Blended BIO204 16-wk late start

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BIO204 Microbiology (5 units)

Spring 2024 CRN35034

Lectures: Asynchronous Online

Labs: N2440 Mon and Wed 11am-1:50pm


Elizabeth Lobo PhD

Contact Information:

Email Address:

I understand how important it is to be available for you, however it is not realistic for me to be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I am teaching you at a distance and in person. I am available online through email, discussions, chat, and for in-person and Zoom office hours.

The quickest way to receive a response when contacting me is to use the Canvas Inbox (conversations), Cuesta Email, or the Discussions FAQ thread. 

  • I will generally respond within 24 hours on the weekdays. 
  • During rare occasions in the semester when things are really busy, weekends, holidays, or in the event of personal/family emergencies the response time could be increased to 48 hours.
  • If you have questions, I encourage you to post them in the Discussions FAQ thread. For private matters, contact me using the Canvas Inbox or Cuesta email. Be careful that you are sending the message to only me.
  • If after emailing, you do not hear from me after 48 hrs, please email me again.
  • If your question is not personal, please ask it in the Discussions FAQ thread. This way, you might get answers more quickly if a classmate answers before I can respond. In addition, your classmates can benefit from reading the thread. Please answer your classmates' questions if you know the answer(s).

Office Hours:

In person:

Monday 9-11am in N2440

By appointment Tue and Thu in SLO room 2301

Zoom, by appointment:

Accessible through Zoom. Password = polaris

Course Description:

Microbiology (BIO204) presents the general facts regarding bacteria and other microbial forms, particularly those that affect general health. Laboratory work includes culture techniques, animal host techniques, and identification of microbes.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Define microorganisms, their cellular structures, the corresponding functions, and the significance of microorganisms to biotechnology.
  2. Categorize and compare the characteristics of pathogenic prokaryotes.
  3. Contrast the biological features of viral, fungal, and parasitic infectious agents.
  4. Discriminate the components of the immune system and their respective actions.

Textbook and Required Materials:

Talaro’s Foundations in Microbiology, 12th Edition

McGraw-Hill has partnered with Cuesta College to make this smartbook textbook available digitally to you at a significant discount ($58.81). To access the book, use the First Day Inclusive Access link in Canvas and register with Connect. In future visits to the text, use the McGraw-Hill Connect link in Canvas to get there. This program provides your reading assignments, formative assessments, and Virtual Laboratory exercises.

Technology requirements

With aspects of this class online, BIO204 Microbiology will require a laptop or tablet with a functional camera and microphone, Microsoft Office online (available through Cuesta), Canvas, Zoom, McGraw-Hill Connect, and reliable online access. If we are prevented from testing in person, you will need to have Honorlock for test proctoring when taking online exams. Please keep your Chrome browser and Canvas versions up to date.

If you need help acquiring the necessary technology, please communicate with me directly ( as soon as possible.

Disability Student Programs and Services

If you have a physical, mental, or learning disability that requires any special accommodation, or suspect you may, please contact Disabled Student Programs and Services ( as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the accommodations in a timely manner. I will be happy to discuss and work with you regarding your need for accommodations.

Inherently Inaccessible Required Materials and Skills

A key objective for microbiology is to competently utilize the microscope. 

Throughout this laboratory course, there will be images of microscopic organisms which students must identify, verbally or in writing. Students must learn the parts of the microscope and demonstrate proficient use by focusing on and then drawing specimen. In addition, students must draw and label complex molecular structures. Making the required materials and assessments accessible fundamentally alters both the intent and purpose of the course. 

If you are a blind or severely visually impaired student, please communicate with me ( and Disabled Student Programs and Services ( to inquire about the possibility of accommodation.

College Support Services

Free tutoring, as well as writing and math support, are available if you contact our tutoring and student support services.

The mission of the Cuesta College library is to support and enhance the college's instructional programs by developing and maintaining collections of print and electronic resources to meet the information needs of students and faculty, and by teaching students to access, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically. Please explore the library.

Whether you need guidance with your academic decisions or feel overwhelmed and need someone to talk to, take advantage of our Counseling Services.

To the bravest and best of us, who have served, please take advantage of the Veterans Services.

Help and Technical Support

If you need help with a technical issue, please email Information Technology (

If you need help acquiring necessary technology, please communicate with me directly ( as soon as possible.

For issues specifically relating to the McGraw-Hill Connect program, please contact them. Make sure to get a case number if they are not able to resolve your problem immediately. If the problem persists, provide me with the case number and the problem details so that I can follow up with the publisher's representative directly.

Course and College Policies

Academic Integrity and Discipline

Cheating will be dealt with seriously. It will result in failure of the assignment or exam and may result in failure of the entire course. Cheating includes copying the work of others. Please see the Student Code of Conduct Links to an external site..

Class Opens / Accessing Canvas

Prior to the week classes start, you will receive an email to your address providing you with a reminder that class will be starting and log in procedures for Canvas, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content. You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on the Resources Tab, then clicking on Canvas in the Online Learning Channel, or by typing the Canvas address ( into your browser address bar. Do not bookmark / favorite the Canvas site after your login, or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the Canvas log in directly.

If you are not familiar with logging into Canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference Guide. Once logged into Canvas you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all the directions on the course home page. If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas and need assistance please email me or technical support at this email address:

Once you enter Canvas and the course is available, acquaint yourself by going through Module 0: Course Tutorial.


