Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

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Note: some or all of the courses in the subjects marked as "Transfer" can be used towards a transfer degree: Associate of Science and Arts or Associate of Engineering Science at DACC. Transferability for specific institutions and majors varies. Consult a counselor for this information.

Areas of Study | | BIOL140 syllabus

COURSE TITLE:Microbiology
DELIVERY MODE:In-Person, Hybrid

Introductory principles of microbiology are explored through lecture, laboratory activities, and assignments. This course will examine the role of microorganisms in the environment and in human health and disease. Microbial structures, metabolism, growth and control, genetics, biotechnology, epidemiology, immunology, antimicrobial agents, and the disease process are presented. Laboratory approach and medical application of material is emphasized.

Completion of MATH107 and ENGL101

NOTES: A lab is required for this course. Some sections will require a separate lab, while other sections will include the lab. Anyone taking BIOL140 with BIOL136 or BIOL137 during the same semester should be a strong student with good study habits and adequate study time.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe ways microbes affect our lives
  • Identify characteristics which differentiate groups of microbes, cells, and acellular forms
  • Apply terminology related to microbiology
  • Describe the diversity and adaptability of microorganisms and the implications for rigorous aseptic practices in the health care setting
  • Explain the role of microorganisms in human health and disease
  • Discuss the importance and limitations of antimicrobial drugs for treating infectious disease
  • Describe how the immune system works to combat infectious disease
  • Relate the significance of vaccines to protection against disease
  • Collect and present information on microbiology news and research
  • Demonstrate competency in the following laboratory skills and techniques:
    • use of compound microscope
    • slide preparation
    • culture techniques
    • staining techniques
    • pure culture isolation
    • serial dilutions
    • biochemical analysis of bacteria
    • determination of bacterial unknowns

  • Roles of microbes in the natural world-5%
  • History of Microbiology-2%
  • Structure and function of Prokaryotic cells-5%
  • Structure and function of Eukaryotic cells -5%
  • Structure and function of acellular forms-5%
  • m+/Gram- & Eukaryotes/Prokaryotes/Acellular forms -5%
  • Use of microbes in industry and bioremediation-5%
  • Cell metabolism -5%
  • Characteristics of microbial growth -5%
  • Methods of Controlling Microbial Growth-5%
  • Use of Antimicrobial Drugs and Development of Resistance-5%
  • Microbial genetics and biotechnology-5%
  • Disease transmission and epidemiology-5%
  • Infectious Diseases of the Human Body-20%
  • Immune system-10%
  • Diseases of the immune system-5%
  • Vaccines-3%


Week 1 Chapter 1: Introduction to Microorganisms
Week 2 Chapter 3: Prokaryotes
Week 3 Chapter 4: Eukaryotes
Week 4 Chapter 5: Viruses and Acellular Forms
Week 5 Chapter 6: Nutrition and Microbial Growth
Week 6 Chapter 9: Physical and Chemical Control of Microbes
Week 7 Chapter 7: Microbial Metabolism
Week 8 Chapter 8: Microbial Genetics
Week 9 Chapter 11: Microbe and Human Interactions
Week 10 Chapter 12: Immune System Overview and Innate Immunity
Week 11 Chapter 13: Adaptive Immunity
Week 12 Chapter 10: Antimicrobial Treatments
Week 13 Chapters 16, 17: Diseases of the Skin and Respiratory System
Week 14 Chapter 18: Diseases of the Cardiovascular System
Week 15 Chapter 19: Diseases of the Lymphatic System
Week 16 Chapters 20,21: Diseases of the Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary Systems

Weekly Lab Outline: All labs are hands-on.

