Measuring Student Gains in Metagenomics

October 4, 2010

Undergraduates are learning how new antibiotics can be developed in cultured and uncultured bacteria. They’re studying how antibiotics and other small molecules affect robustness and communication in communities of microbes. In a series of metagenomics workshops, they are learning to access the genetic potential of unculturable bacteria in environmental samples. Christine Pribbenow is evaluating the workshop’s success. She analyzes students’ gains in skill and knowledge; levels of confidence and self-efficacy in science; and their continuing interest in pursuing science. She compares the cohort model with individual undergraduate research experiences; tracks participants’ application and attendance in graduate school; and their continued participation in undergraduate research. Metagenomics was developed by Jo Handelsman and is funded by the NIH.