BIOL L250 – Microbiology
Basic Lecture Syllabus

Lecture Professor:  Dr. Annette Golonka
Office: Bradley 211
Phone: 803-313-7019

Class Meeting Information: Varies from semester to semester (please see course listings for exact time).
Lecture: Meets twice a week for 75 minutes.

Course Requirements & Credit Information: Prerequisite – College-level biology and chemistry; corequisite – Biol 250L.  This course is not available for biology major credit.

I. Required Textbooks: 
Cowan and Talaro.  2009.  Microbiology: A Systems Approach.  2nd ed.  McGraw-Hill.  New York, NY. ISBN: 9780077266868.

Golonka, A.M.  2009-2010.  Laboratory Exercises for BIOL L250L Microbiology.  Biol L250L, Fall Semester.  University of South Carolina-Lancaster, SC.

Blackboard Content: All lecture assignments and some of your laboratory assignments WILL be available on Blackboard for printing.  These assignments will be available on Blackboard within 24 hours of assigned date.  Hard copies will be handed out during class, but students are responsible for printing out any assignments if they miss class. 

II. Course Description:  This is an introductory course to microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria, archaebacteria, and viruses.  The course will focus on the structure, metabolism, and pathogenesis of microbes.  Topics covered in the course will include diversity and ecology of microorganisms, the metabolic processes, the differences in eukaryotes, eubacteria, and archaebacteria, the virus infection process, infectious diseases, anti-microbial agents in chemotherapy, and to some extent antigen-antibody relationships. 

III. Learning Outcomes :  By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain microbial diversity (both in terms of species diversity and metabolic diversity).
  2. Explain the ecological and pathogenic capabilities of microorganisms as well as their social, economic, technological, global, and geographic impact.
  3. Compare and contrast the major groups of microbial organisms, including prions, viruses, fungi, bacteria, archaebacteria, and protozoans.
  4. Compare and contrast eukryotic versus prokaryotic microorganisms.
  5. Describe briefly the major metabolic pathways microbial organism may utilize.
  6. Describe the central dogma of molecular biology and summarize several genetic tests used in the identification of infectious agents and the genetic processes of transformation, transduction, and conjugation.
  7. Evaluate microbial control methods and assess their effectiveness against different groups of infectious agents.
  8. Apply research skills in both lab and lecture through library research and written assignments.
  9. Apply the scientific process and knowledge of physiological and morphological procedures learned during lab to help identify an unknown bacterium. Specifically students will choose and perform tests as well as analyze results.
  10. Demonstrate correct microbiological technique during lab exercises, including aseptic technique, proper handling of cultures, and interpretation of results.
  11. Present and assess data acquired during the unknown experiment in a written report as well as a Powerpoint presentation.

IV. Lecture Course Structure & Requirements

Biol 250 meets twice a week for lecture and once a week for lab. Labs are often done in groups.

Readings: Chapters covered during lecture are listed below in the lecture schedule.  To be successful in this course, you 1) need to purchase the textbook, lab manual, and any accompanying supplemental materials, 2) need to keep up with reading assignments, for lecture and lab, and 3) participate in discussions in lecture and lab.  You may be assigned review questions at the end of the chapters for discussion in class next period.  These questions may appear on the tests or in lab on quizzes.  Material not covered in class but assigned in readings, will be fair game for test material unless otherwise stated in lecture.  It is the responsibility of the student to read these assignments.

Attendance:  According to the USC Academic Bulletin, “absence from more than 10 percent of the scheduled class sessions, whether excused or unexcused, is excessive and the instructor may choose to exact a grade penalty for such absences.”  Please note that USC makes no distinction between “excused” and “unexcused” absences.  This course meets two times a week for lecture and once a week for lab.  Being more than 10 minutes late to class or leaving class early will count as an absence.  Thus, if a student misses more than 3 lectures (1 lab), his or her final grade in the lecture (lab) course will be dropped one letter grade.  Continual tardiness may also result in a drop in a student’s grade.

Students are responsible for any work or assignments missed during absences.  Laboratory experiments CANNOT be made up.  If a quiz is missed during lab or lecture, the student will receive a zero for that quiz.  If homework is turned in a day late or after lab or lecture begins, the final grade on that homework will be dropped one letter grade.