  • Use respectful and appropriate language in your forum discussions.
  • Please do not use texting language, lol.
  • Emoticons are acceptable ways to show emotion.
  • Avoid CAPS and multiple exclamation points as they come across like YOU'RE SCREAMING!!!
  • You are expected to read all forum posts.
  • You are to respond to the appropriate number of posts for each forum.
  • All messages are public, so be careful and courteous when you post.
  • Make your posts thorough and your replies as well.
  • Complete sentences and thoughts are mandatory for forum posts.
  • Use a person's name when you reply to their post.
  • Use email for private communication.

Student Expectations

Course Delivery, Attendance, and Drop Policy

This blended course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System, Canvas. Canvas provides the framework for the course including PowerPoint presentations and lecture videos, numerous files, links to reading assignments, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. As for communication tools, you can use e-mail, Zoom, and/or you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and groups.

Blended classes incorporate both online and in-person learning. Course lectures will be available in an asynchronous way. That means that when a module opens, you can view the lectures when and as frequently as you wish. The course labs will be in person, with some supplemental virtual lab assignments. This way, you benefit from hands-on training.


Participation in both the online and the in-person components of this class are required for your continued enrollment in the course.  Lecture and Lab materials are selected to achieve the course curriculum outcomes. If you habitually miss lab or do not complete the reading and view the lectures, you will not complete the course objectives and will not pass the class.

Lab absences will be excused only with approved documentation. If you have an emergency that prevents your attendance, communicate as soon as you are able and maintain any documentation as evidence. If more than 4 lab absences occur, we must meet to discuss the possibility of you continuing the course.

If you do not log into Canvas and do coursework for longer than a one week period of time without communicating with me, you may be dropped from the course. If you miss an exam without same-day communication and evidence of emergency, you may be dropped from the course. Exams will take place during scheduled in-person lab time only and will allow one attempt. No exam scores are dropped. Missed assignments may not be made up for credit.

Materials necessary for course

  • Foundations in Microbiology
    • 12th Edition
    • Barry Chess
    • Copyright 2024
  • Supplemental Materials necessary for the class

Time expectations for completion of course

BIO204 Microbiology is a 5 unit, 16-week semester course. As such, students should expect to spend 14.5-15.5 focused hours per week studying. This includes the time spent viewing lectures, visiting lab, conducting virtual labs, and in outside study time as well. The course moves quickly, so you must ensure that you keep up on reading and lab exercise submissions as well as online lecture viewing.

Suggestions for how to succeed in the course

  • Identify the most important reason why you are taking this class. Write it down and post it somewhere that you will see it frequently. Remind yourself of this reason each time you study.
  • Visit office hour and engage with your instructor.
  • Complete reading assignments before viewing lecture recordings.
  • While reading or viewing lectures, take notes.
  • Write down any questions you have as soon as they pop up. This way, you will not forget to ask your instructor.
  • Email me immediately if you have an emergency or need help with something. This class moves quickly and if you delay, you will fall behind.
  • Do not procrastinate.
  • Schedule adequate and consistent study time for yourself and be disciplined in sticking to your study schedule.
  • Make friends with classmates and schedule regular study groups online. Be well-prepared for your study groups. Quiz each other. Some past successful students have built and used Quizlets.
  • Visit the tutor in the Student Success Center.
  • Arrange for assessment and accommodation with DSPS as early as possible, if you have need.
  • During exams, keep an eye on the clock and pace yourself.
  • Never be late to exams. If you arrive more than 10 min late, you may not take the exam or assessment and will score zero.
  • Do not explore unassigned materials online during the semester. It will distract you and may not be accurate. All the exams are based on the materials I provide you. Your time and energy are best spent familiarizing yourself with materials I provide you. If something is confusing, ask for clarification.

Discussion Forum

The Discussion is available for students to interact and ask questions. This is a place where either students or instructors may answer questions. It is a good way to engage with classmates. On occasion, there may be an assignment that requires your participation on the discussion board. Please check the discussion board regularly to see what questions are being asked and answered.

Grading Policy and Assignment Expectations

Grades are determined by adding all points earned and dividing the sum by the points possible. Multiplying this number will give the percent of points earned. Letter grades will be assigned accordingly:

This table shows the letter grades assigned for each percent score.

Letter grade

Percent range
















67- 70%






Below 60%


This table indicates which assignment categories carry which point value.

Assignment type

Points available

Lecture exams


Reading Assignments


Lab Assignments


Case Studies


Lab Assessments


Introduce Yourself


Total points possible



Additional grading information:

  • There is no curving of grades and no scores will be dropped – even a zero for a missed assignment or exam. Students are expected to complete every assignment with no exceptions.
  • There will be occasional extra credit points available throughout the semester.
  • Reminder - you will lose a substantial number of points for unexcused lab absences. You may miss up to 4 before we must meet to determine whether you can achieve the course objectives and continue in the course.

Course Calendar

Make note of particularly large assessment times and dates. Refer to the updated course schedule on Canvas for dates.

Exams: (each worth 100 points)

Exam 1 – 10am 2/26/2024

Exam 2 – 10am 3/20/2024

Exam 3 – 10am 4/22/2024

Exam 4 – 9:45-11:45am Wed of final week* 5/15/2024

Case Studies: (each worth 20 points)

1 – 10am 3/6/2024

2 – 10am 3/18/2024

3 – 10am 4/8/2024

4 – 10am 4/17/2024

5 – 10am 5/8/2024

Lab Assessments: (each worth 15 points)

1 – 2/7/2024

2 – 3/6/2024

3 – 4/3/2024

4 – 5/6/2024

The detailed schedule with these assessments, reading and lab assignments, holidays, and important administrative dates is available in the course schedule found on Canvas.

Cuesta College’s Official COVID-19 policy:

You may view Cuesta College’s current COVID-19 policies at our website.

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