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. Morphology, metabolism, growth and control, antimicrobials, genetics, biotechnology, epidemiology, and the disease process are presented. Laboratory approach and medical application of material is emphasized.

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 and identify characteristics which differentiate the different groups of microbes
  • Describe the diversity and adaptability of bacteria and the implications for rigorous aseptic practices in health care setting
  • Describe the role of bacteria in health and disease
  • Collect and present information on microbiology news and research
  • Gain laboratory skills and competencies for culturing, isolating, and identifying bacteria
  • Demonstrate competency in the following laboratory skills and techniques:
    • use of compound microscope
    • slide preparation
    • culture techniques
    • staining techniques:
      • simple
      • Gram
      • pure culture isolation
    • loop/ serial dilutions
    • biochemical analysis of bacteria
    • determination of bacterial unknowns

  • Roles of microbes in the natural world-5%
  • Structure and function of cell-10%
  • Cell metabolism and photosynthesis-10%
  • Characteristics of microbial growth and control-10%
  • Use of Antimicrobial Drugs and Development of Resistance-5%
  • Microbial genetics and biotechnology-5%
  • Viruses - structure and function-10%
  • Disease transmission and epidemiology-10%
  • Infectious Diseases of the Human Body-15%
  • Immune system-10%
  • Diseases of the immune system-3%
  • Vaccines-4%
  • Use of microbes in industry and bioremediation-3%
Weekly Lab Outline: All labs are hands-on
  • Lab 1 Use and Care of 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
  • 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
  • Lab 3 Isolating Microbes from the Environment:
    • Students will design their own experiment to sample microorganisms growing on their body and in the environment
  • Lab 4 Chemical Methods of Control:
    • Antimicrobial Drugs:
      • Students will perform the disk-diffusion method to determine susceptibility of various bacteria to different antimicrobial drugs
  • Lab 5 Meet the ESKAPE Pathogens and Streak for Isolation
    • 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 isloation
  • Lab 6 Isolation of Bacteria by Dilution Method:
    • 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
  • Lab 7 Transfer of Bacteria: Aseptic Technique:
    • 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
  • Lab 8 Screening Isolated Soil Microbes for Antibiotic Production
  • Lab 9 Identifying their Unknown Isolate (three Weeks):
    • Students will learn more about their chosen antibiotic-producing microbe by by performing and analyzing several biochemical tests
  • Lab 10 Modern Methods for Identifying Unknown Microorganisms (two weeks)
    • Students will amplify the 16sRNA gene of their chosen antibiotic-producing microbe by PCR
    • Students will also separate their product by gel electrophoresis and prepare their sample for gene sequencing
  • Lab 11 Determining their Unknown Microbe
    • 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
  • Lab 12 Lab Practical Exam


Cowan, 2015. Microbiology Fundamentals: A Clinical Approach, 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill, With McGraw-Hill CONNECT

Lab Manual created by Wendy Brown.
Lecture Note Packet created by Wendy Brown.

See bookstore website for current book(s) at


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

Midterm (4)100 points each
I-clicker Quizzes (Daily~20)3 points each
In-class activities (5)3 points each
Microbes in the News Oral presentation (1+)5 points each
Professional points15 points total

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

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

Grading 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.

Spring 2019

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