MICR 271 Introduction to Microbiology
Microbes make up a large component of the earth’s total biomass. In addition to pathogens causing significant infectious diseases, a healthy human being carries around approximately 100 trillion “good” bacteria, as well as other microbes. MICR 271 provides an introduction to the biology of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes, including pathogenic and beneficial bacteria, viruses, fungi, helminthes, and protozoa. An overview of the biological features of these microorganisms and their component parts will highlight their roles in public health and the environment.
*Note that BHSc program students are required to take one of MICR 271/3.0 or MICR 270/3.0.
Minimum 2nd year (Level 2) standing, and one of (PHGY 170/3.0 or BIOL 102/3.0) or equivalent courses with permission of the instructor.
No more than 3.0 units from MICR 271/3.0 and MICR 221/3.0.
After completing MICR 271, students will be able to:
- Employ a basic understanding of the biological features of bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotic microbes to transition to higher level microbiology courses.
- Analyze information pertaining to a specific organism to evaluate the impact of antibiotic resistance of the microorganism in health, disease or the environment.
- Collaboratively demonstrate a working knowledge of microbe characteristics that relate to their survival by working effectively with peers.
- Employ effective peer review in a small group setting in order to collaboratively formulate predictions of the success or failure of designed superbugs.
All assessments will be graded using marking rubrics.
Assessment 1 – Module Quizzes (6x1%)(6%)
During the course, students will apply and integrate the knowledge gained from the modules, and expand on module content through short module quizzes. Module quizzes will be formative and be comprised of multiple choice and short answer questions. Successful completion of this assessment will demonstrate a foundational understanding and basic application of fundamental microbiology.
Assessment 2 – Designing Microbiology Quiz Questions (2x7.5%)(15%)
During the course, there will be two quizzes in which students will apply what they have learned. Students will demonstrate a complete understanding of concepts in the course by creating quiz questions and answers on a given microbiology-related topic. Students assigned the same original topic will then collaborate in small groups to select the best question/answer set. Students will be expected to identify why they selected the question and how they derived the answer. In completing the assignment, students will develop the ability to amalgamate learned concepts and teach peers in a succinct and accurate manner, which is a valuable skill in all workplaces and demonstrates expertise in a particular topic.
Assessment 3 – Group Design of a Supermicrobe, Critical Review and Response (25%)
Students will complete a three-part assessment working in small groups. In the first part, students will utilize knowledge gained from the course to design and develop a hypothetical supermicrobe with characteristics that would allow it to survive a specific predetermined condition. This design and explanation of chosen characteristics will be presented in an informational poster. In the second portion of the assessment, each supermicrobe design will be critically assessed by a peer group to determine the pros and cons of the organism's survival strategies. Finally, the third portion of the assessment will allow students to respond to the critical review of their supermicrobe design and apply improvements, if they deem it necessary.
Assessment 4 - Midterm Exam (24%)
Assessment 5 – Final Exam (30%)
The final exam will consist of short answer questions aimed to evaluate problem solving skills and assimilation of knowledge learned throughout the course.
9–10 hours a week (108–120 hours per term).
MICR 271 course notes via modules posted online