Mini Syllabus

Print Mini Syllabus
Course ID: BIO205
Modality: Internet
Credit Hours: 4.00

Course Section Information

Institution: Rio Salado College

Section: 14723

Term: Fall 2014

Course Materials

Be sure that you have all the necessary materials prior to the start date of your course.

Required Software:

A PC (this course is not MAC compatible), Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader and Flash Player are required for this course. Please refer to your MySite page and click on the Software Purchase link for information on purchasing Word.

Required Textbook:

Title: Microbiology: An Introduction w/CD
Author: Tortora
ISBN: 9780536502858

BIO205 lab kit CD's

Optional Materials:

Title: Microbiology: A Photographic Atlas for the Laboratory
Author: Alexander/Strete
ISBN: 9780805327328

Title: Study Guide to accompany Microbiology: An Introduction
Author: Tortora/Case/Funke
ISBN: 9780805378092

Rio Salado College has developed a unique Textbook Savings Program that uses customized textbooks and saves students up to 50% off the original price of textbooks. This textbook is included in the Textbook Savings Program and has been customized specifically for this course at Rio Salado College by Pearson Custom Publishing so that it contains information most relevant to the course. Your course materials are available through the Rio Salado College Bookstore.  All materials should be verified by ISBN before purchasing at the Rio Salado Bookstore or from another seller.

Course Description and Competencies

Official Course Description
Study of microorganisms and their relationship to health, ecology, and related fields.
Official Course Prerequisites
(BIO156 or BIO181 with a grade of "C" or better or one year of High School biology with a grade of "C" or better) and (a grade of "C" or better in RDG091 or eligibility for CRE101 as indicated by reading placement test score). CHM130 or higher or one year of High School chemistry suggested but not required.
Please Note
Rio Salado College additionally requires that you have earned a C or better within the last eight years in BIO 181 or BIO 156 or have earned a C or better in High School Biology within the last five years.

Official Course Description Fall 2015 and beyond

Official Course Competencies
  1. Identify the major contributors and describe their contributions to the development of microbiology.
  2. Utilize compound microscope to visualize microbial organisms.
  3. Identify structural characteristics of the major groups of microorganisms.
  4. Compare prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  5. Describe physiology and biochemistry common to the various groups of microorganisms as well as differences among groups.
  6. Describe methods of growth and reproduction in various types of microorganisms.
  7. Describe DNA replication, protein synthesis, and mutation in microbes.
  8. Describe microbial methods of DNA recombination including transformation, conjugation, and transduction.
  9. Describe techniques and applications of genetic engineering.
  10. Describe control mechanisms for genetic information in bacteria.
  11. Describe control of microorganisms in the environment and the human body.
  12. Utilize aseptic technique for safe handling of microbes.
  13. Describe human body responses to presence of antigenic substances.
  14. Describe cause, symptoms, course, transmission, and treatment of infectious diseases.
  15. Identify microorganisms in the laboratory, emphasizing bacteria.

Course Requirements

  • Course "check-in"
    • Send an introductory email to your instructor to "check-in" to class.
  • 4 Assignments
    • 2 in each half of the course
  • 10 Online Labs
    • 5 in each half of the course
  • 6 Online Quizzes
    • 3 in each half of the course
  • 2 In-Person Examinations
    • Midterm and Final exam
    • Closed book

This is a four credit-hour class. As such, you will need to dedicate significant time to this course. Plan to devote a minimum of 12-15 hours per week on your course and lab work. Be prepared to double your weekly class and study time if you choose an accelerated calendar.

Note: A passing average (60% or higher) must be earned in the laboratory portion of the course in order to receive a passing grade for the course. If a student does not earn an average of 60% or better on the laboratory portion of the class, the student will receive a failing grade for the class, even if the class grade, including all other assignments, is passing.

Grading Procedure and Scale

Grading procedures are administered equally to all students in the course. Do not expect to receive a grade higher than that earned by your scored work. There will be no point adjustments made for such things as class participation or extra credit.

