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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 28-Apr-24

Fall 2024 | BIO-2120-VO04 - Elements of Microbiology

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 4
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 16 (as of 07-19-24 8:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.
Materials/Lab Fees: $125.00


Roy Cutler
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Ryan Joy

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Natural Science
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course offers the student an opportunity to examine organisms that are too small to see with the naked eye and is a comprehensive study of the basic principles of microbiology. A brief survey of the history of the science is given. Emphasis is placed on understanding the variety and differences of microbes and their relationship to humans. Prior successful completion of BIO-2012, Human Anatomy and Physiology II, is recommended.

Essential Objectives

1. Compare the theoretical aspects of historical development in the field of microbiology to current concepts of microbiology.
2. Identify macroscopic and microscopic morphology of common microbial isolates.
3. Apply the theoretical and practical aspects of physical and chemical methods used to control microorganisms.
4. Explain the relationships that can exist between host and microorganism.
5. Discuss the disease process as it relates to common microbial pathologies.
6. Model and explain the theoretical and practical aspects of culturing and staining bacteria.
7. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding, interpreting, evaluating, and applying quantitative data and information.
8. Explain how knowledge created in the natural sciences has contributed to the creation, maintenance and dismantling of social inequalities and discuss the impacts of diversity and inclusion on scientific research and practice.
Lab Objectives:
1. Apply knowledge of the scientific method to:
a. formulate and evaluate real-world scientific questions;
b. ethically plan and implement accurate data collection;
c. analyze and evaluate data;
d. generate conclusions based on analysis and justify claims with evidence;
e. integrate the related work of other scientists; and
f. propose ideas for further inquiry.
2. Communicate findings in a format appropriate to the discipline and type of investigation, such as a laboratory notebook, laboratory report, observational study, field investigation report, poster, or presentation using appropriate evidence to support these findings.
3. Understand the structure and purpose of peer-reviewed publications.
4. Evaluate scientific information for validity, accuracy, reliability, and methodology.
5. Identify and follow lab safety techniques that are aligned with CCV’s Chemical Hygiene Plan, Lab Safety Agreements, and chemical Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

*** This is a low cost ($50 or less) textbook or resource class.
This does not include lab fees for 4-credit science courses. ***

BIO-2120-VO04 Link to Textbooks/Resources Information for this course in eCampus.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


Microbes get a bad rap. When they are thought of at all, it is usually in the context of disease. We talk about "germs" and go to extreme lengths to try to eliminate them from our lives. In fact, the microbes that can make us sick are a tiny, tiny minority of the microbes in the world. Most microbes could not care less about us and would find themselves in bad shape trying to live on us. Microbes are responsible for the vast majority of the recycling and composting that goes on around us, essential jobs without which we could not survive. They help us to digest our food. They hone our immune system. While we will certainly address the microbes that make us sick, we will also attempt to gain an overall appreciation for these amazing creatures and the large role they play in our well-being.

We do not use a traditional textbook in this course. We use two relatively inexpensive popular science books. In fact, one of them is free, thanks to a PDF download through our library. These have the advantage of being well-written and engaging, thanks to the talents of a couple of prominent science writers. They have the disadvantage of not coming with a set of committee-tested questions and underlined vocabulary words. This however ends up being another advantage as we will develop methods to read about science that will work for you beyond textbooks. This is not a course that tests your ability to memorize facts. it is much more about organizing the things you read so that you can find information quickly when you need to. This is a very generally applicable skill in our information-heavy world.

Evaluation Criteria

20% discussion participation

15% Microbe World News

10% Science Beat project

10% lab

20% quizzes

25% exams

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


How did we get to this point? The insane power of natural selection to create biological complexity


The Human Body - Ch. 1



Discussion forums



Communication 1: The nervous system


The Human Body - Ch. 2

Select internet readings on the nervous system


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #1



Communication 2: message in a bottle - The Endocrine system


Human Biology - Ch. 3


Quiz on Week 2

Discussion forums

Videos/selected articles



Week 4 - Blood, the sea within us


The Human Body - Ch. 4

Select internet readings on the cardiovascular system


Quiz on Week 3

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #2



Week 5 - Plumbing: the paths of excretion


The Human Body - Ch. 5

Select internet readings on the nervous system


Quiz on Week 4

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #3



Week 6 - Genes: whose in charge here?


The Human Body - Ch. 6

Select internet readings on genetics


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #3



Week 7 - Sex and all that: reproduction


The Human Body - Ch. 7

Select internet readings on reproduction


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums

Human Biology World News #4

Exam #1



Week 8 - Respiration


Online readings and videos

The Human Body Ch. 8


Quiz #7

Discussion forums on readings

Human Biology World News #4



Week 9 - The immune system


Readings and videos on the immune system

The Human Body - Ch. 9


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums on online readings and book chapter




Week 10 - food and nutrition


Chapters 10 and 11 in The Human Body


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums for book chapters




The senses; moving through space


Select readings and videos on the senses

Chapter 12 in The Human Body


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums on readings, videos and book chapter

Human Biology World News #6



You are an ecosystem - The microbiome


Readings on the microbiome

Chapter 13 in The Human Body


Quiz on previous week's material

Discussion forums on readings and book chapter




Exam 2


Quiz on previous week's material

Exam #2



Science Beat - original science writing by students on select topics


PubMed journal searches - instruction and practice


Researching and writing the Science Beat assignment



Science Beat (week 2)


Reading and critiquing colleague's Science Beat news stories.


Working on SB forum


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.