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BIOL 455 General Microbiology

  • School:
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  • Professor:
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    Wong,Peter, Hancock,Lynn, Martha, SmithCaldas, alinadelamota, Christopher Herren, Mitchell Hinton
  • Average Course Rating (from 4 Students)

    3.0/5
    Overall Rating Breakdown
    • 4 Advice
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  • Course Difficulty Rating

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    • Medium 50%

    • Hard 50%

  • Top Course Tags

    Background Knowledge Expected

    A Few Big Assignments

    Always Do the Reading

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    • Profile picture
    Jul 27, 2017
    | Would recommend.

    Not too easy. Not too difficult.

    Course Overview:

    This class gives you a very good idea about what is going on in the eyes of microorganisms living on this earth. The professor is very passionate about the subject, and is very fun listening to. The PowerPoints along with the objectives of the course that she provides to your are very helpful for studying for upcoming tests. She is also always willing to help you with questions that you might have. She has a very calm and kind-hearted personality that will make you come to class just for listening to some of her jokes! The TAs in the lab are also very nice and willing to help you with questions you might have. The professor occasionally comes by and will check on the class and how everyone is doing. Both the lab and lecture are very helpful to understand the subject taught. All topics are relevant and interesting topics to talk about, although some information might be a review for you (which will deepen your knowledge even further). I would recommend this class because all the information provided to you are being explained very well and in a structured way. It is definitely not one of those boring courses that are out there.

    Course highlights:

    Since there is a lab section in addition to the lectures, it is really nice getting to know microbiology from the lab perspective as it is very different from gaining the theoretical knowledge- you can actually apply it in the lab. I liked the very first lab and last one the best because both proved to be very interesting. The first one shows the ubiquity of microorganisms on different surfaces and it is just surreal to actually see proof in all the petri dishes that you have contaminated. Also, learning all the different techniques were very interesting and unique because you start improving your laboratory skills that are especially handy in advanced chemistry classes. Plus, you are contaminating a tube or petri dish yourself!! Isn't that the coolest thing?! The last lab was another highlight of taking this class because you received an unknown bacteria and you were supposed to detect it by using certain testing techniques that you choose based on all the testings you have performed throughout the semester. It is really interesting because you can rule out other bacteria based on negative or positive tests and then you go on what other biochemical characteristic you could test. This lab helps you retain the information you have learned a lot better since you look back at what you have done the whole semester. I learned that there is a big variety of bacteria and that while there are bad ones, there are also good ones that we benefit from. I believe that I also improved my lab skills which helped me with my chemistry lab as well. I have gained a lot of knowledge that I cannot wait to apply in other biology courses that I will be taking!

    Hours per week:

    6-8 hours

    Advice for students:

    I really suggest working with the objectives and PowerPoints that are provided to you. I personally took written notes because I learn a lot better that way. However, I only noted the most important things that the professor mentioned since most of the information was already presented on the PowerPoint. She likes to work with a lot of diagrams to help students understand better which is another reason why you should make use of the PowerPoint (she also likes to use diagrams on exams). The lab and lecture differ sometimes a little bit. While you have tests in both, you should definitely regard both as separate classes, although you may be able to apply some of the information learned in the lecture in lab or vice versa. It is just a lot of information to handle, and focusing on the material that you learn in the lecture when a lecture exam is coming up, that is what you should be focusing on and not the lab material that you have been covering for the last couple days. My other advice would be to answer all the objectives in a structured way. I would also start reviewing lecture notes a week before the exam since it can be a lot of information that is being covered! Other than that you should try to understand the information you are learning because it will be easier to retain it that way. AND have fun with it! The instructors are really nice people.

    • Spring 2017
    • SmithCaldas
    • Yes
    • Background Knowledge Expected Great Intro to the Subject A Few Big Assignments
    • Profile picture
    Apr 25, 2017
    | Probably wouldn’t recommend.

    This class was tough.

    Course Overview:

    I would not recommend taking BIOL455- General Microbiology from Dr. Christopher Herren. Dr. Herren is a very intelligent man, but unfortunately does not know how to convert information in a way which others understand. The learning experience with Dr. Herren was nothing short of unsatisfactory, and his effort in teaching the course was poor.

    Course highlights:

    I did not learn much from this course, which is a shame because it is basic information that is needed for advanced courses.

    Hours per week:

    9-11 hours

    Advice for students:

    I would definitely take this course at a community college level if at all possible. The learning experience will be more personalized, and for a subject like microbiology you will definitely benefit from more one on one time with a professor.

    • Fall 2016
    • Christopher Herren
    • Yes
    • Background Knowledge Expected A Few Big Assignments Requires Lots of Research
    • Profile picture
    Nov 30, 2016
    | Probably wouldn’t recommend.

    This class was tough.

    Course Overview:

    The class itself is interesting, but there are just so many details that have to be memorized and the professor does not do a good job at explaining them. I probably wouldn't recommend this class mainly because you have to teach a lot of the material to yourself.

    Course highlights:

    The lab portion of the class was definitely the most interesting. I learned a lot of lab techniques and tests for bacteria that will be useful for the rest of my science major.

    Hours per week:

    6-8 hours

    Advice for students:

    Make sure you have enough time to put in the effort of learning the material on your own time. Also, online quizlets are the best way to study for sure!

    • Fall 2016
    • Mitchell Hinton
    • Yes
    • Background Knowledge Expected Always Do the Reading A Few Big Assignments

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