Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Professorial Projects: Biology – Immunology

Dr. Nicole Aulik received certification for her online course in immunology.
Kyle Kotajarvi/Winonan

Danielle Stone/Winonan

Dr. Nicole Aulik of the Winona State University biology department, has the honor of being the first professor at Winona State to be Quality Matters (QM) certified for her biology 445 course on Immunology.

The purpose of QM for online courses is to “make sure students have more than a passive experience,” Aulik said.

Once the course was under consideration, biology 445 had to be reviewed by three different reviewers: one master reviewer, another an expert in immunology and the third a master reviewer in biology.

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“You hope that you set a precedent so others follow in your footsteps,” Aulik said, regarding her role as the first to be QM certified.

Some of the QM requirements that Aulik needed to meet included recorded lectures, a rubric used for every writing assignment, and every chapter had to have a list of objectives.

For example, one of Aulik’s immunology course objectives stated, “Students should be able to identify the differences between bone marrow and organ transplantation.”

Immunology, “the study of how the body protects itself from pathogens,” was originally a lecture course offered at Winona State, but Aulik was asked to develop an online version for cohort students from St. Paul who are receiving a Medical Technician degree while completing a clinical laboratory science degree, Aulik said.

Online classes can be taught to “students from any location and level, very good for study abroad students,” Aulik said. “They provide the opportunity to communicate with a broad group, creating more diversity, which adds to class discussions and perspectives.”

However, Aulik explained the difficulties in teaching an online class, especially a challenging one like immunology. In online courses, professors are unable to have direct interaction with their students. In addition, they must create material that is more guided to make the course easier to follow.

In addition to her online course work, Aulik is working on several research projects. Two of them include studying bovine respiratory disease and urinary tract infections.

Aulik’s research on bovine respiratory disease studies two main pathogens, Histosiphilus somni and Mannheinia haemolytica. The project is funded by the USDA.

Aulik and her research team are attempting “to understand how to manipulate the virus and bacteria to lessen the morbidity and mortality,” Aulik said.

Contact Danielle at [email protected]


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