Can we find life elsewhere in the Universe? This is one of the big questions at the forefront of scientific endeavor. It compels us to explore our celestial neighborhood, searching for signs of life in the Solar System and Earth-like planets beyond. In The Living World, you will learn about the search for life as you master concepts in general biology, including key aspects of biodiversity, evolution, cellular biology, molecular biology, ecology, and human anatomy and physiology.
Course prerequisites and requirements
To be successful in this course, we recommend English language fluency and computer literacy. We also encourage you to make sure your laptop or desktop computer meets the technical requirements.
Next start date:
Oct. 10, 2023 (8 weeks)
- Credits: 4
- Length: Self-paced, 8 or 16 weeks
- Cost: $25 + $400
What you’ll learn
- Evolution: The diversity of life changed and diversified over time by processes of mutation, selection, and isolation
- Structure and Function: Basic units of structure establish the function of all living things
- Information Flow, Exchange, and Storage: The macro and microscopic features of organisms result from the expression of genetic information in context
- Pathways of Energy and Matter: Biological systems are built and maintained by chemical transformation pathways that are governed by the laws of thermodynamics
- Biological Systems: Living systems are interconnected and interacting
- Nature of Science: Science proceeds by developing and testing explanations for patterns observed in nature
What to expect in class
The Living World is an innovative course with a format different from most online courses. It is built around interactive activities with rich adaptive feedback. These are not videos or simple readings and quizzes. Usually they are problem-solving activities through which you will be introduced to key concepts, and master them, in a question-driven 'learn-by-doing' approach. Often they will be designed around game-like simulations that you can manipulate, or virtual field trips that you can explore. In some ways, these activities can feel like a serious game! That's not an accident: that's in fact how the pursuit of science feels to professional scientists.
All activities and assessments occur within the interactive BioBeyond Learnspace, which includes modules and associated point values.
Exams and grading
World Biodiversity Expedition
Journey to the Galapagos
Time Traveler’s Guide to Life on Earth
Into the Cell
Searching for Signatures
A Mission Beyond
This course appears on your transcript identically to how it appears on the transcript of an enrolled ASU student who has taken the course on one of ASU’s campuses.
This course includes a lab and satisfies 4 credit hours toward the Natural Science - Quantitative (SQ) General Studies requirement at Arizona State University. It is strongly encouraged that you consult with your institution of choice to determine how these credits will be applied to their degree requirements prior to transferring your credit.