BIMD 202L 05: Introduction to Medical Microbiology Laboratory

BIMD 202L - Introduction to Medical Microbiology Laboratory

2023 Fall Syllabus, Section 05, CRN 2420

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

TR 2pm-3:50pm in Columbia Hall, B730

Instructor Information

Monica Norby, Dr.

Instructor of Record


2023 Fall Office Hours:
Office Hours: By appointment only — Please use Starfish Appointment Scheduler
Columbia Hall B700, SMHS W128, or Zoom Personal Meeting Room: 2673599431

Office Phone: 701-777-4970

Rachel McDougall

Laboratory Experience Manager


Office: B700

Course Description

An introductory laboratory course in the isolation and identification of all types of microorganisms with an emphasis on those that cause disease. Four hours laboratory per week.

Related Sections

  • BIMD 202 01 - Introduction to Medical Microbiology Lecture: Does Not Meet, Monica Norby
  • BIMD 202 02 - Introduction to Medical Microbiology Lecture: MWF 11:15am-12:05pm, Monica Norby

Learning Outcomes

A student successfully completing BIMD 202L will:

1.Goal #1 - Demonstrate proficiency in microbiology laboratory techniques.

  • correctly use a brightfield microscope to view and interpret slides
  • properly prepare slides of microbial examination
  • properly use aseptic techniques for the transfer and handling of microorganisms
  • correctly use standard microbiology laboratory equipment

2.Goal #2 – Demonstrate laboratory reasoning skills.

  • accurately interpret growth on microbiological media
  • plan and carry out experiments to accurately identify microorganisms
  • analyze results from test systems to accurately identify microorganisms

Course Materials

Required Laoratory Supplies

  1. Procedures for the Undergraduate Microbiology Laboratory. Only available at the UND Bookstore or print from Blackboard.
  2. Flexible 3-ring binder for “Procedures for the Undergraduate Microbiology Laboratory”
  3. Box of examination gloves. Available at the UND Bookstore or other locations.
  4. Black Sharpie marker, pencils, and/or pens to be used exclusively for lab (will be left in your drawer)
  5. Top Hat Pro subscription ( A full breakdown of all subscription options available can be found here: If you are using Top Hat in multiple courses, you only need to purchase one subscription. The same subscription can be used across all of your courses.

You must register with your email address. You can register for our Top Hat course by visiting the course website: 11:00-1:00 2:00-4:00 ( .  If you already have a Top Hat account, you can join our course by entering the Join Code. Our course Join Code 838350 (11:00-1:00) 107215 (2:00-4:00).  

You can visit the Quick Start Guide which outlines how you will register for a Top Hat account, as well as providing a brief overview to get you up and running on the system. Should you require assistance with Top Hat at any time, since they require specific user information to troubleshoot these issues, please contact their Support Team directly by way of email, the in-app support button, or by calling 1-888-663-5491.

Course Logistics

Course Overview

Prior to the start of the first week you should have reviewed the syllabus, read the Lab Safety in the Lab Manual (At the UND bookstore, posted in Blackboard, and posted in Top Hat), and taken the Laboratory Safety Quiz on Top Hat.

The BIMD 202 Lab Experience

Pre-lab completed on Top Hat prior to beginning a new lab. Pre-lab must be completed before coming to lab to prepare you for the experience. You have two chances for getting the correct answer with the pre-lab. Late pre-labs will not be accepted and will result in a zero unless approved by instructor PRIOR to due date. Follow the course schedule and Top Hat closely to avoid missed pre-labs. 

Lab Experience completed at Columbia Hall labs. Allows engagement in hands-on learning while you complete the exercises described in the pre-lab. Attendance is required. All missed labs must have prior approval from instructor of record and TA. Unexcused, missed labs will result in a reduction of participation points.

Post-lab completed on Top Hat one week after lab is completed. Post-labs reflect on the lab experience by asking questions that aim to assess your understanding of the concepts.  You have two chances for getting the correct answer with the post-lab. Late post-labs will not be accepted and will result in a zero unless approved by instructor PRIOR to due date. Follow the course schedule and Top Hat closely to avoid missed post-labs. 


