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ERIC Number: EJ948655
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Self-Directed Student Research through Analysis of Microarray Datasets: A Computer-Based Functional Genomics Practical Class for Masters-Level Students
Grenville-Briggs, Laura J.; Stansfield, Ian
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v39 n6 p440-447 Nov-Dec 2011
This report describes a linked series of Masters-level computer practical workshops. They comprise an advanced functional genomics investigation, based upon analysis of a microarray dataset probing yeast DNA damage responses. The workshops require the students to analyse highly complex transcriptomics datasets, and were designed to stimulate active learning through experience of current research methods in bioinformatics and functional genomics. They seek to closely mimic a realistic research environment, and require the students first to propose research hypotheses, then test those hypotheses using specific sections of the microarray dataset. The complexity of the microarray data provides students with the freedom to propose their own unique hypotheses, tested using appropriate sections of the microarray data. This research latitude was highly regarded by students and is a strength of this practical. In addition, the focus on DNA damage by radiation and mutagenic chemicals allows them to place their results in a human medical context, and successfully sparks broad interest in the subject material. In evaluation, 79% of students scored the practical workshops on a five-point scale as 4 or 5 (totally effective) for student learning. More broadly, the general use of microarray data as a "student research playground" is also discussed. (Contains 5 figures and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A