Integrating Genomics Research throughout the Undergraduate Curriculum: A Collection of Inquiry-Based Genomics Lab Modules

We wish to let CBE—Life Sciences Education readers know about a portal to a set of curricular lab modules designed to integrate genomics and bioinformatics into commonly taught courses at all levels of the undergraduate curriculum. Through a multi-year, collaborative process, we developed, implemented, and peer-reviewed inquiry-based, integrated instructional units (I3Us) adaptable to a range of teaching settings, with a focus on both model and nonmodel systems. Each of the products is built on vetted design principles: 1) they have clear pedagogical objectives; 2) they are integrated with lessons taught in the lecture; 3) they are designed to integrate the learning of science content with learning about the process of science; and 4) they require student reflection and discussion (Figure 1; National Research Council [NRC], 2005). Eleven I3Us were designed and implemented as multi-week modules within the context of an existing biology course (e.g., microbiology, comparative anatomy, introduction to neurobiology), and three I3Us were incorporated into interdisciplinary biology/computer science classes. Our collection of genomics instructional units, together with extensive supporting material for each module, is accessible on a dedicated website ( that also provides links to bioinformatics tools and online assessment and pedagogical resources for teaching genomics.

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