Almira S Beins
Acquaints students with microorganisms and their activities. Topics include microbial cell structure and function, metabolism, microbial genetics, and the role of microorganisms in disease, immunity, and other selected applied areas. Prerequisite: either CHEM 120, CHEM 140, CHEM 142, or CHEM 145; recommended: biology; organic chemistry. Offered: ASpS.
Micro 301 is a one quarter survey course that covers a wide variety of topics dealing with the biology of microorganisms (specifically bacteria) and viruses. In the first half of the course topics include prokaryotic cell structure and function, metabolism, genetics, and biotechnology. The second half focuses on the medical aspects of microbiology including factors that contribute to the ability of microorganisms/viruses to cause disease (pathogenesis), how diseases are transmitted and can be controlled (epidemiology), the mechanisms the human body has to defend itself against pathogens (immunology), and the use and specificity of antimicrobial drugs. The overall goal is for students to have a better understanding and appreciation of the importance of the microbial world to life on this planet and to our well-being. Previous students have commented that the course should be a requirement for every University student because the information learned is so relevant to everyday life.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
A large lecture format is used, along with an expectation of independent study for a number of topics. The class website gives students access to keywords, outlines, textbook reading assignments, and discussion/review questions. Select information in the required text is assigned as independent study material and will not be covered exhaustively during lecture. All students need to come to each class prepared to answer the discussion and review questions. Individual students will be called on at anypoint during class period to answer some of those questions.
General chemistry is the only prerequisite for the course. Although this course was designed for the non-science major, the course is highly competitive because of the number of science majors who want a one quarter survey course in microbiology. Microbiology is a biological science, so it is not surprising that students who have a basic understanding of biology find the course material easier to comprehend. Strong listening and note-taking skills and study habits, a curiosity about the world, and the initiative to seek assistance are keys to success in this course.
Class assignments and grading
Homework is assigned online via the Connect website (see course website for information on accessing the site). The online homework (except the first) covers topics that are going to be covered the following week in class.
Grades are based on two midterms, a comprehensive final, and online homework assigned via the Connect system. Final grades are calculated by first determining the average score of the top 5% of undergraduate students in the course. This score represents the 100% mark by which grades will be determined.