  • Each lab is completed Face-to-Face
  • Each lab is 2 hours, once a week


Week 1 Lab 1 Compound Light Microscope
  • Students will learn the parts and function of the compound light microscope
  • Students will understand the concepts of parfocal, total magnification, oil immersion, and resolution
  • Students will focus the microscope on fixed specimens under four different magnifications
  • Students will observe and draw images of various protozoa, bacteria, fungi, and algae while focused under 100X, 400X, and 1000X total magnification
2.0 hours
Week 2 Lab 2 Viewing Microbes lab
  • Lab 2 Smears and Gram Stains:
  • Students will create smears from bacteria grown in nutrient broth and on nutrient agar
  • Students will create smears, perform Gram stains, and observe and document their results
  • Students will perform simple stains on their bacterial smears and observe and document their results while focused under oil immersion
2.0 hours
  Lab 3 Microbes from the Environment lab
  • Students will design their own experiment to sample microorganisms growing on their body and in the environment
2.0 hours
Week 3 Lab 4 Antimicrobial Drug Susceptibility lab
  • Antimicrobial Drugs: Students will perform the disk-diffusion method to determine susceptibility of various bacteria to different antimicrobial drugs
2.0 hours
Week 4 Lab 5 Meet the ESKAPE Pathogens Lab
  • Students research the microbes responsible for important clinical infections
  • Students will selecta safe relative of the ESKAPE pathogen to further research, gram stain, and streak for isolation
Students will select their media
2.0 hours
Week 5 Lab 6 More than Dirt Lab (Soil Collection)
  • Students will collect soil samples to extract microbes from
  • Students will gather data from the site of collection
2.0 hours
  Lab 7 Redefining Growth – Serial Dilutions
  • Students will separate a mixed bacterial culture using the streak for isolation technique
  • Students will also learn how to determine bacterial concentration using serial dilutions and the pour plate technique
2.0 hours
Week 6 Lab 8 Isolating Microbes using Pick and Patch lab
  • Students will learn how to transfer bacteria from and into different types of media using aseptic technique
  • Students will learn the purpose of different types of media
2.0 hours
Week 7 Lab 9 In Search for the Next Antibiotic
  • Students will screen their soil isolates from the pick and patch plates against a safe relative of an ESKAPE pathogen to see if any produce antibiotics
2.0 hours
Week 8   Students choosing your isolate and streaking for isolation; Gram stain chosen isolates 2.0 hours
Week 9 Lab 10 Getting to Know your Isolate lab
  • Students will learn more about their chosen antibiotic-producing microbes by by performing and analyzing several biochemical tests
2.0 hours
  Lab 11 Modern Approach to Identifying Microbes lab
  • Students will amplify the 16sRNA gene of their chosen antibiotic-producing microbes by PCR
  • Students will also separate their product by gel electrophoresis and prepare their sample for gene sequencing
2.0 hours
Week 10 Lab 10 PCR Purification/Electrophoresis/Send for Sequencing 2.0 hours
  Lab 11 Biochemical tests 2 lab 2.0 hours
Week 11 Lab 10 Evaluate sequences
  • Students will use BLAST to determine the identify (or if it is a unique species) of their chosen antibiotic-producing soil isolate
  • Students will combine this knowledge along with their biochemical results to characterize and report on their microbe
2.0 hours
  Lab 11 Biochemical tests 3 lab 2.0 hours
Week 12 Lab 10 Evaluate tests

Colony Isolation and storage lab
2.0 hours
Week 13   Group paper discussion; Lab Practical Review 2.0 hours
Week 14   LAB PRACTICAL 2.0 hours
Week 15   Work on Group Lab Report 2.0 hours
Week 16   Papers due; Review old exams  


IncludED Textbook: Online resources and textbook will automatically be charged to student fees. The resources will be available on Blackboard and a copy of the textbook can be picked up in the bookstore

  • Cowan, 2019. Microbiology Fundamentals: A Clinical Approach, 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, With McGraw-Hill CONNECT

Lab Manual created by Wendy Brown will be available online through Blackboard.

Lecture Note Packet created by Wendy Brown will be passed out in class.


Lecture activities will account for 80% of your grade before the final

Midterm Exam (4)100 points each
Quizzes (~25)3-5 points each
In-class/Online activities (5)3 points each
Microbes in the News Oral/Written presentation10 points each
Professional points5 points total

Lab Activities will account for 20% of your grade before the final

Lab Safety Quiz10 points
Lab Prep Quizzes (10)3 points each
Lab Attendance and notebooks (10 graded labs)10 points each
Lab Practical exam (1)40 points
Unknown Lab Report (1)40 points

The Final Exam will account for 15% of your Final Grade

Grade Scale:
A- 90-100
B- 80-89
C- 70-79
D- 60-69
F- Below 60%


Membership in the DACC community brings both rights and responsibility. As a student at DACC, you are expected to exhibit conduct compatible with the educational mission of the College. Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism, is not tolerated. A DACC student is also required to abide by the acceptable use policies of copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as contained in the DACC Student Handbook. The Student Handbook is available in the Information Office in Vermilion Hall and online at:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Testing & Academic Services Center at 217-443-8708 (TTY 217-443-8701) or stop by Cannon Hall Room 103. Please speak with your instructor privately to discuss your specific accommodation needs in this course.

Fall 2019

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