Course Syllabus

Course Description

This course takes a clinical approach to studying microorganisms (in particular, bacteria and viruses), the methods used to identify, classify, and control microbes, the disease processes caused by microbes, and the immune system's response to microbes. An understanding of these principles will help you maintain your own health and protect the health of others.

Course Outcomes

  1. Students will compare and contrast the biological features of bacteria and viruses.
  2. Students will learn how microorganisms are cultured and identified in both laboratory and clinical settings.
  3. Students will learn current clinical applications of hygiene and infectious disease control & prevention to better maintain their health and the health of others.
  4. Students will learn how the body’s natural microbiome and defenses maintain health.
  5. Students will learn how microorganisms contribute to disease.
  6. Students will evaluate scientific information & claims related to microbiology. 

Learning Model

“The challenge before us is to create even more powerful and effective learning experiences in which students learn by faith. This requires, but is more than, teaching by the Spirit. To learn by faith, students need opportunities to take action. Some of those opportunities will come…where students lead and teach one another and participate broadly. Some of them will come in the classroom, where prepared students, exercising faith, step out beyond the light they already possess, to speak, to contribute, and to teach one another. It is precisely in that moment of faith that [the] ‘calling up’ and ‘linking’ of personal effort to the Spirit occurs. It is in that moment that the Spirit teaches.” (Kim B. Clark, “Inaugural Response,” Brigham Young University-Idaho, October 11, 2005).

In this course, students will have the opportunity to prepare, ponder, teach one another, and prove. Students will complete this process through readings and practices, participating in discussions, creating a group presentation, and taking assessments.

Learning Model Principles

  1. Exercise faith in Christ as a principle of action and power.
  2. Understand that true teaching is done by and with the Holy Ghost.
  3. Lay hold upon the word of God as found in the holy scriptures and in the words of the prophets in all disciplines.
  4. Act for themselves and accept responsibility for learning and teaching.
  5. Love, serve, and teach one another.

Required Materials


Microbiology by OpenStax. 

This textbook is a free online educational resource. You may access the textbook using the following methods:

  1. Access the online textbook directly, where you can flip through the chapters as you would with hardcover text. This option provides the ability to quickly jump to the specific chapters you want. This can be found under the Textbook Information module in the course. 
  2. Download the textbook to your device as a PDF under the Textbook Information module in the course. 
  3. The Study pages in the course link directly to the beginning chapter of the assigned readings for that week. 

NOTE: When using the web-based version of the textbook, if you see an option to view the latest version, do not click it. The course has been designed for the specific version of the textbook provided. Updating to a new version could mean that section numbers do not correctly match up with your assigned readings. 

System Requirements

  • High-speed internet
  • Internet browser with latest plugins and updates
  • The ability to use the Google Chrome extension Proctorio for taking exams

Course Activities

Study Pages 

Study pages contain the assigned textbook readings and a corresponding study guide. Tutorial videos that will help with comprehension of specific concepts are also available on these pages. You fill out each study guide document as you read the textbook and view the videos. The study guides are not submitted, but completing them and studying from them is crucial to your success in the course.

During Weeks 06–13, you will have additional study pages that contain video presentations on two different infectious diseases. These infectious diseases and microbes will be covered on quizzes and exams. You are expected to understand the information from these disease presentations.  

Case Studies 

In Weeks 03, 04, 07, 09, 11, and 13, you individually complete a case study where you investigate a relevant topic and respond to questions.

Weekly Course Meetings

Beginning in Week 02, your instructor will hold a weekly course meeting in Zoom. Check your instructor’s announcement for the date and time of the meeting. Although these meetings are not comprehensive over all the material you need to know, your instructor will choose some of the important concepts from the week to review. You can either attend synchronously in Zoom or watch the recording later. Please do not feel like you must attend this live meeting. Again, you can watch the recording at your convenience. 

