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Blinn College • Bryan • Natural Science • Biology - BIOL

Microbiology - Non-Science Maj BIOL-2420

  • Fall 2013
  • Section SECTION_301 CRN-11971
  • 4 Credits
  • 08/26/2013 to 12/13/2013
  • Modified 08/25/2013

Meeting Times


  • Monday, Wednesday, 9:10 AM to 10:25 AM, S 210


  • Monday, Wednesday, 10:35 AM to 11:50 AM, S 212

Contact Information

Professor: Michelle McNeil

E-mail response time: 24 hours M-F; 72 hours on weekends (e-mails received after 4:00 pm on Friday)

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
  • Tuesday, Thursday, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM


Study of the morphology, physiology, and taxonomy of representative groups of pathogenic and nonpathogenic microorganisms. Pure cultures of microorganisms grown on selected media are used in learning laboratory techniques. Includes a brief preview of food microbes, public health, and immunology.


Prerequisite: BIOL 1406 with a “C” or better or approval of the Division Chair on the relevant campus.

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


  1. Summarize a history of microbiology.
  2. Describe the different types of cell and colony morphologies.
  3. Interpret selected metabolic processes carried out by cells and their essential role in sustaining life.
  4. Discuss the differences between a virus and a living organism.
  5. Identify the etiologic agent responsible for the pathogenesis of various diseases and describe the symptoms of these diseases and the response by the human immune system.
  6. Use various physical and chemical means for microbial control.
  7. Demonstrate the proficiency in using oil immersion technique.
  8. Analyze pure and mixed microbial specimens using determinative bacteriological techniques.


Textbook: Microbiology: An Introduction, 11th Edition, Tortora, G.J., Funke, B.R., and Case, C.L. 2013, Pearson Publishing

Lab ManualBIOL 2420 Microbiology Laboratory Manual, 2nd Edition, 2013. McNeil, M., Sharpe-Aparicio, E. and Sharpe, V., Bluedoor, LLC, .

Required MasteringMicrobiology Registration

MasteringMicrobiology is an online learning resource (available with etext access). Mastering is included in the price of a new (not used) textbook at the bookstore. The Mastering website has a variety of helpful tutorial materials including animations of important concepts, topic tutorials, links to external sites with further information, Self-Study Modules, Lab Resources, and practice quizzes and exams. Mastering is also where you will be required to complete your online homework.

The bookstore package has an access card that has been shrink-wrapped with the book and contains the necessary access code to register. If you have purchased a used book, or one from a different source (like Amazon/eBay/Chegg/etc.), you will need to purchase Mastering Access separate from the bookstore or from

Required Laboratory Items

  • Laboratory Coat – available at Blinn bookstore (disposable), career apparel stores
  • Inoculating Loop – single use, available at Blinn bookstore
  • Plastic Shoebox (no bigger than 13” x 8” x 5")
  • Sharpie Marker

Testing Forms

AccuScan Advantage Form #28980 (available @ Blinn Bookstore or Learning Center) for lecture exams and the final exam.

Required eCampus Access

Access to the Internet is REQUIRED. Internet access at home would certainly be a plus, however, all students at Blinn College and/or Texas A&M have computing resources available to them. The Open Computer Lab at Blinn College is located in Room H-225. If you are not familiar with these, see me or inquire at the Learning Center in the Library Building, Room 258, for more details, ASAP.

eCampus is an online course tool. It is in essence a virtual classroom through which I will be posting course related materials, information, as well as homework and bonus assignments. You will also be able to contact me with questions and or problems you might be having and have the ability to contact your classmates. It will be your responsibility to check this site daily.

