COURSE OUTLINE: BS2002

Course Title

Microbiology

Course Code

BS2002

Offered Study Year 2, Semester 1
Course Coordinator Case Rebecca Josephine (Assoc Prof) rj.case@ntu.edu.sg
Pre-requisites i. None (for All SBS students)
ii. BS1001 (for other schools’ students)
AU 3
Contact hours Lectures: 26, Tutorials: 10
Approved for delivery from AY 2021/22 semester 1
Last revised 16 Aug 2022, 16:05

Course Aims

This course aims to introduce the general concepts of microbiology and its impact on the environment and human health. In this course you will learn the basic cellular organisation and function of key microorganisms. Specifically you will gain an understanding of the requirements and dynamics for microbial growth, reproduction and survival, control of microorganisms in the environment or during infection, bacterial diversity, The course will help you to understand the genetic mechanisms and physiological responses that drive interactions between microorganisms and their environment.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the impact microorganisms have on the environment and human health
  2. An appreciation for the diversity of microorganisms and to identify important microorganisms
  3. Describe and distinguish the main cellular, genetic and metabolic features of microorganisms
  4. Describe the requirements and mechanisms for microbial growth, reproduction and survival
  5. Relate microorganisms and specific diseases or environmental states
  6. Evaluate the impact microorganisms have on health, food and technology daily life

Course Content

Fundamental concepts in Microbiology (cellular structures, organisation and function)

Microbial Nutrition and Growth (energy mechanisms, transport, mechanisms of cell division, cell death, photosynthesis)

Diversity of the Microbial World (methods for classification of organisms, evolutionary relationships, relevance to biodiversity)

Microbial Diseases and their control (mechanisms of pathogenicity, host responses, anti-microbial therapy)

Food Microbiology (spoilage and control, food-borne illnesses, use of bacteria in food and beverage production)

Industrial Microbiology (waste water remediation, biotechnology)

Social microbiology (mechanisms of interactions between bacteria, cell-cell signalling, competition and cooperation)

Assessment

Component Course ILOs tested SBS Graduate Attributes tested Weighting Team / Individual Assessment Rubrics
Continuous Assessment
Tutorials
Presentation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1. a, b, c
2. a, e, f
3. a, b, e
5. a, b, c
30 both See Appendix for rubric
Mid-semester Quiz
Multiple Choice Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1. a, b, c
2. a, e
3. g
5. a, c
15 individual See Appendix for rubric
Short Answer Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1. a, b, c
2. a
3. b, g
5. c
15 individual See Appendix for rubric
Examination (2 hours)
Multiple Choice Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1. a, b, c
2. a, e
3. b, g
5. c
20 individual See Appendix for rubric
Short Answer Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1. a, b, c
2. a
3. b, g
5. c
20 individual See Appendix for rubric
Total 100%

These are the relevant SBS Graduate Attributes.

1. Recognize the relationship and complexity between structure and function of all forms of life, resulting from an academically rigorous in-depth understanding of biological concepts

a. Possess a conceptual framework that identifies the relationships between the major domains in the field of biology.

b. Explain the relationship between structure and function of all forms of life at the molecular level

c. Explain the relationship between structure and function of all forms of life at the cellular level

2. Critically evaluate and analyze biological information by applying the knowledge, scientific methods and technical skills associated with the discipline

a. Identify the assumptions behind scientific problems and issues

e. Analyze the validity of qualitative and quantitative scientific data

f. Evaluate results in primary biological literature

3. Develop and communicate biological ideas and concepts relevant in everyday life for the benefit of society

a. Simplify and explain scientific concepts and results of experiments to a non-biologist (avoiding jargon)

b. Display and explain scientific results clearly and persuasively to peers both verbally and in writing (includes the ability to graph data appropriately and accurately).

e. Discuss current critical questions in the field of biology

g. Demonstrate an understanding of the history of ideas and development of the major fields of biology

5. Develop communication, creative and critical thinking skills for life-long learning

a. Learn independently and then share that knowledge with others

b. Learn collaboratively and be willing to share expertise with peers

c. Demonstrate critical thinking skills such as analysis, discrimination, logical reasoning, prediction and transforming knowledge

Formative Feedback

The lectures will use the ResponseWare system to provide feedback in class on concepts and details for each lecture and hence, you will receive regular feedback on your understanding of the details and concepts being taught. (This helps you to achieve intended learning outcomes 1-6).

In the tutorials, you will receive feedback on the correct and incorrect answers in multiple formats, first by direct feedback for each answer given during the course of the tutorial. Second, the class will discuss key answers at the end of each tutorial. (This helps you to achieve intended learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 6).

You will receive feedback after the final exam by way of NTULearn course site, where the lecturer will provide feedback on exam questions that appeared to be the most challenging, with detailed explanation of the core concepts and why particular answers were the most correct. (This helps you to achieve intended learning outcomes 1 to 6).

