Start Date

17-3-2020 10:45 AM

End Date

17-3-2020 11:15 AM

Author(s) Bio

Stacey Wahl is a Research and Education Librarians at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where she is the liaison to the basic sciences in the School of Medicine. Wahl received her doctorate in Biomedical Sciences from Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences where she studied developmental neuroscience. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in biology at VCU, she joined the library in 2018. As the liaison to the basic sciences, Wahl provides consultations and instruction in research support, literature searching, and grant preparation. In addition, she coordinates programming for VCU scientists, including a science communication series for postdoctoral fellows. Amy Olex joined the Wright Center in 2014. As a senior bioinformatics specialist, she provides bioinformatics and natural language processing (NLP) services through education and training, pipeline development and data analysis. Olex specializes in processing next-generation genomic sequencing data. She leads bioinformatics and NLP seminars and workshops, and heads a new Wright Center collaboration with the University of Chicago. Olex earned a master’s degree in computer science and a certification in structural and computational biology at Wake Forest University in 2007. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in computer science with a focus on natural language processing at VCU.

Presenter Status

Academic Librarian

Keywords

bioinformatics, active learning, genetics, NCBI, workshop series, innovative teaching

Presentation Type

30 minutes (e.g. Individual)

Description of Proposal

As Health Sciences Libraries evolve, the support they offer graduate students has evolved to incorporate many aspects of the research life cycle. At Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, we have partnered with the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research to offer training workshops for graduate students who are interested in using bioinformatics to plan, analyze, or execute scientific experiments. We offer two series: 1) an 8-week, 1-hour per week seminar series providing a general overview of available techniques and 2) a week-long intensive, two hours per session, series on utilizing free databases from the National Center for Biotechnology and Information (NCBI). Workshops have been offered for four years; a consistent challenge has been the variety of experience of participants, particularly in their biological science content background. To address this challenge and provide a solid foundation for the series, in 2019 we conducted a basic genetics session prior to engaging with the NCBI databases. In this lesson, we introduced participants to the central dogma of biology and utilized that knowledge in active learning sessions, with the goal of a shared understanding of the biological processes of transcription and translation. This understanding is essential to effectively using the gene and protein databases to interpret data and plan experiments. In addition to laying a solid content foundation, these activities set the stage for an interactive series and allowed participants to feel comfortable with the content and with interacting with each other. Feedback for the sessions was largely positive with 86% of survey respondents indicating enjoying the genetics portion specifically. The activities utilized open access learning materials and could be adapted for bioinformatic workshops at other institutions.

What takeaways will attendees learn from your session?

At the conclusion of today’s session participants will be able to:

  1. Identify open access resources to use to teach basic genetics.

  2. Understand the importance of a shared conceptual foundation.

  3. Apply active learning techniques to bioinformatic workshops.

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Mar 17th, 10:45 AM Mar 17th, 11:15 AM

Using Active Learning To Build A Foundation For Bioinformatics Training.

As Health Sciences Libraries evolve, the support they offer graduate students has evolved to incorporate many aspects of the research life cycle. At Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, we have partnered with the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research to offer training workshops for graduate students who are interested in using bioinformatics to plan, analyze, or execute scientific experiments. We offer two series: 1) an 8-week, 1-hour per week seminar series providing a general overview of available techniques and 2) a week-long intensive, two hours per session, series on utilizing free databases from the National Center for Biotechnology and Information (NCBI). Workshops have been offered for four years; a consistent challenge has been the variety of experience of participants, particularly in their biological science content background. To address this challenge and provide a solid foundation for the series, in 2019 we conducted a basic genetics session prior to engaging with the NCBI databases. In this lesson, we introduced participants to the central dogma of biology and utilized that knowledge in active learning sessions, with the goal of a shared understanding of the biological processes of transcription and translation. This understanding is essential to effectively using the gene and protein databases to interpret data and plan experiments. In addition to laying a solid content foundation, these activities set the stage for an interactive series and allowed participants to feel comfortable with the content and with interacting with each other. Feedback for the sessions was largely positive with 86% of survey respondents indicating enjoying the genetics portion specifically. The activities utilized open access learning materials and could be adapted for bioinformatic workshops at other institutions.