Email is the best method of contact. If you are sending an email to Dr. Norby please CC your TA to also keep them informed. Please use your UND email account and indicate your class/section/TA. (For example BIMD 202L/PM/Norby)

Emails will be responded to within 24 hours during the work week (Monday-Friday). Emails sent on the weekend will be responded to by 5:00 pm on Monday. 


Pre-Lab (20%)

Top Hat Pre-lab Assignments90

There are 18 Prelab assignments. These will provide background on the concepts and procedures that will be covered in lab. Due by class time prior to the beginning of each new lab #. 

Post Lab (41%)

Top Hat Post-lab Assessments190

There are 19 Post Lab assignments. These will assess understanding of concepts covered in lab. Due by class time, one week after the conclusion of the lab #. 

Morphologic Unknown (4%)

Morphologic Unknown20

There is one morphological unknown. This will assess procedural knowledge and concept understanding of the Gram stain and microscopy. It is completed in lab and no make-up available for the Morphological Unknown.

Clinical Challenge (13%)

Clinical Challenge60

There is one, multi-day clinical challenge. This will assess procedural knowledge and laboratory reasoning skills. The clinical challenge is completed in lab and no make-up is available.

Lab Practical (11%)

Lab Practical50

This will assess understanding of concepts covered in lab. The lab practical will be open book and administered on Top Hat as a timed exam. You will be able to start the exam at any time, but you will have a set time to complete it once started. 

Participation (11%)


Your attendance in lab is required. Prior approval of missed labs due to extenuating circumstances must be discussed with Dr. Norby.

0-2 missed lab sessions = 50 

3 = 45 

4 = 40

5 = 30

6 = 20 

7 = 10 

8+ = 0

Assessment Summary

Assignment Points
Pre-Lab Assignments (18)  90
Post-Lab Reviews (18)


Morphologic Unknown


Clinical Challenge


Lab Practical


Attendance  50


Final Grade Scale

90-100% A

80-89% B

70-79% C

60-69% D

< 59% F

Total points will be carried out to the tenths place value and rounded up to the nearest whole number for the final grade (≥5 is rounded up). For example, if your final grade is 79.4%, that would round to a 79% and you would have a C. If your final grade is 79.6%, that would round to an 80% and you will have a B. No exceptions will be made to this rounding.

Any suspected errors in grading must be called to my attention via e-mail.

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Day: Date: Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
Tue 8/22 No Class
No Class
Thu 8/24 Syllabus & Lab Safety Syllabus & Lab Saftey Lab Safety Quiz on Top Hat Due Before Class time
Tue 8/29 Lab 1 Lab 1 Lab 1 Prelab
Thu 8/31 Lab 2 Continue Lab 1
Start/Finish Lab 2
Lab 2 Prelab
Tue 9/5 Lab 3 Finish Lab 1
Start/Finish Lab 3
Lab 3 Prelab
Thu 9/7 Lab 4 Start Lab 4 Lab 2 Post Lab
Lab 4 Prelab
Tue 9/12 Finish Lab 4 (Clinical scenarios) Lab 1 Post Lab
Lab 3 Post Lab
Thu 9/14 Lab 5 Start/Finish Lab 5 Lab 5 Prelab
Tue 9/19 Morphologic Unknown Start/Finish Lab 6 (no pre/post lab) Lab 4 Post Lab
Thu 9/21 Lab 7 Start Lab 7 Lab 5 Post Lab
Lab 7 Prelab
Tue 9/26 Lab 8 Finish Lab 7
Start/Finish Lab 8
Lab 8 Prelab
Thu 9/28 Lab 9 Start Lab 9 Lab 9 Prelab
Tue 10/3 Lab 10 Finish Lab 9
Start Lab 10
Lab 7 Post Lab
Lab 8 Post Lab
Lab 10 Prelab
Thu 10/5 Lab 11 Finish Lab 10
Start Lab 11
Lab 11 Prelab
Tue 10/10 Lab 12 Finish Lab 11
Start Lab 12
Lab 9 Post Lab
Lab 12 Prelab
Thu 10/12 Lab 13 Finish Lab 12
Start Lab 13
Lab 10 Post Lab
Lab 13 Prelab
Tue 10/17 Lab 14 Finish Lab 13
Start Lab 14
Lab 11 Post Lab
Lab 14 Prelab
Thu 10/19 Lab 15 Finish Lab 14
Start Lab 15
Lab 12 Post Lab
Lab 15 Post Lab
Tue 10/24 Lab 16 Finish Lab 15
Start Lab 16
Lab 13 Post Lab
Lab 16 Prelab
Thu 10/26 Lab 17 Finish Lab 16
Start Lab 17
Lab 14 Post Lab
Lab 17 Prelab
Tue 10/31 Lab 18 Finish Lab 17
Start Lab 18
Lab 15 Post Lab
Lab 18 Prelab
Thu 11/2 Lab 19 Continue Lab 18
Start/Finish Lab 19
Lab 16 Post Lab
Lab 19 Prelab
Tue 11/7 Lab 20 Finish Lab 18
Start Lab 20 (No Prelab)
Thu 11/9 Continue Lab 20 Lab 19 Post Lab
Tue 11/14 Continue Lab 20 Lab 18 Post Lab
Thu 11/16 Continue Lab 20
Tue 11/21 No Class
Thu 11/23 Continue Lab 20
Case Study
Tue 11/28 Continue Lab 20 (only need to come if not finished) Lab Practical Final opens online (Due Dec 7th)
Thu 11/30 No Class Meeting Lab 20 Post Lab Due
Tue 12/5 No Class Meeting Lab Practical Final Due at Class Time
Thu 12/7 No Class
Tue 12/12 No Class


