Problem solving in biology and biotechnology: The use of bioinformatics tools and databases
Prof. Anat Yarden and Dr. Yossy Machluf
Postdocs and students
Dr. Yossy Machluf
Dr. Orna Dahan
Dr. Amir Mitchell
Dr. Hadas Gelbart
Prof. Anat Yarden
In light of the “information revolution”, bioinformatics – an emerging interdisciplinary field which encompasses research, development, or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of bio-medical data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data – has evolved. Bioinformatics is an integral part of modern life sciences. It has revolutionized and redefined how research is carried out, and has had an enormous impact on biotechnology, medicine, agriculture and related areas. Yet, similarly to other exciting new fields of science, it is only rarely integrated into high-school teaching and learning programs, playing almost no role in preparing the next generation of information-oriented citizens.
We have developed a web-based learning environment, aimed at introducing bioinformatics into a high-school biotechnology majors’ curriculum through engaging learners in scientifically authentic inquiry activities. In first-hand active learning processes, students approach real-world problems, use diverse bioinformatics tools and databases, while acquiring and applying modern scientific practices, which integrate skills, knowledge and scientific reasoning.
The current study is aimed at examining students’ acquisition of various types of domain-specific knowledge, their ability to coordinate between these types of knowledge, and their appropriation of a bioinformatics approach while learning using authentic research activities provided to them through the learning environment in bioinformatics. We also try to characterize how students’ learning outcomes are related to teaching strategies and teachers’ beliefs that are aimed to support learning of the bioinformatics. Such study may shed light on the means in which high-school students perceive and deal with scientifically authentic inquiry activities in bioinformatics, as well as on the means used for instruction of such materials.
- Machluf, Y., and Yarden, A. (2013). Integrating bioinformatics into senior high-school: Design principles and implications. Briefings in Bioinformatics, 14(5): 648-660, doi: 10.1093/bib/bbt030.
- Machluf, Y., Gelbart, H., and Yarden Y. (2013). High-school teachers’ appropriation of an innovative curriculum in bioinformatics, in Kr?ger D., Ekborg M. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 9th Conference of European Researchers in Didactics of Biology, Berlin, Germany, 18-22 September 2012.
- Machluf, Y., Avraham, E., and Yarden, A. (2013). Integrating bioinformatics into a high-school biotechnology curriculum. The National Teachers’ Center for the Scientific and Technological Topics Journal, 8, 22-34 (In Hebrew).
Links to materials (in English and in Hebrew)
Link to project website