Course Description

A semi-‘flipped’ course intended to provide non-science students with an additional opportunity to explore biotechnology and its applications in agriculture, the environment, and human health including: drug discovery, aging, and infectious diseases. Many lectures are viewed online before class and students work in groups during class on problem sets and case studies designed to stimulate further learning, enhance evidence-based reasoning, and promote reflection on the role of biotechnology in society.

This course is offered using a new strategy shown to improve student learning–the “inverted” or flipped classroom. An inverted classroom is one where the time and place of the lectures and “homework” are reversed. A significant amount of lecture material will be viewed by students outside of lecture, whereas materials traditionally viewed as “homework” (e.g. problem sets), will be worked on by students during the scheduled lecture time with the guidance of the instructor. Therefore, while this is not an online course, some materials (e.g. lecture screencasts) will need to be viewed online before attending lecture so that students are prepared for the learning activities that will be taking place in lecture. During scheduled lecture periods, students can expect that the lecturer will provide short mini-lectures and handle questions on lecture materials, but more than half of the class and tutorial time will be used for class and group discussions, group projects and problem sets. While much of the work we usually think of as “homework” will take place in class, students should expect that some of this work will also need to be completed outside of class




Prof. K. Yip

Contact Hours

24L, 12T

Evaluation (Subject to change)

Final exam (held in April exam period): 30%
Midterm exam: 20%
Online Prep Quizzes (individual work): 10%
Problem Sets (group work): 25%
Class Participation and Oral Presentation (individual and group work): 5%
Major Project: 10%

Additional Information

This course counts as a Science Distribution Requirement for students in all years and disciplines; particularly suitable for Humanities and Social Science students. This course does not count towards CSB programs. CSB 201H1 is recommended, but is not required.


Last updated on June 13th, 2022