BIOL 3431
Plants and People

3.0 Credits


This course analyzes the importance of plants and the role plants have in the local and global community. Through online research and discussion-based activities, students learn about plant biology and how humans have impacted the plant world. Students evaluate the importance of plants as sources of bioactive chemicals and examine the importance of plants as foods, spices and dyes. Students also have the opportunity to explore the relationships between First Nations people and plants.

Delivery Method



Recommended: 60 credits


After completing the work in this course, students should be able to:

  • Explain basic plant biology and apply it to explain how humans have used different plant structures.
  • Outline the importance of plants as foods, spices, and dyes.
  • Identify how humans have shaped the plant world.
  • Outline how plants are used and manipulated by people and conversely how plants have shaped human society.
  • Evaluate the importance of plants as sources of bioactive chemicals such as drugs (including medicines) and beverages.
  • Analyze the importance of plants and their role in the local and global community.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Botany: An Introduction

Unit 2: Food, Spice, and Dye

Unit 3: Human Manipulation of Plants

Unit 4: Plants as Sources of Bioactive Chemicals

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Levetin, E., & McMahon, K. Plants and Society. 7th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2016.
Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-07-802303-3 / 0-07-802303-3

Additional Requirements

Students will need access to a computer that is connected to the internet.

  • Anti-Virus software
  • QuickTime

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at start of course.


In order to successfully complete this course, students must obtain at least 50% on the mandatory final project, and 50% overall.

Unit 1 10%
Unit 2 20%
Unit 3 20%
Unit 4 20%
Final Project * 30%
TOTAL 100%

* Mandatory