NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ877817
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Incorporating a Collaborative Web-Based Virtual Laboratory in an Undergraduate Bioinformatics Course
Weisman, David
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v38 n1 p4-9 Jan-Feb 2010
Face-to-face bioinformatics courses commonly include a weekly, in-person computer lab to facilitate active learning, reinforce conceptual material, and teach practical skills. Similarly, fully-online bioinformatics courses employ hands-on exercises to achieve these outcomes, although students typically perform this work offsite. Combining a face-to-face lecture course with a web-based virtual laboratory presents new opportunities for collaborative learning of the conceptual material, and for fostering peer support of technical bioinformatics questions. To explore this combination, an in-person lecture-only undergraduate bioinformatics course was augmented with a remote web-based laboratory, and tested with a large class. This study hypothesized that the collaborative virtual lab would foster active learning and peer support, and tested this hypothesis by conducting a student survey near the end of the semester. Respondents broadly reported strong benefits from the online laboratory, and strong benefits from peer-provided technical support. In comparison with traditional in-person teaching labs, students preferred the virtual lab by a factor of two. Key aspects of the course architecture and design are described to encourage further experimentation in teaching collaborative online bioinformatics laboratories. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Subscription Department, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A