Since 2006, the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP) has incorporated authentic genomics research experiences into the undergraduate curriculum.
Since 2006, the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP) has incorporated authentic genomics research experiences into the undergraduate curriculum, introducing thousands of students to eukaryotic gene annotation, comparative genomics, and the evolution of contrasting genome domains. Our 100+ participating institutions include community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, and research-intensive PhD-granting institutions. Using our shared resources and publicly accessible data bases, students have been able to contribute meaningfully to scientific investigations coordinated through the GEP.
A large consortium of faculty implementing a core course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) in a variety of ways also provides opportunities to examine best practices for lab course design and implementation. Through use of faculty logs, assessment of student learning gains, and responses to surveys and focus groups, we have examined faculty actions and student attitudes that impact student learning. The data indicate that our research format encourages use of active learning strategies while promoting dialogue about science; student responses overall are positive, but those students with positive attitudes toward science benefit the most. We also looked for particular aspects of the GEP CURE that promote student learning. Our data suggest that students experience a beneficial process of “formative frustration” where they are initially allowed to fail in their analyses, followed by exploration, re-evaluation, adjustment, and re-analysis. Additionally, the relatively low-cost, low-stakes structure of a genomics CURE may make instructors more prone to give students leeway to experience this process.
To support the GEP’s ongoing mission of conducting genomics research with undergraduates, we have partnered with Galaxy to develop G-OnRamp, a web-based platform for constructing genome browsers from assemblies. This is enabling us to initiate new collaborative annotation projects that harness the research power of the GEP collective. We are looking for additional “science partners” who have interesting projects for collaboration, and for new faculty members interested in incorporating GEP curriculum and projects into their classrooms. We provide fully-supported training for new GEP faculty members through online mentoring and in-person workshops. Those interested in joining can contact us at http://gep.wustl.edu/contact_us. Supported by NSF IUSE-1915544 and NIH IPERT-1R25GM130517-01 to LKR.
This is a part of the Genomics Education Alliance Posters & Beyond materials for the BIOME Institute.
Cite this work
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
- Wawersik, M., Allen, A., Arrigo, C., Arsham, A., Barnard, D., Burgess, R., DiAngelo, J., Jemc, J., Jones, C., Kadlec, L., Kleinschmit, A., Leatherman, J., Lopatto, D., Manier, M., Mistry, H., Mortimer, N., Nagengast, A., Parish, S., Rosenwald, A., Stamm, J., Elgin, S., Reed, L. (2020). The Genomics Education Partnership: Exploring best practices in implementation of a genomics CURE. Cultivating Scientific Curiosity, QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/6HS9-XM77