CRISPR 101 - a novel online learning course harnessing innovative ways to teach a complex biomolecular technology

Martin Pal, Nicki Cranna, Marco J Herold, Keely Bumsted O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Complex biomolecular technologies revolutionise scientific research. Fully embedding scientific advances in the community requires innovative ways to educate learners on the molecular foundations upon which these technologies are based. In this case study, we present the conception and design of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI's) inaugural wholly online learning course focussed on explaining the revolutionary genome-editing technology, clustered regulatory interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR). Utilising WEHI's strength in bringing science educators and world-leading CRISPR scientists together, we designed a multimodal online resource that introduces learners, without an extensive background in either science or genome editing, to the fundamental concepts of CRISPR technology. Using the online course creation tool, Articulate 360, we guided learners through three modules containing targeted lessons designed to focus on specific learning outcomes. Integrated videos, research articles, interviews, and other resources, allowed for self-paced learning that met various learning style needs. The extensive resources provided opportunities to delve deeper into the content for advanced learners. The effectiveness of the course, evaluated with survey responses collected upon completion of the course, highlighted the ease of use and functionality of the course, and an increased understanding of CRISPR technology after course completion. We anticipate future online learning course development to showcase complex molecular technology that will be valuable for tertiary education, as well as for those in the wider community interested in understanding important advances in biomedicine.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEssays in Biochemistry
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2022

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