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Component-Based Approach for Educating Students in Bioinformatics

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4 Author(s)
David Poe ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Oakland Univ., Rochester, MI ; Nirmala Venkatraman ; Christine Hansen ; Gautam Singh

There is an increasing need for an effective method of teaching bioinformatics. Increased progress and availability of computer-based tools for educating students have led to the implementation of a computer-based system for teaching bioinformatics as described in this paper. Bioinformatics is a recent, hybrid field of study combining elements of biology, statistics, and computer science. This paper describes the implementation of a system called bioinformatics foundational learning objects workbench (BioFLOW), that is intended to be used by instructors to educate their students in bioinformatics principles at a variety of grade levels. BioFLOW functions by dividing topics in bioinformatics into modules. These modules cover a wide variety of topics and may be inserted into different courses in bioinformatics-related fields, providing students with a basic understanding of bioinformatics if they choose to pursue it as a field of advanced study. BioFLOW also incorporates a method for assessing the performance of the modules and the students. Assessment includes evaluation of students' learning styles and their performance on quizzes and is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the modules. Utilized together, these tools can be used to refine the content of the teaching modules and thus provide an effective system for educating students in bioinformatics.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 1 )