Syllabus for BIO-251



The goal of Introduction to Microbiology with Lab is to help students make the connections between microbiology and the world, whether the student is considering entering the healthcare field or not. Fundamental concepts in microbiology, as well as the relationship of microorganisms to disease and epidemiology, will be discussed. This course will also include a lab with emphasis on bacteria, including preparation, use of selective and differential media, and using aseptic techniques.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Utilize the tools of the laboratory, such as types of media, microscopy, and gram staining, to study microorganisms.

CO2        Analyze the different parts and structure of the cell wall of bacteria.

CO3        Analyze the structure of and diseases caused by eukaryotic cells in the Kingdom Fungi, the Kingdom Protista (Algae and Protozoa), and the Kingdom Animalia (Helminths).

CO4        Describe various viruses, the diseases they cause, and differentiate between their structural parts.

CO5        Describe the nutritional and environmental conditions that influence microbial growth.

CO6        Explain the principles of antimicrobial therapy and the mechanism of drug action.

CO7        Analyze how different transmission routes enable microbes to infect humans and spread disease.

CO8        Explain the relationship between infectious diseases and the various body systems, including clinical manifestations.

CO9        Analyze both the advantages and disadvantages of microorganisms.


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

Required Textbook

ISBN: 978-0073402437

Required Laboratory Kit

Your course laboratory kit is provided by eScienceLabs.   Please click the following link to access instructions on how to order your lab materials: Lab Kit Requirement - Ordering Instructions.

Additional Materials

A few additional materials, all common household items, are required to complete your lab experiments (in addition to what is included in your eScience lab kit). Detergent to clean your equipment and hot water will be needed for all of the experiments that use labware.  

Additional items include:

Smartphone or Webcam

You will need either a smartphone or camera to complete some of the assignments in this course. You are also encouraged to voluntarily share videos of your lab setups or procedures. You may do this to request help from your classmates or when you can provide advice to a classmate to resolve his or her setup or procedure issues.

For instructions and assistance on how to upload a video file (or create and upload a video file) using Kaltura, visit the following link: How to Record and Submit Kaltura Videos in Discussion Forums.


Introduction to Microbiology with Lab is a four-credit, online course consisting of three modules, three discussion forums, and thirteen labs. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, 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 laboratory assignments, take chapter quizzes, and take three proctored module exams. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

You are required to complete three graded discussion forums. Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. Please note there is an ungraded, but required, Introductions Forum. An evaluation rubric for discussion forums can be found in the Evaluation Rubrics folder in the main area of the course.

You are welcome to submit a video of your lab setup or procedure at any point during the course, either within the Class Lounge or through the Ungraded Optional Video Assignment link within Modules 1 through 3. These assignments are a way for you to interact with your classmates either to request help/clarification or to share information with another learner.

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.

Laboratory Assignments

Introduction to Microbiology with Labs includes thirteen laboratory assignments, worth 30 percent of your course grade. Each laboratory assignment asks you to complete experiments from an eScience lab, paying close attention to the instructions provided on the eScience Labs website. You are then required to submit certain laboratory documents to the mentor for grading. These documents may consist of questions or exercises and will be specified in the module details for each module.

Very Important Note: Although your kit comes with a Lab Manual, you should not use the lab procedures or directions found therein. Obtain all of your lab procedure information and submission forms from either this course site or through logging into the eScience Labs website. The printed materials that come inside the kit are somewhat outdated and may contain errors. The online materials, on the other hand, are revised regularly.

As stated earlier in this syllabus, some additional materials, all common household items, will be required to complete your lab experiments. Also, as noted, some labs require you to submit pictures of your setup and/or procedure.

Click General Instructions for guidelines on completing laboratory assignments.


You are required to take fifteen quizzes. These quizzes will assess your mastery of basic terminology and concepts. All quiz items are multiple choice. You may use any materials that you like in taking the quizzes, and there is no time limit for taking each quiz.

You will be able to take each quiz an unlimited number of times, and the gradebook will record your most recent score. This arrangement will allow you to go back and reread portions of the text that you need to review and then take the quiz again for further practice.


Exam Study Guide(s)

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. The exams require 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 website) 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.

Examination 1

Examination 1 is a closed-book exam worth 10 percent of your course grade, and it will be administered in Week 4 of the course. It is one hour long and covers all topics and material from Module 1 of the course. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions similar to those on the chapter quizzes.

Examination 2

Examination 2 is a closed-book exam worth 15 percent of your course grade, and it will be administered in Week 8 of the course. It is one hour long and covers all topics and material from Module 2 of the course. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions similar to those on the chapter quizzes.

Examination 3

Examination 3 is a closed-book exam worth 20 percent of your course grade, and it will be administered in Week 12 of the course. It is one hour long and covers all topics and material from Module 3 of the course. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions similar to those on the module quizzes.

Statement about Cheating

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

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your 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).


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, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

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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