This syllabus is intended to make microbiology engaging and create study guidelines so that students can gain a better understanding of different topics and get better grades. The traditional passive note-taking will be coupled with other active-learning techniques. Students will acquire in-depth knowledge of microbiology through lectures, laboratory exercise and seminar sessions (Cundell, 2012). These active and problem-solving methods of learning improve analytical and critical thinking. The syllabus is not in any way meant to infringe on the academic freedom of students but rather be used as a benchmark by different instructors as they teach microbiology. Additionally, it can be used as a guideline for developing new syllabus material. This syllabus is written with evidence-based practice such as active learning, student-centered classroom and backwards course design in mind.
Students will learn through lectures, laboratory exercise and seminars and as such, students are mandated to participate in all the sessions. Absence without apology will impact students` overall grade. It must be requested before class. More than three absenteeism will result in an incomplete unit (Euler & Kühner, 2017). Reasons for excuse will be due to illness or family or other emergencies. In case s student have a question or need clarification on any matter, constructive dialogue will be through classroom hours, designated office time, discussions on the canvas and through emails. Canvas will be used as the primary forum for handling assignments. Additionally, lecture notes and other materials will be posted via canvas.
This is a course that will enable students to explore fascinating and at times, harmful organism. At the end of the lesson, students are expected to be knowledgeable about microorganism and their physiology and metabolism (L’Ecuyer, Pole & Leander, 2015). Additionally, they are expected to be well trained in critical analysis and have practical problem-solving skills in the scientific field. On finishing the syllabus, the student is expected to:
– Be knowledgeable on metabolism, morphology, physiology as well as the evolution of microorganism. The students should be able to fully comprehend critical processes at the molecular level and the adaptation process of microorganism. – Students should effectively use different technical microbiological terms and concepts. – Students should fully explain different techniques of cultivating microorganism and how they can apply this knowledge at the industrial level. – Students should as well be able to differentiate between various signaling techniques and how they function at the molecular stage — for example, biofilm formation and differentiation. – Students should be able to effectively work at the laboratory with microorganisms and be able to differentiate their molecular and physiological characteristics. – The students should be able to critically and ethically analyze other scientific work in the field. – Students should be in a position to evaluate microbiological scientific data, draw inferences and conclusion from them through testing hypothesis and conducting experiments.
§ Students should be able to use a light microscope to visualize and analyze microorganisms
§ Be competent in conducting basic microbiological methods such as:
ü Bacteriophage plague
ü Gram staining
ü Streak plate inoculation
ü Preparing bacteria smear
ü Using the aseptic technique
– Students should record, evaluate and interpret observation during different experiments.
*Content of the Syllabus Plan*
The syllabus has necessary microbiology information both from an industrial and biotechnical perspective. Principle themes of the course are the structure, molecular mechanisms behind the functioning of cells (Rillero & Camposeco, 2018). The course emphasizes the inter-relationship of different microbial fields such as vaccines, food production, and antibiotics. Students will be challenged to examine relevant topics of microbiology and their day to day life. Theories such as Cell, theory, Gene theory of inheritance will be covered.
Primary methods of teaching are active theoretical teachings of literature studies. Students can as well stream lecture videos weekly. Online materials and will be given to students to facilitate understanding (Simurda, 2012). Practical lessons complement them through seminar and laboratory work. Students will as well be encouraged to participate in class debates and discussions. Discussions make students more assertive and as such, able to ask and respond to different questions in class.
Students will as well be encouraged to visit the online microbiology journal database occasionally. This is to help them research on written assignments and enable the students to explore the field of microbiology outside the classroom. The databases have a series of diverse microbiology topics on viruses, epidemics, antibiotics, among others (Watson, Willford & Pfeifer, 2018). All this is to enhance the students’ skills and prepare them for future work in different fields, such as food handling and biotechnical production. Active learning enables the students to not only retain knowledge acquired for a long time but also have a better understanding and interest in the course.
*Lectures, Quizzes and Discussions *
The laboratory exercise will include identification of different viruses, bacteria through bioinformatics and physiological properties. Students will be working in groups of four to five and will be given 15 minutes to discuss the work (Cundell, 2012). They will be encouraged to read through the data and underline the core phrases or words. Students are expected to work cooperatively during each laboratory period. All the sessions will involve using microbes. Students will have lab manuals that must-have during each session.
The seminar will include a critical and ethical analysis of different microbiology scientific studies and data.
