptable paraphrasing means that you re-write this information using your own words, such as Women who give birth via caesarean section are twice as likely to choose a c-section than vaginal delivery for subsequent births (Smith, 2003). 

You MAY NOT copy and paste text from Internet sources, even if you properly quote the material and identify the source.  If you properly paraphrase your sources, you will not need to use quotation marks.  Quotation marks and bulleted lists are not acceptable.  End notes or footnotes, which you may have learned to use in your English class, are not acceptable in your submissions.  Your submissions must include citations located WITHIN THE TEXT.  What is a citation?  This means that if you use an idea from another source, you must “cite” that source’s name and year of its publication in parentheses following the sentence.  Therefore, a citation is when you give credit to your source for the idea(s) in your sentence or paragraph.  

Reminder:  You MAY NOT copy and paste text from Internet sources, even if you properly quote the material and identify the sourceAll information included in any assignment must be paraphrased.  You are responsible for understanding what paraphrasing is.  If you are unclear, further information on paraphrasing can be found at Montgomery College’s website: 

Plagiarism is not tolerated and your assignments will be checked for plagiarism.  “Students who engage in any act adjudged by the instructor to constitute academic dishonesty or misconduct are subject to any and all sanctions deemed appropriate by the instructor.  Grade sanctions may range from an "F" on the assignment in which the dishonesty occurred to the maximum sanction of an "F" in the course.  The instructor also has the prerogative of referring a case to the campus Dean of Student Development with the specific request that the Dean consider imposing additional sanctions.” 

To better understand these topics, the Montgomery College libraries have developed an online tutorial on avoiding plagiarism available at:  You must take this quiz.  Successful completion of the quiz with a score of 100% will earn 10 points (see Plagiarism Tutorial section, above, for full directions on completing this assignment).



The following is a list of the topics from the book, the order we will be covering them in, and associated Chapters from our text (3rd Edition).  The exact text readings are identified in each Module.  Please refer to the Calendar for Module opening and closing dates and assignments.

UNIT 1 Introduction to Hormones

Module 1 General Introduction to Reproduction (no text readings)

Module 2 What is a Hormone? Chapter 1


Unit 2 Reproductive Systems

Module 3 Female Reproductive System Chapter 2

Module 4 Male Reproductive System Chapter 4


Unit 3 Sexual Development

Module 5 Sexual Differentiation and Development Chapter 5




Module 6 Puberty Chapter 6


Module 7 Menstrual Cycle Chapter 3 and Chapter 7 (3rd edition only)


Unit 4 Reproduction

Module 8 Gamete Transportation and Fertilization Chapter 7 (2nd edition) or Chapter 9 (3rd edition only)

Module 9 Pregnancy Chapter 8 (2nd edition) or Chapter 10 (3rd edition only)

Module 10 Labor and Birth Chapter 2 and Chapter 9  (2nd edition) or Chapter 2 and Chapter 11 (3rd edition only)

Module 11 Lactation and Neonate Chapter 10 (2nd edition) or Chapter 12 (3rd edition only)