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WIP: Improving Student Engagement in Undergraduate Bioinformatics Through Research Contributions

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Teaching Interventions in Biomedical Engineering (Works in Progress) - June 22nd

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Jessica Dare Kaufman Endicott College

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Jessica Kaufman began her engineering career as a chemical engineering major at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. After graduation, she worked as a process engineer, primarily in food and pharmaceuticals. Her work in biopharmaceuticals inspired her to earn a doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. Since 2008, Jessica has worked at Endicott College and taught a wide range of biotechnology and bioengineering courses. Her primary research interests are bioinformatics and the mechanics of biomaterials.

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CUREs (Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences) are a model for changing laboratory design to include hallmarks of authentic research. CUREs have been shown to have similar improvements in student research skills to apprentice-based research experiences [1]. Unlike apprentice-based experiences, course-based research is available to all students in a program. At Endicott College, the undergraduate bioinformatics lecture course is required for two majors, Biology/Biotechnology and Bioengineering. The addition of an authentic in silico research experience as a project for this lecture course would thus expose all students in both majors to an independent research experience. A single post-project survey was used to measure differences in student perception of themselves as a researcher by asking students to rate how the research project increased their knowledge in the use of scientific practices, was an act of discovery, required collaboration, required iteration, and had relevance outside the course. These categories have been used to assess other CUREs and define the characteristics a CURE [2]. Students who participated in both the traditional lab to sequence DNA and the computational analysis were compared to students who only participated in the computational research project. The initial results indicate that there was no significant difference between the survey responses of the two groups and that a computational CURE may have similar impact without including a traditional lab component. Further study of the project design and impact on students is planned for future semesters.

Kaufman, J. D. (2020, June), WIP: Improving Student Engagement in Undergraduate Bioinformatics Through Research Contributions Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35545

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