Exams:  There will be 4 exams (3 during the semester plus the final exam) – short essay, multiple choice, fill-in, true/false.  Exams will not be cumulative and are equally weighted (see point breakdown below).

Lecture Assignments:  There will be 4 lecture homework assignments, each due at the beginning of the class period.  Lecture assignments are worth 20% of your final grade.  Homework assignments may include short topical reports, drawings/figures, or short answer questions.  Some assignments may be done on Blackboard and some assignments may be done in groups and will be designated as such on the assignment.

V. Other Policies

Classroom Behavior: Cell phones, pagers, and other similar devices are to be turned off or placed in silent mode during class; this includes lab and lecture time.  Disrespectful and disruptive behavior will NOT be tolerated in class.  Students should act as responsible citizens at all times, in lab, lecture, and outside the classroom.  Students who do not act responsibly will be asked to leave the classroom or lab.

Plagiarism & Cheating:  Please review USCL’s policy on plagiarism and cheating in the Student Handbook.  If a student is caught plagiarizing or cheating, at the minimum the student will receive a 0 on that assignment.  Depending on the degree of plagiarism and/or cheating, the student may receive an F in the course and possibly have to face the USC Lancaster Academic Affairs Committee and possible suspension from the university.  A handout will be given out about plagiarism, paraphrasing, and quoting.

VI. Lecture Assessment & Grading

Lecture Point Breakdown:

Exams 1-4

20% each, total 80%

Lecture Homework & Assignments (4 total)

5% each, total 20%

Grading Scale:
90 – 100% A

70 – 76% C

87 – 89% B+

67 – 69% D+

80 – 86% B

60 – 66% D

77 – 79% C+

Below 60% F


Biol 250: Microbiology
Lecture Syllabus

Lecture schedule may be modified during the semester.  If changes are made, they will be announced in class.



Chapter Readings


Introduction and Main Themes of Microbiology



The Chemistry of Biology
Tools of the Laboratory I
Assignment 1: Importance of Microbes



Tools of the Laboratory II
Prokaryotic Profiles I

3, 4.1-4.3


Prokaryotic Profiles II



Eukaryotic Cells I



Eukaryotic Cells II
Viruses I
Assignment 1 Due

6 (pp. 153-171)


Viruses II
Microbial Nutrition, Ecology & Growth I

6 (pp. 172-180)


Microbial Nutrition, Ecology & Growth II



Exam I covers lectures 1-7

Ch 1 – 6


Metabolism I



Metabolism II
Microbial Genetics I
Assignment 2: Genetics & Society



Microbial Genetics II



Microbial Genetics III



Microbial Genetics IV



Microbial Genetics VI
Controlling Microbes I
Assignment 2 Due



Controlling Microbes II



Exam II covers lectures 7-14

Ch 7 –10


Controlling Microbes III
Drugs, Microbes, Host – The Elements of Chemotherapy I
Assignment 3: Antimicrobial Agents & Resistance

11, 12


The Elements of Chemotherapy II



Microbe-Human Interactions I



Microbe-Human Interactions II
Assignment 3 Due



Nonspecific Host Defenses I



Exam III covers lectures 14-19

Ch 11-13


Nonspecific Host Defenses II
Specific Host Defenses I
Assignment 4: Disease



Specific Defenses & Immunization II



Diagnosing Infections I



Diagnosing Infections II
Skin Diseases Video



Selected Diseases From Chapters 19-23



Selected Diseases From Chapters 19-23
Assignment 4 Due



Final Exam covers lectures 20-25

14-17 & diseases

VII. Miscellaneous

Statement for Students with Disabilities:  Students who have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, may contact me or Disability Services.  

Tips & Comments from Previous Students:
“Go to tutoring with Dr. G!  Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help!”

“Ask Questions.  Actually attend Dr. Golonka’s tutoring aid.  I’m a very visual & auditory learner and seeing her draw diagrams and hearing the lecture again Helped tons!  Also doing the questions @ the end of each chapter really does make a difference in your understanding the material.  Trust me.  I had to learn the hard way.”

“I suggest that the other students in the future just study everyday, read, and do not have a job, especially 3rd shift.  Just mainly stay on your p’s & q’s.  Also do not miss any days at all.”

“I felt encouraged to speak out in class and comfortable enough to make mistakes.”

This page last updated June 21, 2013 .