Learning and Teaching Approach

Lectures
(26 hours)

The lectures provide necessary knowledge and concepts in the field of microbiology, thus addressing outcomes 1 to 6. Lectures will include feedback at least twice during the lecture using the ResponseWare system.

Tutorials
(10 hours)

The tutorials will address ILOs 1-6 and will be performed in groups. You will participate in tutorials to build analytical, research, team work and presentation skills. Primary literature sources will be assigned to groups and they will prepare a presentation on a topic related to the research article. Feedback will be provided throughout the tutorial-based learning program.

Reading and References

Prescott's Microbiology by Joanne M Willey; Linda Sherwood; Christopher J Woolverton; Lansing M Prescott.

Reading will also be provided where it supplements the lectures and in preparation for the tutorials.

Course Policies and Student Responsibilities

(1) General

Students are expected to complete all assigned pre-class readings and activities, attend all tutorial classes punctually and take all scheduled assignments and tests by due dates. Students are expected to take responsibility to follow up with course notes, assignments and course related announcements for seminar sessions they have missed. Students are expected to participate in all tutorial discussions and activities.

(2) Absenteeism

TBL requires you to be in class to contribute to team work. Tutorial activities make up a significant portion of your course grade. Absence from class without a valid reason will affect your overall course grade. Valid reasons include falling sick supported by a medical certificate and participation in NTU’s approved activities supported by an excuse letter from the relevant bodies. There will be no make-up opportunities for tutorial activities.

Academic Integrity

Good academic work depends on honesty and ethical behaviour. The quality of your work as a student relies on adhering to the principles of academic integrity and to the NTU Honour Code, a set of values shared by the whole university community. Truth, Trust and Justice are at the core of NTU’s shared values.

As a student, it is important that you recognize your responsibilities in understanding and applying the principles of academic integrity in all the work you do at NTU. Not knowing what is involved in maintaining academic integrity does not excuse academic dishonesty. You need to actively equip yourself with strategies to avoid all forms of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, academic fraud, collusion and cheating. If you are uncertain of the definitions of any of these terms, you should go to the Academic Integrity website for more information. Consult your instructor(s) if you need any clarification about the requirements of academic integrity in the course.

Course Instructors

Instructor Office Location Phone Email
Case Rebecca Josephine (Assoc Prof) SBS B1N 27 rj.case@ntu.edu.sg

Planned Weekly Schedule

Week Topic Course ILO Readings/ Activities
1

Introduction to Microbiology

1
2

Prokaryote cell: how do we study the invisible?

3
3

Microbial growth and physiology

3, 4
4

Microbial diversity: how different can single celled organisms really be?

2
5

Microbial genetics/gene regulation

3, 4, 5
6

Medical Microbiology

1, 5, 6
7

Controling Microbes: can we win the war on germs?

5, 6
8

Food Microbiology

6
9

Social interactions

3, 4
10

Microbial Ecology: do microbes behave like plants and animals?

1, 5
11

Biogeochemistry: how microbes created the biosphere

1, 5
12

Biotechnology: how we use microbes to improve lives

6

Appendix 1: Assessment Rubrics

Rubric for Tutorials: Presentation (30%)

· Personal grade: Ten (7.5) marks; Participation; (peer feedback AND audience questions)

· Personal grade: Ten (10) marks; Presentation; (grade based on your ability to communicate effectively, use of slides to support verbal communication, engagement with audience)

· Personal grade: Ten (7.5) marks; Audience question period; (grade based on your ability to answer questions, share question time with group members, handle unanswerable questions, engagement with audience)

· Group grade: Ten (5) marks; (your group presentation slides are graded for clarity and effectiveness)

Rubric for Mid-semester Quiz: Multiple Choice Questions (15%)

The midterm and final exam questions will be multiple choice. In all questions there will only be one correct option. Some questions will be based around a scenario described in the exam to facilitate critical thinking and problem solving, while some questions will involve factual recall.

Rubric for Mid-semester Quiz: Short Answer Questions (15%)

Short answer questions will be evaluated by the course coordinators to identify key phrases and labelled diagrams that indicate an understanding of the concepts being tested.

Rubric for Examination: Multiple Choice Questions (20%)

The midterm and final exam questions will have multiple choice questions. In all questions, there will only be one correct option. Some questions will be based around a scenario described in the exam to facilitate critical thinking and problem solving, while some questions will involve factual recall.

Rubric for Examination: Short Answer Questions (20%)

Short answer questions will be evaluated by the course coordinators to identify key phrases and labeled diagrams that indicate an understanding of the concepts being tested.

Appendix 2: Intended Affective Outcomes

As a result of this course, it is expected you will develop the following "big picture" attributes:

Appreciate the role of bacteria in everyday life

Willingness to relate their understanding of microbiological processes to society at large