Microbiology (BS2314) Syllabus

Course description:
The study of the taxonomy, morphology, and physiology of microorganisms, emphasizing: 1) their relation to medicine, industry, agriculture; and 2) basic lab technique.

Prerequisites: none

Microbiology. L.M. Prescott, J.P. Harley, and D.A. Klein. Fifth edition. WCB/McGraw-Hill Press, Boston, MA 2002.

This course integrates an introduction to microbiology with an emphasis on the important skills of: 1) critical thinking; 2) scientific writing; and 3) public presentation.  Although the specific focus is on microorganisms, the course incorporates a thorough review of important subjects (e.g., cellular respiration, enzyme activity, basic genetics, use of microbes in genetic study and biotechnology).  Microbiology is highly relevant to both scientists and the general public.  For example, microbes are used in genetic studies, for industrial purposes, and for medical research.  This course seeks to provide students with an understanding of important scientific concepts, an ability to think critically, and an understanding of the importance of microbiology to society in general.  Additionally, this course seeks to provide an appreciation of the importance of the natural world.

Course objectives:
1.  to develop a sufficient background for those students who wish to study more advanced topics
2.  to provide familiarity with basic microbiological laboratory techniques
3.  to aid the development of the ability to think scientifically and to evaluate information critically
4.  to provide an understanding of the role of microbes in disease transmission and prevention
5.  to provide familiarity with important laboratory safety guidelines
6.  to improve public speaking and scientific writing skills through lab reports, presentations, and discussions

Institutional Goals: This course will address the six institutional goals (found on page 11-12 of the catalogue) as follows.
1. Institutional goal 1 (“To produce students who demonstrate an understanding of the Judeo-Christian heritage and Christian worldview”) will be addressed by objectives 1, 2, and 4.  Students will learn aspects of the historical development of microbiology, consider current ethical issues, and demonstrate their perspectives through exams and reports.
2.  Institutional goal 2 (“To produce students who demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively across the curriculum”) will be addressed by primarily by objective 6, but will also be addressed by exam questions, homework assignments, and class discussions.
3.  Institutional goal 3 (“To produce students who demonstrate the ability to reflect critically upon the world, the environment, society, and self”) will be addressed within the context of class discussions, through exam questions, and through lab reports.  In particular, objective 3 addresses this goal.
4.  Institutional goal 4 (“To produce students who demonstrate the ability to apply the principles of the scientific method to become more effective problem solvers”) will be addressed through problem solving during class, homework, and exams (reflected in objective 3).  This goal will also be addressed through the independent research projects that students will complete during lab.
5.  Institutional goal 5 (“To produce students who demonstrate an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle that will promote lifelong heath and fitness”) will be addressed through discussion of the biological bases of health and disease (encompassed within objectives 1, 2, and 4).
6.  Institutional goal 6 (“To produce students who demonstrate a competence in at least one particular body of knowledge”) will be addressed through strengthening student knowledge of biology, and of important general scientific concepts, through all aspects of the course.

Course Requirements:
Attendance and completion of all exams is mandatory.  Students are accountable for all class assignments, class announcements, handouts, and information provided in lecture.  After three lecture or lab absences, a student’s course grade will be reduced by 5% for each additional absence.  If more than six lectures or labs are missed, the student will be asked to drop the course or receive a failing grade.  Failure to clean up a work station following lab will result in a loss of 5 points for every student working at that station.  Please arrive on time to lab!  You will not be allowed to stay late to work because you have arrived late and need extra time.
If you must miss an exam or lab, then you must contact me as quickly as possible.  It is always better to contact me before rather than after an absence if you know in advance that you must miss class (if you notify me in advance, it will be easier to receive approval for a makeup). Please provide a substantive excuse (e.g., a doctor’s note).  Do not assume that you will be able to make up an exam.  Additionally, please do not ask to postpone an exam on the day of the exam.  If you have other exams on the same day, bring it to my attention before the exam date.  In particular, note that some labs may be difficult or impossible to make up.
Your grade will be lowered by 5% of the total possible number of points for each day that an assignment is late.
Students are expected and required to uphold the highest standards of academic honesty in this and all courses.  Students should be familiar with the College's policies concerning academic integrity Catalog, page 52; Student Handbook, page 32, section VII).  Students requiring any clarification of these policies should consult their academic advisor or the Office of Academic Affairs.

Lecture Exam I50 pts
Lecture Exam II     100 pts
Lecture Exam III    100 pts
Final Exam    200 pts
Presentations  50 pts
Quizzes          50 pts
Lab notebook  50 pts
Lab reports     50 pts
Lab Practical I        25 pts
Lab Practical II       25 pts
Total     700 pts

There will be short online quizzes before each lab.  In addition, you are required to keep a lab notebook in which you take notes on each lab.  Lab reports will be short papers written in scientific format.  Your presentation will consist of a short overview of a microbial taxon, such as those outlined in your text.

Instructor: Dr. Ann V. Paterson
Phone: (870) 759-4171
E-mail: apaterson@wbcoll.edu