Syllabus for BIO-208



The Science of Nutrition is designed for two audiences: (1) majors in health sciences, allied health, and nutrition-dietetics who require an introduction to a nutrition course as part of their degree requirement and (2) non-majors who want to apply nutritional requirements to their lives and the lives of their families.

The primary goal of this introductory nutrition course is to increase your knowledge and understanding of nutrition and how it plays a crucial role in aspects of your existence. With nutritional knowledge that is accurate and scientifically based, you can become critical thinkers and develop problem-solving skills that can help you live a healthier, successful life.


After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Describe how to properly design individualized eating plans by utilizing diet planning principles, the USDA MyPlate food guidance system, the RDA, and other food guide plans that incorporate personal and ethnic food preferences.
  2. Describe protein form and function, identify essential amino acids, explain the health effects of protein intake, describe protein-energy malnutrition, and explain how vegetarians and nonvegetarians obtain adequate protein.
  3. Explain the steps involved in metabolism and the way energy is derived from carbohydrate, fat, and protein, including the consequences of consuming too much and obtaining too little energy.
  4. Explain the effects of other types of dietary elements on metabolism including vitamins, water-electrolyte balance, and mineral supplementation.
  5. Apply nutritional material to life conditions including physical activity, pregnancy, disease, and aging.
  6. Apply your knowledge of nutrition to completing a required "Diet Analysis Project" included in the course guide.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbooks and software are available from the University’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook and Course Guide

  • Whitney, E. & Rolfes, S. (2015). Understanding Nutrition (14th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
    ISBN-13: 978-1285874340

  • Maness, M. & Loveland, C. (2013). Student Course Guide for Nutrition Pathways (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

ISBN-13: 978-1133604488

[Note: The Student Course Guide for Nutrition Pathways book has not been updated to reflect the 14th edition of the Understanding Nutrition textbook. Therefore, students may see references to the 13th edition of Understanding Nutrition and may need to make adjustments for references to the previous edition’s page numbers.]

Video Programs



The Science of Nutrition is a three-credit online course consisting of ten modules. Modules include study materials and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments and a Diet Analysis Project, and take two proctored online examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

The Science of Nutrition has five graded Internet activities and online discussions. We start out, however, with an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1.

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete nine written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.  

Written assignments generally consist of two essay questions; Written Assignment 9 has four essays. The questions come from Practice Test essay questions in the course guide and from chapter study questions in the textbook. They may deal with text material or information from the course guide. To answer the questions, you need to have read the Study Materials associated with the course module.

Answer the essay questions as completely as possible. Your answer to each question should be no more than 250–300 words (or approximately one typed, double-spaced page).

When using material from your readings, be sure to cite it properly by giving page numbers in parentheses or using footnotes or endnotes. Do not merely copy answers from your reading materials. Formulate answers in your own words, citing page numbers in text materials where you feel it is appropriate. You may also cite outside sources (to strengthen your answers).

Your answers to assignment questions should be well developed and should show evidence of thought, organization, effective writing, and of course responsiveness to the questions! Please make sure you edit and proofread your work before submitting it. Gross errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation distract from what you are writing and compromise the credibility of your work.

Diet Analysis Project

A unique feature of this nutrition course is the required Diet Analysis Project incorporated into the final assignment and due at the end of the semester. You will also submit a brief outline of the project as a required but ungraded preliminary exercise early in the semester.

The project enables you to apply what you have learned in the course while you complete it. It incorporates both the "Diet Analysis Project" section of the course guide and the Diet Analysis Plus software. For an outline of the project, see the back of the course guide.


For a list of key concepts that may appear on your exam(s), refer to the study guide(s) available in the Examinations section of the course Web site.

You are required to take three proctored online examinations. Each exam requires that you use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exams within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course website. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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