Course syllabus



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COURSE SYLLABUS



Bioterrorism

WELCOME


Welcome to the Land of Terror, Bioterror that is. The conventional exams given in this course are to assess your absorption of the content while the bioterrorism exercises are to assess your ability to think critically with that content in responding to, planning for and preventing bioterrorism events. You will enter the world of diseases that have made the bioterror hit parade and learn the inner secrets of those diseases. Don your masks, turn on the oxygen supply (or hold your breath) and let's go!

COURSE TITLE:

Bioterrorism


 

COURSE OVERVIEW:

This course is a fully online course and is part of the elective courses for the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and the Master of Public Health degree programs.



COURSE COORDINATOR:

        Enid Sisskin, Ph.D.



OFFICE

           Bldg 63, Room 133



CONTACT INFORMATION:

esisskin@uwf.edu or (850) 473-7473



School of Allied Health and Life Sciences,

University of West Florida


PREREQUISITES OR COREQUISITES:

Those interested in this course or the Master of Public Health Program should contact Dr. Sisskin at 850-473-7473 or ESisskin@uwf.edu




COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Biological weapons employed against man (emphasis), animals and plants will be discussed during the semester. The major biological agents targeted for use as weapons against humans will be dealt with in detail including the various clinical forms induced by exposure to the agents, prophylaxis and treatment for the resulting diseases and the primary routes of dissemination of the agents studied.

The class will cover the potential for biowarfare/bioterrorist acts, how destruction is produced, and what countries/groups have access to sufficient bioagent or the capacity for producing large quantities of biological agents for use as a weapon. Wargames in which bioagents are employed, including casualty estimates and socioeconomic impact, will be discussed and played out. Government preparedness to deal with biowarfare/bioterrorism will be addressed with emphasis on plans for surveillance and response. Offered concurrently with BSC 4854; graduate students will be assigned additional work.

For additional details, please see the official UWF Catalog



MPH COMPETENCIES/STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SACS): 

MPH Competencies

 Upon graduation a student with an MPH should be able to…

 

EPIDEMIOLOGY:


  • Identify key sources of data for epidemiologic purposes.

  • Identify the principles and limitations of public health screening programs.

  • Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place.

  • Apply the basic terminology and definitions of epidemiology.   

  • Draw appropriate inferences from epidemiologic data

PUBLIC HEALTH BIOLOGY- cross cutting 

Specify the role of the immune system in population health.



  • Explain the biological and molecular basis of public health.

  • Explain the role of biology in the ecological model of population-based health.

  • Articulate how biological, chemical and physical agents affect human health.

  • Explain how genetics and genomics affect disease processes and public health policy and practice.

  • Integrate general biological and molecular concepts into public health.

  • Apply biological principles to development and implementation of disease prevention, control, or management programs.

SACS/ State of Florida Student Learning Outcomes

As part of our fulfillment of SACS accreditation and Florida legislative mandates, the following course objectives (student learning outcomes) are presented.  This course meets the following programmatic goals for the B.S./MS  Biology and MPH degree programs:



Content and Critical Thinking

  • Students will be expected to apply the basic principles of epidemiology and demonstrate an understanding of the rules governing the occurrence of epidemics of infectious diseases.

Communication 

  • Students will be able to describe the contemporary and future importance of infectious diseases on a global scale and the role played by environmental destruction and overpopulation on the success and spread of infectious diseases.

  • Students will be able to discuss the most important infectious diseases affecting man, and of the microbial, host and environmental factors that contribute to such epidemics.


Fulfillment of these goals will be assessed as described below, in quizzes and assignments in which students will demonstrate their ability to apply the principles of infectious disease epidemiology and the rules governing the occurrence of epidemics of infectious disease. For the purposes of programmatic assessment, the following mastery levels will be used:

        Characteristics of Submitted Student Work and Assignments



 SKILL MASTERY LEVEL

CONTENT AND CRITICAL THINKING

COMMUNICATION

Exceeds Expectations (Very Good to Excellent)

Student consistently demonstrates clarity of thought process. Student demonstrates excellent ability to grasp central concepts and to think logically to synthesize appropriate conclusions.