To access eCampus, go to  and select this course. For help on how to navigate eCampus, go to or for problems accessing eCampus contact Distance Education at

Student E-mails

Students are assigned an E-mail address that must be checked regularly for official Blinn communications and course information. The address is of the form: Firstname.LastnameLast2digitsBlinnID  Information about accessing this account can be found at:

Course Requirements

Lecture Exams

There will be 4 major exams during the semester that constitute 30% of your final grade. On average, exams will cover 5-6 chapters and will include material covered up through the lecture period before each exam. Exams may include multiple choice questions, short-answer questions, fill-in-the-blank, labeling diagrams, or short answer essay questions. All exams will be closed-book and closed-note and all electronic devices, including cell phones, must be turned off.

There are no scheduled “make-up” lecture exams. Makeup exams will be given at the discretion of the instructor and may differ from the tests given at the scheduled times.

After grading, exams will either be temporarily returned to the student for in-class review for 5 minutes OR the most-missed questions will be reviewed by the instructor. If exams are temporarily returned, neither questions nor answers may be copied or photographed in any way. You may come to my office during office hours to review any exams that you wish.

Laboratory Practical Assessments

There will be 3 practical assessments of your understanding of laboratory procedures throughout the semester. Lab practicals will constitute 20% of your final grade. These assessments will cover material previously covered in lab, assigned lab manual readings, worksheets, review questions, or observations; and will consist of short answer, fill-in-the-blank, or labeling questions. Rarely will you see multiple choice options and there will not be a word bank.

There are no scheduled “make-up” lab exams. Any missed exam will count as a grade of zero.

Class Participation & Homework

Almost every week in class, there will be lecture quizzes, in-class assignments, homework assignments, or in-class discussions that will be used to measure your understanding of material that is being presented in lecture or lab. It is your responsibility as a student to be prepared every day for a possible assignment or in-class discussion and to keep up with the lecture and lab material. Participation and homework activities constitute 15% of your final grade.

  • Lecture Activities - Throughout the semester there will be lecture quizzes, departmental assessments, in-class assignments, or online homework assignments that will be used to measure your understanding of material that is being presented in lecture, or that will cover material from a previous lecture or assigned readings.
  • Lab Activities - Lab participation will mainly consist of in-class laboratory assignments from the lab manual and unknown work. In order to receive credit for these participation assignments, students must be present and actively participating in the activity. This means that students must successfully demonstrate their understanding of the content being covered by correctly completing the laboratory worksheet results and review questions. Students may not make up participation exercises due to being late to class or being absent from class. You must be present to participate.

Identification of Unknowns

Students will be responsible for determining the genus and species name of a Gram Positive bacterial organism and a Gram Negative bacterial organism using techniques covered in lab and learned during practice procedures. Further details on the Unknown Reports are covered in Lab 32 and will also be discussed in class. In addition to the traditional lab reports, students will also identify an enteric pathogen using the EnteroPluri System.  Unknown work and Lab Reports will constitute 15% towards your final grade.

  • Points will be deducted from your lab report grades if you are absent when unknown organisms are handed out. Other deductions may also result if the instructor has to re-prepare a student’s unknown organism due to student negligence.
  • Unknown reports are always due at the beginning of Lecture on the assigned due date. If you know that you will be absent on one of the due dates, you may turn in your report early.
  • Late unknown reports will be accepted up to 2 days after the due date at a penalty of 10 points per day. After 2 days from the due date, late unknown reports will not be accepted.
  • Lab Reports will be graded in a timely fashion, but please allow at least 1 week for them to be graded and returned.
  • All unknown work and inoculations will be done in lab under instructor supervision. Budget your time accordingly to meet assignment deadlines.

Final Exam

The Final is a mandatory departmental comprehensive exam worth 20% of your final grade. It will consist of 100 -125 multiple choice questions. There will be no separate laboratory final; the lecture final will include questions from the laboratory material (85% lecture material, 15% lab material).  All students must take the final examination at their designated time. If you miss the final exam, a grade of zero will be recorded. There will be no final exam make-ups, except for extreme emergency circumstances.

