Micro Online Complete-Lab, or MOC-Lab, was created to meet the demand for quality online lab instruction for microbiology. Prior to development of this package, the greatest obstacle to online micro has been providing an experience at home that provides an acceptable alternative to the unique and engaging experiences students encounter in a microbiology wetlab. We have designed a variety of activities to resolve this shortcoming and provide a rich and engaging experience for students. Here is what you will find in this course:
1. Computer Simulation. Intuitive Systems, Inc. has created the most realistic and comprehensive simulation of working in a microbiology lab. Many community colleges use this as the basis for their online microbiology instruction.
VUMIEtm 2012 is truly a "flight simulator" for learning about aseptic technique, biochemical tests, and bacterial identification from your computer. It forces students to think like those in a wetlab and allows students to make the same types of mistakes that could be made when working in a wetlab.
Its Virtual Lab Report is like a "black box" or "flight data recorder" to report to the instructor all of the work done by the student, including any shortcuts or mistakes a student makes in choosing a medium for a test, doing an aseptic transfer, or interpreting results. Nothing gets by it!
There is also an excellent free lab manual that accompanies the software called Micro Digital Media which can be used to guide students through a variety of topics, teaching students about bacterial anatomy and physiology, immunity and diseases, and even how to create scientific research posters.
This software is used in 13 of the 16 topic sections in MOC-Lab, and chances are your instructor will rely on it to teach many basics of micro lab.
2. Scavenger Hunts. One way to help students see how often microbiology influences our world around us is to get students out beyond the textbook to explore a bit. So, we have designed "scavenger hunts" for that purpose. We will send you shopping to read labels and online to do some fact-finding that will show you how products purchased routinely are produced and packaged with microbes in mind, and why water safety, food safety, restaurant practices, and even the use of your refrigerator all have an impact on health and safety in our daily lives. Your household cleaners and first aid kit will become points of interest as we examine their role in controlling microbial growth. "Microbes around us" will take on new meaning and significance.
3. Kitchen Microbiology. You may not be aware of how much microbiology makes its way into the foods and drinks you encounter regularly. We will look at that, and then go deeper to see how the physiology of the bacteria is responsible for the chemical changes that result in unique flavors and products we purchase regularly. Your kitchen will become a laboratory for conducting some safe microbial experiments for the purpose of exploring topics of importance for this course.
If your microbiology lab is a hybrid between online and in-lab activities, Kitchen Microbiology will be replaced by in-lab activities chosen and supervised by your instructor.
Each activity is accompanied by a deliverable product to your instructor - an online quiz, a worksheet, a project report. Through this approach, students benefit from the guidance of the instructor in preparing a course tailored to the needs and purposes of their institution. Instructors receive feedback on student performance provided in a secure manner. Our intent is to make MOC-Lab fun and interesting for the student, and flexible and easy for the instructor.