Next-generation teaching: a template for bringing genomic and bioinformatic tools into the classroom

Scott Hotaling, Brittany L. Slabach, David W. Weisrock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The recent increase in accessibility and scale of genetic data available through next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has transformed biological inquiry. As a direct result, the application and analysis of NGS data has quickly become an important skill for future scientists. However, the steep learning curve for applying NGS technology to biological questions, including the complexity of sample preparation for sequencing and the analysis of large data sets, are deterrents to the integration of NGS into undergraduate education. Here, we present a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) designed to aid in overcoming these limitations through NGS investigations of prokaryotic diversity. Specifically, we use 16S rRNA sequencing to explore patterns of diversity stemming from student-directed hypothesis development. This CURE addresses three learning objectives: (1) it provides a forum for experimental design hypothesis generation, (2) it introduces modern genomic tools through a hands-on experience generating an NGS data-set, and (3) it provides students with an introductory experience in bioinformatics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-313
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Royal Society of Biology.


  • CURE
  • Prokaryotic diversity
  • STEM
  • next-generation sequencing
  • undergraduate education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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