This is a place to add things like resources, rubrics, etc.

Course Policies

Attendance and Completion Policies

It is expected that you complete all pre-lab/post-lab Top Hat assignments as outlined in the Top Hat course. Points will be awarded on successful completion of each assignment. Pre-lab assignments must be completed prior to the start of each lab. Post-lab reviews will be due one week after a lab experience has concluded. Watch the due dates listed in Top Hat for specific dates and times. All items will be due at class time on the due date. All late submissions must be approved by the instructor PRIOR to the due date. No late submissions without PRIOR approval will be accepted. 

It is expected that you will attend all lab sessions. If you are unable to attend a lab for any reason, please let your instructor and TA know prior to lab.

Safety Expectations

In order to be admitted into labs, students must always demonstrate appropriate conduct. Examples include:

  • being prepared before coming to lab
  • arriving to lab on time
  • cleaning lab benches before and after performing experiments
  • listening to and following instructions given by TA
  • wearing a lab coat (provided for you)
  • wearing close-toed shoes that cover the top of the foot
  • tying long hair back
  • caring for all laboratory equipment properly
  • turning off your ceramic heater burner before leaving lab
  • working on individual unknowns independently
  • participating in group experiments and projects
  • completing all experiments
  • washing hands before leaving the lab

Every student will sign a Laboratory Safety Agreement before the start of the first lab.

Because of the nature of the organisms that we work with in microbiology, cell phones and computers should not be used in the lab. Failure to dress properly and adhere to all safety regulations and rules of the microbiology lab may result in denied admission to the lab and failure of the course.

Immune-compromised students (including those who are pregnant or may become pregnant) and students living with or caring for an immune-compromised individual should consult a physician to determine the appropriate level of participation in the laboratory.

Other Protocols

Proper labeling and disposing of laboratory materials is imperative in the microbiology lab.

  • All cultures must be clearly labeled to include the experiment number and the name of student(s). Do not place tape or write on the caps of tubes. You may write on the tube itself, but do not write on the cap. Write on the bottom (media side) of Petri plates.
  • After use, commercially prepared slides must be wiped with a KimWipe and a lens cleaning wipe, then placed back in their slide carton.
  • Slides prepared by students and disposable pipettes must be placed in the covered flat plastic pans (coffins) containing disinfectant in the center of the lab bench.
  • Place used gloves in the container marked biohazard only.
  • Petri plates must be bundled with masking tape and placed in the biohazard container.
  • Paper towels must be thrown in the regular wastepaper basket.
  • Unused media and supplies should be placed back on the top shelf of the cart.
  • After a tube or plate has been opened, it should be considered contaminated, and should not be put back with the original stock. 

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171;; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).