BIOL 347 General Physiology Laboratory



Dr. William Stark




BEB 336


Office Hours


When I’m there with open door

or by appointment








Ms. Elizabeth Angeli

Ms. Genevieve Hilliard





BEB Rooms 319 & 319A


Office Hours

By appointment










Ms Shannon Kelly

Mr Zach Doerrer (10–1 sect. 36)

Ms Rachel Patterson (2-5 sect. 37)

TA Office

Macelwane Hall Room 341



Office Hours

By appointment





Required Text:

Students are responsible for coming to lab prepared and having read the necessary lab documents. Students will be informed about what materials must be brought to each lab session.



Laboratory 3 hours per week. This course, laboratory and lecture, is designed to supplement and reinforce material presented in BIOL 2600, BIOL 4460 or BIOL 4540, largely through the acquisition and analyses data from  sensory, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and respiratory systems in part by using the iWorx human physiology teaching system. Pre- or co-requisite BIOL 2600, BIOL 4460, or BIOL 4540.



This course will require students to keep a laboratory notebook. It will be the students’ responsibility to update the lab manual when necessary as well as to keep track of their results.  Some labs will require students to graph their results, while others may require compilation and analysis of group data.  At the conclusion of most labs the students will be required to answer post-lab questions.  All items in the lab notebook will be checked!  There will be two formal lab write-ups this semester. There will be a Midterm Examination and a Final Examination. There will be short homework assignments to be certain that all students come to labs prepared.


Students are expected to attend all laboratory sessions.  There are no make-up labs.  Absences must be excused by the course instructor.  Missing more than two lab sessions, either excused or unexcused, can result in a failing grade for the course.



There are 2 lab reports, 50 points each. There are Midterm and Final Exams, 50 points each. Lab notebooks are checked and worth 50 points. Homeworks are worth 25 points total. It is required that the syllabus post a grade scale to determine your final grade for the semester:


A 94-100%
A- 90-93.9%
B+ 87-89.9%
B 84-86.9%

B- 80-83.9%
C+ 77-79.9%
C 74-76.9%
C- 70-73.9%
D 57-69.9%
F 0-56.9%


If necessary, the final course grading will be adjusted upward to be consistent with previous years’ physiology lab grading. Also, as per departmental policy, all students will be required to complete course assessment and teacher evaluations.


Academic Integrity and Honesty:

Biology’s zero tolerance policy on cheating. Here is the obligatory link to the university statements concerning Academic integrity, Sexual misconduct, Student success center, and Disabilities accommodations

The nature of physiology lab


The nature of physiology lab requires the use test subjects, most often ourselves. You are under no obligation to be a test subject for any experiment; your grade will not be impacted if you choose not to volunteer as such.


Many of the experiments designed for the general physiology lab will require the use of a computer module called the iWorx system.  This system allows us to use various electrodes and probes to monitor reactions within the body.  For example, one set of electrodes allows us to record an electrocardiogram (ECG), another set allows us to use a plethysmograph to take a finger pulse.  All of our equipment is non-invasive.  This means that the recording produced comes from equipment that can be attached to the body but nothing is inserted into the body.


As such, many experiments will require the use of standard gel-filled, adhesive electrode stickers.  While these stickers are not harmful, they are sometimes difficult to remove.  The best advice is to use warm water and soap for their removal. However, the placement of these electrode stickers is sometimes difficult due to the clothing of the test subject.  For this reason and because many experiments will require the test subject to perform minor exercises, it is recommended that students carry a change of “lab clothes” with them to each lab session that requires human subjects for the experiment.  “Lab clothes” should consist of:



None of the experiments are designed to cause harm to the subject. Nor should the subject feel that any results of the experiments are a diagnosis of a medical condition. Unusual results most often result from an error in the equipment or its set-up. If the subject feels uneasy about the results of any experiments as they pertain to their own well-being, then the subject should seek professional medical advice. Professional medical advice does not come from the course instructor, coordinator or teaching assistant.


Groups and partners will be used throughout this semester.  It is advised to be comfortable with your group members as you will be working together and will need to share the responsibilities as test subjects, and data collectors, etc.  Also, please be respectful of other people and their bodies.  Do not attach any electrodes, stickers or touch another individual without their permission, as it is an invasion of personal space and can be misinterpreted.

Some labs this semester will deal with body fluids like urine. Please be considerate and clean-up the laboratory with ethanol or other provided disinfectants as to keep from spreading infection.  Also, if you would like to wipe down any equipment prior to use, you will be provided with alcohol wipes.

As with any laboratory, if you are unsure of a procedure, feel uncomfortable or require assistance, please contact the course instructor, coordinator or teaching assistant.  All of us will be present during the laboratory sessions.

Computer and iWorx Log-in Information


  1. Plug in the power cord and turn on the MacBook by pressing the button on the upper right corner of the notebook.
  2. Plug in the USB cable from the iWorx unit into the port on the MacBook. Plug in the power cord and turn on the power to the iWorx unit.
  3. Click on the Lab Manager icon, the password is labman101
  4. If the iWorx icon is in the bottom bar, then all you have to do is click on it. Otherwise, double click the hard drive (icon labeled SLU). Double click Applications. Double click LabScribe2 with the iWorx  icon. Click OK on a dialog box that confirms that the hardware was found. 
  5. For the first lab, pull down under settings turorial-pulse-LS2
  6. You should also note that a .pdf will open with Preview (photograph icon on at bottom right)
  7. You can toggle back and forth with iWorx and the .pdf using the icons at the bottom (or just close the .pdf)
  8. In the unlikely event the program cannot find the hardware, ask the TAs for help (Click on the TOOLS menu at the top of the screen.  Then click on FIND HARDWARE.)


Uploading the Settings for the Labs


Again, ask for help. This procedure should only be done if the settings have been deleted from the computer or if your computer is unable to load a specific lab.  Usually students will not have to load the settings.


Again, ask for help. If the appropriate listing of lab exercises does not appear on the settings menu, then you will need to load them.  This can be done by clicking on the SETTINGS menu at the top of the screen and then selecting LOAD GROUP.  A dialogue box will appear. Click on the APPLICATIONS icon on the left sidebar, drill down to the Labscribe 2 file.  Then choose settings and click on the IPLV4standard.iwxgrp file.  Then hit OPEN.  This will load the group settings for the lab exercises.


Care of the iWorx Unit and Computer


Please take care of the iWorx unit and its accessories.  Be sure to clean up the items that are used and return them to their appropriate case.  Each week your group will be responsible for hooking up the iWorx unit to the computer in order to do the exercises.  If you notice that something is broken or missing, please inform the teaching assistant or laboratory coordinator so that it can be fixed or replaced. 


General Thoughts


Sometimes students feel overwhelmed using the MacBooks and the iWorx software.  We understand that almost all of the students in lab are not familiar with the programs; however we have put forth much effort into making the directions for the lab easy to understand.  Remember, if you are in doubt, then you can always ask for help!  We have found in previous years that the students catch on very quickly and the issues with the hardware and software are resolved fairly early in the semester.