*Oral Discussions *
Students will be divided into a group of three students and each asked to research on the different pros and cons of microbial kingdoms; protozoa, fungi and bacteria. Prior to oral sessions, each group will submit a prepared brief. Each group will be given five to eight minutes to present their topics (Euler & Kühner, 2017). The group then has to respond to criticism and comments raised by the individual students. Students will then vote for the group with the best persuasive and convincing arguments. The assignment will be graded on the preparation, presentation, as well as how they respond and argue their points to other students.
*Individual Assignments *
The individual writing assignments will include different topics and graded in accordance with the standardized format established. Prior to admissions of assignments, students will be encouraged to seek professional help from tutors at the university learning and advice center for assistance with assignments (L’Ecuyer, Pole & Leander, 2015). The students will be required to deliver three assignments that are around five pages in length, doubled spaced and submit them as word-processed documents. Grading of assessments is easy due to the establishment of grading criteria, outlines, competences and objectives.
In the first assignment, students either choose between option 1 or 2.
1. Students will be asked to design a novel antibiotic for a particular group of bacteria for a pharmaceutical organization. They were then to choose a bacterium and collect background data on it and identify how it can be suitable for therapeutic purposes and its significance. The students composed it as a letter to the head of the company marketing department. 2. The students will also be asked to interview or write an obituary for a popular microbiologist as a correspondent for a local newspaper.
The second assignment students will be asked to evaluate and research on the history of plague as they discuss its modes of transmission, signs and symptoms and its impacts. Furthermore, students also discuss how the plague was finally controlled.
The oral discussion mentioned above will be used as the third assignment.
*Post-assessment Quiz *
Students will as well have post-assessments of multiple-choice questions to determine the level of rudimentary information gain. The activity is designed in such a way that the student does not assess any sources and with a limited period (Rillero & Camposeco, 2018). Retakes will not be allowed, and the test will auto-submit once the due date has expired. Test will be availed in the canvas platform and credit given on participation basis and score. These quizzes cover the material discussed in each topic.
*Canvas Discussions *
Other than the class group discussions, students will participate in five graded discussions. Each student will be required to post once for each discussion and be within the deadline listed in the canvas.
Students will be assessed using different exercise methods. The laboratory and seminar sessions will account for two credits while written extermination will account for three credits. To obtain the overall grade, students must deliver a well-written laboratory report and presentation in accordance with the instructions given (Simurda, 2012). They should as well pass the written test. It is up to the students to carefully examine the graded paper and have a timeline of one week to contest the scores gives; otherwise, no grade adjustment after this time. Nonetheless, any examiner may except a student from this assessment and use another method if a special reason is given. For instance, if a certificate report of pedagogical is presented from the disability coordinated by the institution, the student will be exempted.
No make-up is given for assignments, exams and quizzes and discussions once the specified deadline has passed.
Cundell, D. (2012). Development of a Microbiology Course for Diverse Majors; Longitudinal Survey of the Use of Various Active, Problem-Based Learning Assignments. *Journal Of Microbiology & Biology Education*, *3*(1), 12-17. doi: 10.1128/154288102×14285807622734
Euler, D., & Kühner, P. (2017). Problem-Based Assignments as a Trigger for Developing Ethical and Reflective Competencies. *Interdisciplinary Journal Of Problem-Based Learning*, *11*(2). doi: 10.7771/1541-5015.1668
L’Ecuyer, K., Pole, D., & Leander, S. (2015). The Use of PBL in an Interprofessional Education Course for Health Care Professional Students. *Interdisciplinary Journal Of Problem-Based Learning*, *9*(1). doi: 10.7771/1541-5015.1497
Rillero, P., & Camposeco, L. (2018). The Iterative Development and Use of an Online Problem-Based Learning Module for Preservice and Inservice Teachers. *Interdisciplinary Journal Of Problem-Based Learning*, *12*(1). doi: 10.7771/1541-5015.1729
Simurda, M. (2012). Does the Transition to an Active-Learning Environment for the Introductory Course Reduce Students’ Overall Knowledge of the Various Disciplines in Biology?. *Journal Of Microbiology & Biology Education*, *13*(1), 17-20. doi: 10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.340
Watson, R., Willford, J., & Pfeifer, M. (2018). A Cultured Learning Environment: Implementing a Problem- and Service-Based Microbiology Capstone Course to Assess Process- and Skill-Based Learning Objectives. *Interdisciplinary Journal Of Problem-Based Learning*, *12*(1). doi: 10.7771/1541-5015.1694