FINAL EXAM Section 301: Friday, December 13th from 7:45-9:45 am in S210 (lecture room)

Bonus Opportunites

Throughout the semester, there will be opportunities for bonus points. Take advantage of these opportunities when they are offered and pay attention to due dates, do not ask me for “extra credit” at the end of the semester.  I provide bonus points to every member of the class uniformly and these bonus opportunities will be used to generate extra points that will be added to your point total at the end of the semester. Since I do not curve individual exam scores, these bonus activities will help generate a curve.

Preparation for Lecture

It is your responsibility as a student to be prepared every day for a possible assignment or in-class discussion and to keep up with the lecture and lab material. I expect that you will spend time after each class to study and review your notes, read assigned chapters and labs before coming to class, and complete any offered study materials. A course schedule containing a list of the topics and chapters to be covered has been provided. You are required to get a textbook and a lab manual.  There is a lot of material to be covered in this course and we may not get to all of the material in the textbook in class, but you will still be responsible for the assigned chapters on an exam. Because of the quantity of material to be covered, do not fall behind in your readings.

Preparation for Lab

The same level of preparation is also expected regarding lab time – it is your responsibility to come to lab prepared. I will only give a brief intro or demonstration for each lab exercise; the rest of the time, it is up to you to get through the material assigned for that day. Please read the assigned activity in the lab manual (see Course Schedule) before coming to lab and always bring your lab manual to class.  This will greatly facilitate your progression through the assigned material for that day as well as reduce the potential for errors made in lab. A study area has been set aside for you to view prepared slides and observe your unknown work outside of the scheduled lab times.

 MINI-LAB HOURS (Room 213):

Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm

Saturday, Sunday and School Holidays: Building Closed


Each student is required to participate in lab exercises.  Students are responsible for their work area, and should return any material or equipment to its proper location. Remember a clean lab area minimizes the health hazards that a student might be exposed to. A student not actively involved in lab exercises must have valid documented justification for not participating in class exercises. Use your lab time efficiently, especially as skills learned will be evaluated during Laboratory Practical Exams and will also be applied during work with the bacteriological unknowns.


The following are required components of a student’s final grade.


Your final score is based on a percentage scale and will be calculated by taking the sum of your average percentage for each category (evaluation method) as per the table shown. Do not base your course grade on expectations of curving, extra credit points, or dropped exams.

Course Evaluation Method

Total Possible

Class Participation & Homework


Lecture Exams


Lab Practicals


Laboratory Reports


Comprehensive Final Exam


Bonus Points




Grade Updates: I will provide periodic updates of your total points earned and grade-to-date on eCampus to help you gauge whether you are meeting your goals for the course. However, please realize that it may take a week for graded exams to be returned and longer for unknown reports to be graded and returned. Due to FERPA guidelines, I cannot discuss your grades via e-mail or phone call; any discussion of grades must be done in person during office hours or during a scheduled conference.


Letter Grade











< 60%

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook. In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Electronic Devices

All the functions of all personal electronic devices designed for communication and/or entertainment (cell phones, pagers, beepers, iPods, and similar devices) must be turned off and kept out of sight in all College District classrooms and associated laboratories.  Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Course Policies

Attendance Policy Reminder

Missing lecture, lab or both will count as one absence.  Students accumulating two week’s worth of absences (4 classes during a long semester) will be dropped.

In order to be considered as an excusable absence, you must notify me within 24 hours of being absent. You must present me with your documentation the first day you return to class from being absent.  If you are too sick to come to class, you are sick enough to see a doctor.  In this case, you MUST bring me a doctor’s note stating why you were absent.  This does not include a regular doctor’s appointment that was scheduled during class time, only unscheduled instances or medical emergencies where you are ill and need a doctor’s care. If a family emergency exists, you must provide documentation (ex: obituary, doctor’s note for the family member, funeral program etc.).  If an accident occurs, I must receive documentation that you were involved (ex: police report ).

If you are more than 15 minutes late to lecture or lab, or if you leave class for an unexcused extended period of time, you will be counted as absent.

