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ERIC Number: EJ1069862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 48
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Authentic Research Experience and "Big Data" Analysis in the Classroom: Maize Response to Abiotic Stress
Makarevitch, Irina; Frechette, Cameo; Wiatros, Natalia
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v14 n3 Article 27 Sep 2015
Integration of inquiry-based approaches into curriculum is transforming the way science is taught and studied in undergraduate classrooms. Incorporating quantitative reasoning and mathematical skills into authentic biology undergraduate research projects has been shown to benefit students in developing various skills necessary for future scientists and to attract students to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. While large-scale data analysis became an essential part of modern biological research, students have few opportunities to engage in analysis of large biological data sets. RNA-seq analysis, a tool that allows precise measurement of the level of gene expression for all genes in a genome, revolutionized molecular biology and provides ample opportunities for engaging students in authentic research. We developed, implemented, and assessed a series of authentic research laboratory exercises incorporating a large data RNA-seq analysis into an introductory undergraduate classroom. Our laboratory series is focused on analyzing gene expression changes in response to abiotic stress in maize seedlings; however, it could be easily adapted to the analysis of any other biological system with available RNA-seq data. Objective and subjective assessment of student learning demonstrated gains in understanding important biological concepts and in skills related to the process of science.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: MRI-R2 0957312; DIOS 1237931