Hints for Success:

Online learning requires a high degree of self discipline and good time management skills to be successful. This learning format is very flexible and convenient, but these aspects can be detrimental to a procrastinator. Falling behind schedule and failing to study and prepare until the last minute may lower your final grade at least one letter mark, and possibly cause you to fail the course. Consistent and thorough preparation is the key to success in this course. Allot time each night to read the text, review key terms, and take notes. Start your study process generally and work to the specifics as examination time nears (for the midterm and final exam). This is a "funnel shaped" method to studying (general to specific). On the night prior to the exam, review generally one last time. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

4 Essay Assignments (120 points total; 30 points per assignment)

  • Percent of possible points earned is your score.
  • Each assignment accounts for 3% of your total grade.

10 Laboratory Exercises (300 points total; 30 points per lab)

  • Percent of possible points earned is your score.
  • Each laboratory assignment accounts for 3% of your total grade.

6 Online Quizzes (180 points total; 30 points per quiz; 30 questions at one point each)

  • Percent of questions answered correctly is your score.
  • Each online quiz exam accounts for 3% of your total grade.

In-Person Exams (400 points total; 200 points per assessment; 160 points for the multiple choice component (80 questions @ 2 points each) and 40 points for the essay component

  • Percent of questions answered correctly is your score.
  • Each in-person exam accounts for 20% of your total grade.
  • You will be given three hours to complete the midterm and final exams. You will have 45 minutes each for Parts 1 and 2 of the multiple-choice questions, and 90 minutes for the essays.
  • Note: Combined scores on the Midterm and Final exams must have an average of 60% or better in order to receive a passing grade for the course. For example, if you received a 50% on the midterm exam and a 66% on the final exam, your average on those two exams would be a 58% and you would receive a failing grade for the course-even if your class grade, including your other assignments is passing.
Grade Computation:

The average used in each section to calculate your overall score should be the percentage of total points available for that section for this equation to work (for example, if you are graded on a 10 point scale, a 7/10 and a 8/10 is a 75% average (you multiply by 10 to put it on a 100 point scale, and if you're given percentages a 70% and 80% on two assessments is a 75% average - this is out of 100)

Grade Scale (Final Grade):

90-100% = A
80-89% = B
70-79% = C
60-69% = D
0-59% = F
I = Incomplete
W = Withdraw passing
Y = Withdraw failing
P/Z = Pass/Fail - Not Available

GRADE SUMMARY/UPDATES will be sent after the midterm and final exams.


There may be required exam(s) for this course. Please review the "Grading Procedure and Scale" portion of your syllabus for details. Your course materials may give specific information about these exams and make suggestions for test preparation.

Check your course schedule posted in the announcement area by your instructor for specific due dates for your exam(s).

The course schedule lists specific dates for your exam(s). Exams are given at various locations throughout the valley for students who live in Maricopa County.

You may view information on Testing Sites to select the testing location and hours of operation that fit your needs. You may also contact our information line at (480) 517-8560.

Students who live outside of Maricopa County or are registered with Disability Resources and Services may request to have exams proctored. Please contact the Testing Center at (480) 517-8560 or 1-(866) 517-8560 (Toll-free). Requests may also be made on the Internet by filling out and submitting the Proctored Test Request Form.


  • You must complete all exam(s) by the dates specified on the course calendar. Your exam materials will be stamped to verify the date taken. If you test late, your instructor may lower your grade or assign you an "F" in the course unless you have made arrangements with him/her for an extension.

Final Grade Options

  • Letter grade (A, B, C, D, F) - awarded if the student completes all work, including the final exams.
  • Incomplete -Students who are doing acceptable work may request an incomplete grade “I” if they are unable to complete the course requirements by the end of the term because of illness or other extenuating circumstances. If the request is approved by the instructor, he or she shall define, in a written/electronic contract, how the course will be completed.  Please Note: Instructors are not obligated to give incompletes.
  • Withdrawal - Students may submit a withdrawal request on or prior to the “Last Date to Withdraw” indicated in their RioLearn Gradebook.

    Students should not contact their instructor to request a withdrawal. A student wishing to withdraw from a class within the stated timeline must do so by visiting In extreme circumstances, students do have the option of requesting a complete withdrawal from the college by providing Student Enrollment Services with appropriate documentation.

Copyright Acknowledgements

Some images used in courses are licensed as follows: Accunet/AP Multimedia Archive,,, EBSCO Image Collection.