Problem Resolution

If you have a complaint about your class, you should first request a conference with your instructor to try and resolve the problems or issues. If the problems or issues cannot be resolved at the instructor level, you should request a conference with the Division Chair, Mr. Dwight Bohlmeyer, Science 241, [email protected]

Eating and Drinking

Eating and drinking are not allowed during class or laboratory work. Not only is this a Blinn policy, but there are safety reasons for not eating, drinking, or smoking around a Biology laboratory.





Lecture Topic (Tentative*)

Lab Topic (Tentative*)



Introduction; Ch 1:The Microbial World and You

Lab 1-3 Safety Procedures; Lab Equipment, Media; Ubiquity of Bacteria


Ch: 3 Observing Microorganisms Through a Microscope

Lab 10 Microscopy


  9/2          Labor Day Holiday


Ch 4:Functional Anatomy of Prokaryotic & Eukaryotic Cells

Labs 4-5 Aseptic Technique and Streak Plate



Ch 5:Microbial Metabolism

Lab 6: Quantification of Microorganisms; Lab 7: Colony Characteristics

Complete Lab 15 as Homework


Ch 6:Microbial Growth

Complete Lab 6; Lab 11: Intro to Smear Preparation & Simple Staining



Ch 7: Control of Microbial Growth

Labs 8-9 Chemical & Physical Control



Lecture Exam 1: Chapters 1, 3-7



Ch 8:Microbial Genetics

Labs 12-13: Gram  & Capsular Staining


Ch 9: Biotechnology & DNA Technology

Lab 14: Cell Morphology and Cell Structures



Ch 10: Classification of Microorganisms

Lab 22 Acid-Fast Stain


Ch 11: The Prokaryotes

Lab Exam 1 – over Labs 1-15, 22



Ch 12: The Eukaryotes

Labs 24-26 Media and Biochemical Tests Used to ID Gram + & Gram - Organisms


Ch 13: Viruses  and Prions

Labs 16, 18-21 Media for G+ Organisms



Lecture Exam 2: Chapters 8-13

Part V: G+ Bacterial Pathogens  & Lab 32 Unknown Reports; Unknown 1


Ch 14: Principles of Disease & Epidemiology

Work on Unknowns



Ch 15: Microbial Pathogenicity

Work on Unknowns


Ch 16: Innate Immunity

Labs 27-29 Determination of G- Organisms



Ch 17: Adaptive Immunity

Labs 30-31 Determination of G- Organisms  


Gram Positive Unknown Report due

Ch 18: Practical Applications of Immunology

Part V: G- Bacterial Pathogens  & Unknown 2



Ch 20: Antimicrobial Drugs

Work on Unknowns


Lecture Exam 3: Chapters 14-18, 20

Work on Unknowns




Ch 21 Diseases of the Skin and Eyes

Lab Exam 2 – over Labs 16-21, 24-31


Ch 22 Nervous System Diseases

Final Unknown: EnteroPluri Test



Gram Negative Unknown Report due

Ch 23 Cardiovascular & Lymphatic System Diseases

Labs 33-34 Eukaryote Taxonomy & Fungi


Ch 24: Respiratory System Diseases

Lab 35 Vectors



EnteroPluri Unknown Report due

Ch 25: Digestive System Diseases

Lab 36 Protozoans

11/27-11/29  Thanksgiving Holiday



Lecture Exam 4: Chapters 21-25

Lab 37 Helminths


Ch 26: Urinary & Reproductive System Diseases & Ch 19: HIV (pp 544-554)

Lab Exam 3 – over Labs 33-37



Departmental Assessments; Lecture Catch-Up and Review


FINAL EXAM  Friday, December 13th from 7:45-9:45 am in S210

 * In case of course schedule changes, updates will be posted on eCampus and notified in class.

Q Q-drop, last day to withdraw with a “Q” is Friday, November 15, 2013.