Student shows clear expression of ideas in writing with proper spelling and grammar and an ability to integrate their ideas into the literature on bioterrorism. Clarity of writing includes adherence to style and writing which is grounded in a comprehensive review of the literature. Student draws conclusions by integrating data/results with existing literature. Student makes every attempt to integrate previous comments and suggestions regarding how to improve communication skills.

Meets Expectations (Satisfactory)

Student demonstrates basic level of understanding and ability that rarely surpassed expectations.

Student demonstrates only adequate implementation of above Very Good-Excellent characteristics.

Below Expectations (Unsatisfactory)

Student demonstrates critical inability to grasp central concepts or to think logically to synthesize appropriate conclusions.

Student maintains a lack of adherence to technical writing style and skills, uses improper grammar and spelling, and has an inability to clearly express ideas in writing and to integrate those ideas into the literature on bioterrorism. Student does not integrate previous comments and suggestions regarding how to improve communication skills.

 
REQUIRED TEXTS/MATERIALS:

There is no required text for this course.



SPECIAL TECHNOLOGY UTILIZED BY STUDENTS: (beyond baseline requirements of e-mail and word processing)

Students are encouraged to use Mozilla Firefox (mozilla .com) as their browser and complete this course utilizing the equivalent of a cable-speed modem. Completing the course modules via a telephone dial-up connection will require significant download times for larger audio-visual content.


GRADING/EVALUATION:
Exams: There will be three non-cumulative exams. There are NO MAKEUP exams given in this course. However, your final grade for the course will be based on the average of your grades from the three exams plus the grades on "other assignments" listed below. The average grade for the exams will count 60% of the final grade in the course.

Other Assignments: Approximately every other week you will have a “bioterrorism attack scenario” with which to deal.  This may include, but is not limited to, a scenario in which a biological attack has occurred and you must, for example, identify the agent(s) involved, describe a community/governmental response to that incident, tell how you would prepare for future incidents of this type, etc.  The average grade for these assignments will count 40% of your course grade.

Graduate Students: A graduate student enrolled in this course for credit will be given one additional essay exam to complete at the conclusion of the semester.

Grading Scale:

A   = 95 - 100%

A-  = 90 – 94.9%

B+ = 87 – 89.9%

B   = 84 – 86.9%

B-  = 80 – 83.9%

C+ = 77 - 79.9%

C   = 74 - 76.9%

C-  = 70 - 73.9%

D+ = 67 - 69.9%

D   = 63 - 66.9%

F   < 63%

    For last drop date, see Academic Calendar.

Compliance with UWF Policies on Satisfactory Progress: If you have a question regarding the UWF policies for assignment of grades of 'W' or 'I', please visit the UWF Withdrawal Policy or the  UWF Incomplete Grade Policy.

 

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:

Every effort will be made to accommodate the special needs of disabled students. Please contact the instructor during the first week of class to inform him of your particular needs. All such accommodations are officially arranged through the Office for Disabled Student Services and a letter from this office must accompany your request.

WHAT WILL BE COVERED IN THIS COURSE?

The first several lectures of this course will cover the history and an introduction to the agents of bioterrorism. Biological weapons employed against man (emphasis), animals and plants will be discussed during the semester. The major biological agents targeted for use as weapons against humans will be dealt with in detail including the various clinical forms induced by exposure to the agents, prophylaxis and treatment for the resulting diseases and the primary routes of dissemination of the agents studied.



The class will cover the potential for biowarfare/bioterrorist facts, how the quantity of agent required for use as a weapon of mass destruction is produced, and what countries/groups have access to sufficient bioagent or the capacity for producing large quantities of biological agents for use as a weapon. War game in which bioagents are employed, including casualty estimates and socioeconomic impact, will be discussed and played out. Government preparedness to deal with biowarfare/bioterrorism will be addressed with emphasis on plans for surveillance and response.

TOPICS COVERED:


    

Topic

1.

Historical perspectives

2.

Who has the pathogens?

3.

Danger of biowarfare/terrorist acts

4.

Wargames/casualty estimates/ estimates of socioeconomic impact

5.

Biological agents employed against plants and animals

6.

Anti-human Biological Agents - Types and Characteristics

7.