Watching the meeting is worth five points in your weekly quiz. Each weekly meeting will have a key word that you will report as the last question of your quiz. The on-campus version of this course has attendance and participation points built into the overall final grade. This practice of reporting the key word each week is meant to reward you, an online student, in a similar way an on-campus student would be rewarded for simply attending class and participating. 


At the conclusion of each week, you take a quiz over the week's content. Again, this is where you will report the key word from the weekly course meeting as evidence of your attendance. 


In Weeks 02, 05, 06, 08, 10, and 12, you participate in a discussion where you consider current issues relevant to the concepts in the course. You will be required to create your own thread providing evidence to support your answers and then respond to the threads of your fellow students. 


There will be three regular exams during the course and a final exam.

  • Exam 1: Covers concepts learned in Weeks 02–05.
  • Exam 2: Covers concepts learned in Weeks 06–09.
  • Exam 3: Covers concepts learned in Weeks 10–13.
  • Final Exam: This occurs at the end of the course and is comprehensive over all concepts learned. 

Important Note: All exams are taken with the remote proctoring service Proctorio. Exams are closed-note, meaning that you may not use the textbook, personal notes, or other resources to help you complete this assessment. Weekly quizzes and exams from previous online BIO 221 students are unauthorized resources, and using them is a violation of the Academic Honesty policy. You may not post or share assessment questions or assignment answers with other students. Please adhere to the Academic Honesty agreement you agreed to.


Attendance* 6%
Case Studies  10%
Discussions 12%
Quizzes  26%
Exams 31%
Final Exam  15%

*Attendance is demonstrated in the last question of the weekly quiz. Again, you will report the key word from the weekly course meeting.

Grading Scale
A 93–100%
A- 90–92%
B+ 87–89%
B 83–86%
B- 80–82%
C+ 77–79%
C 73–76%
C- 70–72%
D+ 67–69%
D 63–66%
D- 60–62%
F Below 60%

Late Work

No late course work is accepted in this course.  Make sure that you are aware of due dates for all assignments, discussion posts, quizzes and exams and submit your work on time.  

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

Academic Honesty

As followers of Christ, all BYU-Idaho students, staff, and faculty are expected to be honest in all their dealings. This also applies and extends to behavior and actions related to academic work. It is critical for students to understand the seriousness of academic dishonesty and misconduct, which are not tolerated by the university, and strive to produce and submit only the results of their own effort and original work.

To copy another person’s work from the internet, a book, or from any other source and claiming it to be your own work is plagiarism. Read the official definitions of plagiarism and cheating from the Academic Honesty portion of the Honor Code. It is also a violation of the Honor Code to allow others to use your work, including posting course materials and answers to a website. While students are encouraged to work with one another and share ideas, the direct sharing of answers is unacceptable. Remember: There is never an acceptable excuse for plagiarism or cheating.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

Although the Academic Honesty section of the University Policies explains what constitutes each of the many forms of academic dishonesty, as well as procedures and guidelines for handling such incidents, the specific application of consequences is left up to each individual instructor.

In this course, instructors will be responsible for creating and applying their own policy regarding penalties for academic dishonesty. In some cases, the instructor may report an incident to the Student Honor Office. Cases will be analyzed on an individual basis and penalties applied according to the severity of the misconduct.

Potential penalties now or in the future include the following:

  • Point deductions
  • Receiving a zero on an assignment
  • Failing this course
  • Expulsion from the institution
  • The revocation of your degree

Course AI Use Policy

Generative AI tools to assist in the generation of new ideas and solving complex problems are encouraged, but AI-generated content should never be turned in for a graded assignment that is intended to be in the student's own words.  AI-generated answers should not be submitted in Case Study assignments, and AI-generated posts should not be used in discussions.    AI is a complement to, rather than a replacement for, personal learning efforts.  Approach the use of generative AI tools with the same collaborative spirit as tutoring sessions or one-on-one meetings with professors.  

Course Summary:

Date Details Due