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ERIC Number: EJ858952
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1539-2422
"Extreme Programming" in a Bioinformatics Class
Kelley, Scott; Alger, Christianna; Deutschman, Douglas
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v35 n1 p58-65 May 2009
The importance of Bioinformatics tools and methodology in modern biological research underscores the need for robust and effective courses at the college level. This paper describes such a course designed on the principles of cooperative learning based on a computer software industry production model called "Extreme Programming" (EP). The classroom version of EP included: working in pairs, switching roles between labs, partner interdependence and individual accountability. New pairings were created at random each week and at the completion of each lab, students (n = 18) indicated their satisfaction and frustration levels with working with partners, the materials, and the technology. We used a Repeated Measures-ANOVA (RM-ANOVA) statistical design to provide statistical power with a modest number of subjects. Students consistently rated working with a pair highest in terms of both ease and satisfaction, regardless of prior programming and technology experience. We found no differences in reported ease or satisfaction between undergraduate and graduate students, or between students with prior experience with technology. Surprisingly, we found that students rated the more difficult computer programming part of the course higher than the web-based exercises. The Extreme Programming cooperative model appears to be very appropriate for Bioinformatics classes, and can be easily implemented in computational labs to enhance student satisfaction and potentially maximize the use of computer workstations. (Contains 2 tables and 3 figures.)
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California