Anthrax, Plague

8.

Tularemia, Q fever

9.

Smallpox, Viral hemorrhagic fevers

10.

Viral equine encephalitis, Botulism

11.

Ricin, Staphylococcus enterotoxin B (SEB)

12.

Other possibilities(manufacturing issues; government preparedness-surveillance, response plans)

 

Total instructional hours= 48

EXPECTATIONS FOR ACADEMIC CONDUCT/PLAGIARISM POLICY: 

  • Academic Conduct Policy [Web]

  • Plagiarism Policy [http://uwf.edu/sahls/bicons/icon_pdf.gif PDF]

    • Student Handbook [http://uwf.edu/sahls/bicons/icon_pdf.gif PDF]

  • It is the philosophy of The University of West Florida that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts.

  • In addition, any behavior that interferes with the conduct of a class is classified as disruptive behavior and will not be tolerated. Although not exhaustive, examples of disruptive behavior would include: inappropriate or threatening online postings or e-mails, etc.  

QUALITY ASSURANCE 

This course is reviewed during the semester and in an ongoing basis for quality by assessment personnel within the School of Allied Health and Life Sciences (SAHLS) to meet national standards established by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Council on Education for Public Health, and/or to address quality enhancement initiatives of SAHLS. Student feedback is also vital to this process. When reviewing our programs, our accrediting partners expect to see 100% participation in the State-of-Florida mandated SUSSAI (State University System Student Assessment of Instruction) evaluations. Thus, at the end of the semester, we need to hear from the folks that enjoyed the class and from the folks that have suggestions for improvement (ok, and from the folks that want to fill out the survey as quickly as possible with no comments to share!). BUT, we do need to hear from each and every student in this class, and we value your input.

When SUSSAI evaluations are ready for you to complete, you will see a News posting in the course. Please take a few minutes to complete this anonymous, brief web-based evaluation on this course.

Need help? Contact Connie Works at (850) 474-3080 or cworks@uwf.edu for assistance! Please be assured that all evaluations that are completed online are of a confidential matter. Your name, social security number, and e-mail address will not be revealed to your instructor, department, or college. Only one evaluation per course per student can be submitted. Please do not delay completing the evaluation when the time approaches. Due to the significance of this information, I will not be able to pre-release grades in eLearning if we are not close to the 100% participation goal before finals week. Thank you. 



ONLINE TEST TAKING GUIDELINES: 

Please do not begin any timed, online exam in the course that may overlap with the eLearning maintenance window. The eLearning maintenance window runs 3:00-6:00 am CST (Central Standard Time) each day. If you initiate an exam that overlaps with this time and experience any technical errors, your recorded score is likely to be close to 0 for such an attempt. There are no exceptions to this policy.  

If you experience any other technical problems or errors during any timed exam that does not overlap with the eLearning maintenance window, you are required to notify the Helpdesk immediately at helpdesk@uwf.edu or (850) 474-2075.

Failure to contact the HelpDesk to report the problem will result in a grade of 0 automatically being assigned. If you are unable to get immediate assistance from the HelpDesk during the exam, but have documented the problem in an email or voice mail, you may attempt to restart the exam using the same browser, or attempt to re-enter the exam with another browser. If you are still unable to restart the exam and continue with saving, please note that for your final submitted score to be recorded, you MUST still prove that you documented the original technical problem with the HelpDesk via helpdesk@uwf.edu or (850) 474-2075. Failure to do so will result in an automatic grade of 0 being assigned. 




ASSISTANCE:
 

 

Students with special needs who require specific examination-related or other course-related accommodations should contact Disabled Student Services (DSS), dss@uwf.edu, (850) 474-2387. DSS will provide the student with a letter for the instructor that will specify any recommended accommodations.  



Every effort will be made to accommodate the special needs of disabled students. Please inform the instructor privately during the first week of class to indicate your particular needs. All such accommodations are officially arranged through the Office for Disabled Student Services and a letter from this office must accompany your request.  

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY:  

It is the philosophy of The University of West Florida that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University.  

Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts. 
     

DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR 

Any behavior that interferes with the conduct of a class is classified as disruptive behavior and will not be tolerated. 



 

 

 



 

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