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ERIC Number: EJ826017
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Exploring DNA Structure with Cn3D
Porter, Sandra G.; Day, Joseph; McCarty, Richard E.; Shearn, Allen; Shingles, Richard; Fletcher, Linnea; Murphy, Stephanie; Pearlman, Rebecca
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v6 n1 p65-73 Spr 2007
Researchers in the field of bioinformatics have developed a number of analytical programs and databases that are increasingly important for advancing biological research. Because bioinformatics programs are used to analyze, visualize, and/or compare biological data, it is likely that the use of these programs will have a positive impact on biology education. Over the past years, we have been working to help biology instructors introduce bioinformatics activities into their curricula by providing them with instructional materials that use bioinformatics programs and databases as educational tools. In this study, we measured the impact of a set of these materials on student learning. The activities in these materials asked students to use the molecular structure visualization program Cn3D to locate, identify, or analyze diverse features in DNA structures. Both the experimental groups of college and high school students showed significant increases in learning relative to control groups. Further, learning gains by the college students were correlated with the number of activities assigned. We conclude that working with Cn3D was important for improving student understanding of DNA structure. This study is one example of how a bioinformatics program for visualization can be used to support student learning. (Contains 7 figures.)
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A