Some photographs © Steven O'dell and Rochelle T. Helminski. Used with permission.

Submitting Assignments

All assignments are listed under the "Readings, Resources, and Assignments" box and in the "Assessing Your Learning" sections of the online lessons. The lessons can be accessed from the "Open My Lesson" links on your lesson preview pages.

Note to students: Keep a copy of everything that you submit.

Students found to have used a free or paid site containing samples of essay questions, quizzes, exams or laboratory assignments will be removed from class and receive a failing grade.

Posting assessments on an unauthorized web site, soliciting assessment answers and the unauthorized acquisition of assessments, assessment answers, or other academic material is cheating.

Repeated cheating and/or plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the course.

Syllabus Acknowledgement

Special Note: The online syllabus acknowledgement found under the Lesson Requirements on the Lesson 1 Preview Page will need to be completed prior to accessing any assignments for the class. If the online syllabus acknowledgement is not completed, students will not be able to open or submit any of the assignments for class. Additionally, if a student is purged from class and has been provided permission by the department to be reinstated, the syllabus acknowledgement must be completed upon reinstatement into the class; even if it had been previously completed.

Late or Missing Assignments

Assignments that have due dates are due on time according to the due dates in your online schedule posted by your instructor.

Late points may be applied at the instructor's discretion.

Course Completion Policy

A student who registers for a Distance Learning course is assigned a "start date" and an "end date." It is the student's responsibility to note due dates for assignments and to keep up with the course work.

Pursuant to the Attendance policy (AR2.3.2) found in the college catalog, students must remain active participants in this online class. When a student fails to participate for more than 7 days in an 8 week class, or for more than 14 days in a 16 week class, they will not be allowed to continue to participate in the class.

Library Services

The Rio Salado Library is committed to student success and provides a variety of materials and services to enhance student learning.  Utilizing Rio’s online library for your research is the best way to ensure that your sources are validated, authoritative, and appropriate for college-level coursework. Librarians are available to help you at all times via our Ask a Librarian live chat service. Also, the How Do I..? Streaming Video Series provides instruction on how to use the online library to find books, articles, ebooks, streaming films, and more.

Please note that when library materials (e.g., articles, ebooks, and streaming media) are integrated into your lesson content, you will see the notation “…provided to you through the Rio Salado Library.

Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct includes cheating, conspiring to cheat, soliciting to cheat, attempting to cheat, plagiarism, fabrication on an assignment, or other forms of dishonest presentation.

Posting assessments on an unauthorized web site, soliciting assessment answers and the unauthorized acquisition of assessments, assessment answers, or other academic material is cheating.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment.  It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling or sharing of term papers or other academic materials.  Information gathered from the Internet and not properly identified is also considered plagiarism.

We expect every student to produce his/her original, independent work. Any student whose work indicates a violation of the MCCCD Academic Misconduct Policy (including cheating and plagiarism) can expect sanctions as specified in the college catalog.

Rio Salado College uses software that uncovers plagiarism from student to student and other data sources on the Internet. If a student is found to have plagiarized content, grade consequences will be applied in accordance with departmental policies.

Civility Policy

The faculty of Rio Salado place a high value on the importance of general ethical standards of academic behavior and expect that communication between students and instructors or among students shall maintain the level of formality and mutual respect appropriate to any college teaching/learning situation.

Language or behavior that is rude, abusive, profane, disruptive, or threatening will not be tolerated. Activity of this type is Academic Misconduct as defined in MCCCD Policy AR 2.3.11. Students engaging in such behavior will be removed from the course with a failing grade. Additional sanctions may be applied pursuant to AR 2.3.11.

Requirement for Active Class Participation

Please note that students may be withdrawn from class for non-participation.

If you receive financial aid of any kind, it is your responsibility to protect your eligibility to receive financial aid by meeting the active participation requirements of this class.

Change of Address

Please notify Course Support at (480) 517-8243 or 1-800-729-1197 or by email at Please include your name, student number, phone number, and new address including city, state, and zip code.

Disability Statement

Rio Salado provides reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Please contact Disability Services at (480) 517-8562 or


Course content may vary from this outline to meet the needs of this particular group.

Rio Salado College Copyright

Course Content © Copyright 2014 Rio Salado College. All Rights Reserved.

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