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(Short Term-Learning)

(Medium Term-Action)

(Long Term-Conditions)

Undergraduate Students from ITL, Biology and other departments


Faculty member responsible for integration of bioinformatics content with course: A. Holland-Minkley


Associate faculty who may participate in course project: T. Contreras, R. East, J. Kilgore, A. Lee, J. March, and M. North.


Use of lectures on and student-driven research into and practice of modern computational tools used to support ecological monitoring.


Overview of current on-campus projects in ecological monitoring


Equipment and Supplies: no new equipment needed—existing software sufficient for project.


Review of course effectiveness through course evaluation and CURE tool


HHMI stipend to A. Holland-Minkley for course development




Have the ITL Dept approve opening existing ITL course to Biology majors as well with loosened pre-reqs.


Have the Biology Dept advertise Spring 2009 version of course to its majors.


Develop semester-long project in developing a proposal for a long-term ecological monitoring GIS system, including appropriate intermediate milestones.


Solicit faculty and senior biology students currently involved in long-term ecological monitoring to provide input on their research and their needs in a GIS system.


Require students to prepare a formal proposal report to be distributed to the HHMI Internal Advisory Committee and to present their work to the W&J community through the campus poster session.



Number and demographics of Biology students enrolled in the course.


Evaluation of course objectives and goals using course evaluations and CURE surveys.


Complete proposal of long-term ecological monitoring GIS system to be used in future system construction.


Track student involvement in further bioinformatics research or Biology/ITL courses.


Biology students are introduced to the role of computation in bioinformatics and ecological monitoring.


ITL students are introduced to the special applications of computation to bioinformatics and ecological monitoring problems.


Students learn about strategies for collaboration when working on teams with diverse backgrounds and expertise.

Students take more science or technology courses outside of their immediate area of study.


Students have a long-term interest in interdisciplinary science activities.


Students search out additional opportunities to participate in research projects, potentially including continued involvement with development of the long-term ecological monitoring GIS system.


Future offerings of the course integrate similar semester-long projects.

Students integrate interdisciplinary viewpoints into their work on a regular basis.


Students pursue careers or educational opportunities in bioinformatics or the computational sciences.


Support and funding is provided for integrating extensive, real-world interdisciplinary projects into courses.





Evaluation Questions for OUTCOMES

Possible Indicators/Measures

Possible Data Collection Methods and Information Sources

Rank/Priority (include brief rationale)

  1. How effective was the course in teaching students about the computational challenges in long-term ecological monitoring and the interdisciplinary nature of bioinformatics research?


  1. What was the effect of integrating a bioinformatics project into the course on the participating faculty and students? (e.g., enrollment, number of majors in related depts., number of faculty involved, development of other related courses)


  1. What impacts were there beyond the particular course offering?
  1. a) Students positive about new course structure

       b)  Students increased interest in science/computation

c) Students value science/computation

             d) Students continue in science/computation (majors, minors and careers)


  1. 2a)  Continued integration of similar projects into course

       b) Other computational courses integrated into various related curricula in other depts as appropriate

       c) Course enrollment increases

       d) Student majors/minors increases (track not only Biology and ITL but other related disciplines)

       e) Effect on other courses/majors/minors/departments

       g) Effect on course development and support in other departments


  1. a) Effect of student participation in research opportunities

b) Effect on other departments

c) Additional curriculum development grants and awards


  1. a) Exit Interview and Course Evals

b) Track future course enrollment


d) Track future course enrollment and post-graudation


  1. a) Data collection on course changes

      b) Data collection on cross-departmental offerings

      c) Track course enrollment data

      d) Track various program enrollments

      e) Faculty surveys

      f) Track new and changed courses in other departments


  1. a) Survey of students

             b) Annual report of HHMI-funded activities and their impact

             c) Grant funding information

d) Departmental and Institutional funding reports

The questions are given in their rank order. Question 1 can be the most directly and immediately measured. The outcome being measured in the first question is also the outcome most directly affected by the funded activity. Question 2 involves more longitudinal data and measures an outcome that may be affected by a variety of inputs beyond just the funded activity. Question 3 will require the most broad data collection and analysis and will likely be integrated with long-term assessment of the entire impact of the HHMI funded activities.