Molecular biology techniques are increasingly utilizing automation and miniaturization to test numerous samples or conditions simultaneously. High-throughput (HT) approaches include massively parallel sequencing of DNA, synthesis of numerous nucleic acids and peptides, automated microscopy, microfluidics for single-cell analyses, small molecule screening using robotics, and genome-scale phenotypic characterization using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technologies. These approaches produce a wealth of results, often labeled ‘big data.’ However, there are limited easily adaptable educational case studies that address authentic high-throughput approaches using real data. We believe well-designed accessible educational case studies focusing on HT approaches and using original datasets empower students to learn current approaches and exercise quantitative reasoning in data analyses.
The NSF-funded High-throughput Discovery Science & Inquiry-based Case Studies for Today’s Students (HITS) Research Coordination Network addresses this gap. HITS brings together interdisciplinary groups of HT researchers and instructors to produce authentic HT case studies that can be implemented in a variety of courses, allowing students to analyze real data and learn valuable quantitative skills. Since 2018, forty faculty Case Fellows, numerous case study experts, and HT researchers have formed interdisciplinary groups to design, improve, and implement HT case studies. HITS has also worked to create resources for those developing HT cases in courses or as student projects. Using QUBES, groups have created new cases for broad curricula and continue to design, adapt, and share HITS resources. Join us by applying to be a HITS Case Fellow (go.ncsu.edu/hits) or using HITS cases in your courses! Learn more about HITS