Design, delivery and evaluation of a bioinformatics education workshop for 13-16-year-olds

Bain, S. A. , Meagher, T. R. and Barker, D. (2020) Design, delivery and evaluation of a bioinformatics education workshop for 13-16-year-olds. Journal of Biological Education, (doi: 10.1080/00219266.2020.1858932) (Early Online Publication)

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Bioinformatics is the use of computers in biology, particularly to analyse DNA and protein sequences and associated data. Bioinformatics has become crucial to most areas of life sciences research. However, bioinformatics education has not kept up with the pace of these advances. To help address this problem, we have designed an open-access bioinformatics workshop for secondary school biology pupils. The workshop is linked to the curriculum in Scotland, addressing learning objectives for Scottish Qualifications Authority Higher Biology and Human Biology. Furthermore, it aims to inspire pupils more generally and includes critical evaluation of evidence as a more generic skill. We delivered this workshop to biology pupils of seven schools in Scotland and conducted evaluations of pupil and teacher feedback. Quantitative pupil and teacher feedback suggests the workshop is useful and enjoyable, with no statistically significant difference between pupils identifying as female and pupils identifying as male. Qualitative responses suggest the workshop gives an increased knowledge of the field of bioinformatics and its importance in everyday life, and that pupils enjoy working in groups. Teachers also highlight the importance of hands-on experience in the classroom. We conclude the workshop is successful in its aims and is suitable for wider deployment.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bain, Dr Stevie
Authors: Bain, S. A., Meagher, T. R., and Barker, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Biological Education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):2157-6009
Published Online:26 December 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Biological Education 2020
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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