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Trainer resources

What skills are needed to be a good trainer?
Just because you are very familiar with a topic, doesn’t mean you are necessarily able to teach it well. GOBLET has put together some useful resources for improving skills to become a good trainer. This includes a guidance document for new trainers, links to materials and papers from train-the-trainer initiatives and to an online course developed collaboratively by GOBLETH3ABioNetISCBELIXIR and EBI Training. Many of the materials are applicable for trainers across a range of disciplines but there is a focus on bioinformatics.

    1. A Trainer Guidelines Document was developed at a Bioinformatics Education Summit in 2019 which has a number of useful tips for trainers [COMING SOON]
    2. The key skills and knowledge bioinformatics trainers should have are included in the GOBLET skills matrix
    3. Train-the-Trainer courses materials are available from ELIXIRWellcome TrustEMBL-EBICarpentries and other organizations who offer Train-the-Trainer courses. Courses by many of these providers are advertised on ELIXIR TeSS.
    4. An Online Train-the-Trainer course is currently being developed collaboratively by GOBLET, H3ABioNet, ISCB, ELIXIR and EBI Training. [COMING SOON]
    5. Several papers or blogs have been published about Train-the-Trainer activities, these include:
      1.  ELIXIR papers (Via et al, 2019Morgan et al, 2017),
      2. Australia TtT Paper
      3. GOBLET: Corpas et al, 2015
      4. Others:
    6. There are several resources for improving presentation skills such as:

EMBL-EBI User Training Working Group (UTWG) training tips

How do I design and develop course/training materials?

GOBLET recommends developing a course with audience, objectives and outcomes in mind. Further, GOBLET recommends using competencies as a framework for course content development. Competencies can also be mapped to existing courses. Below are links to relevant guidelines documents as well as links to sites with training materials for courses.

  1. Guidelines documents
    1. Guidelines for developing and updating short courses and course programmes using the ISCB competency framework [COMING SOON] 
    2. Nicholls, Gill. Developing teaching and learning in higher education. Routledge, 2002.
    3. Developing Training Material Guide (non-competency specific)
    4. Using competencies as a framework for course content development:
      1. ISCB competencies V1V2
      2. ISCB knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) presentation [COMING SOON]
      3. NIBLSE competencies
      4. BioExcel competencies mapped to courses: view in BioExcel Knowledge Resource Center; view in Competency Mapper
      5. UK National Occupation Standard for Bioinformatics
      6. UK Level 7 Apprenticeship standard for bioinformatics scientists (includes assessment endpoints)
      7. ISCB competency progress reports: number 1number 2
      8. CourseSource Bioinformatics Learning Framework
      9. Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies – this has been mapped to the latest version of the ISCB competency framework, and some courses have mapped to both frameworks
      10. clinical bioinformatics competency framework to support Health Education England to prepare clinical practitioners for the application of genomics in the healthcare service (this is the closest thing we have to something that could map to the bioinformatics user roles)
      11. ISCB Education COSI Youtube collection, especially 
      12. Youtube video – Implementing a competency-based training strategy for biomolecular researchers with high computational needs
  2. Links to sites with Training Materials for courses
    1. GOBLET training portal
    2. TeSS
    3. CourseSource
    4. The NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Training Coordinating Center’s Educational Resource Discovery Index (ERuDite) framework (for details, see); search for resources here
    5. QUBES
    6. BioExcel Knowledge Resource Centre
    7. NIBLSE Learning Resource Collection
    8. UC Davis Bioinformatics Core training collection
    9. Galaxy Training Resources / Network
    10. Bioinformatics.ca Canada
    11. XSEDE Training portal
    12. Cornell Virtual Workshops (HPC, programming)
    13. PRACE Best practices guide (HPC, MPI)
    14. Rosalind
    15. AWS Cloud computing training
    16. Google Cloud training labs
    17. Critical Guides and Practical Guides – GOBLET Training Portal, F1000Research Bioinformatics Education & Training Collection
How can I make my training materials Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR)?

The Bioinformatics Training community has embraced the idea of ‘FAIR’ for training materials in order to widen their quality, accessibility and reach. Below we have linked to resources on metadata best practices to enable you to FAIRify your training materials.

  1. Bioschemas related information:
    1. Bioschemas Training Specifications
    2. Bioschemas Training Portal
    3. Bioschemas Generator
  2. ELIXIR FAIR Training Working Group
    1. Evaluate how FAIR your training resources are
    2. 10 recommendations to make your training materials FAIRer
  3. Ontologies in the field
    1. EDAM Ontology browser for categorizing your training: 
    2. Educational Resource Discovery Index (ERuDIte)
      1. https://bioint.github.io/erudite-training-resource-standard/ 
      2. https://bigdatau.ini.usc.edu/assets/pdf/AmbiteEtAl-IEEE_ERuDIte_paper_2019.pdf 
      3. ERuDIte on FairSharing.org
  4. How to build GitHub pages/wikis/websites for courses/training materials [COMING SOON]
How should I organise and deliver training?

Just as important as good training materials is a well organised and delivered training event. Below GOBLET has compiled a list of templates and best practices to help.

  1. Relevant templates relating to infrastructure, logistics, applicant selection, notification of admission, host institution information, pre-reading materials etc.
    1. Workshop schedule template
    2. Workshop call template
    3. Workshop timeline guidelines
    4. Workshop logistics guidelines
    5. Airline Booking template
    6. Budget template [COMING SOON]
    7. Applicant select template [COMING SOON}
      1. Defining selection criteria
      2. Example application form
      3. Example notification / invite letter
        1. Visa letter example
      4. Example registration award or travel award letter
    8. Marketing & event management [COMING SOON]
      1. Course template – description, aims and outcomes & example programme / schedule
      2. Course announcement
      3. Badges / name-tags / tent cards
      4. Certificates of attendance / completion
      5. Participant biographies & faculty biographies
      6. Funder recognition and promotion in announcements
      7. Contact lists – useful list of relevant contacts for training (GDPR / data protection compliance to share list)
      8. Photo consent
    9. Information about course types
      1. Blended training model
      2. Project based learning 
      3. Online versus classroom learning
      4. Blended learning model
      5. Computational biology flipped classroom
  2. Best practices document
    1. SLING 
    2. Best practices in bioinformatics training for life sciences
    3. GOBLET bioinformatics training best practices workshop
    4. Guidelines for facilitating a course [COMING SOON]
    5. Methods for facilitating discussion in class e.g. slack, google classroom, social activity to facilitate networking [COMING SOON]
    6. Code of conduct template [COMING SOON]
    7. Template for creating hands-on practicals; including how to include code in your material [COMING SOON]
  3. Links to training material and articles on how to use cloud, VMs and containers in bioinformatics training
    1. ELIXIR Workshop on how to use clouds and VMs in Bioinformatics 
    2. Slides from a workshop on using containers in training (Korpelainen)
    3.  ERuDIte Resources related to cloud training
  4. General Resource document
    1. Example of a general set of Best Practices here
How should I assess trainees?

Knowing how to appropriately assess trainees can be challenging. Resources below are intended to shed some light on this.

  1. Assessment methods
    1. Overview
    2. Future learn: Assessment : What students think 
    3. Brown 1999 (book) Monitoring learner progress
    4. Using Bloom’s taxonomy to assess learning outcomes
    5. Self reflection / assessment form for trainers [COMING SOON]
  2. Formal assessment
    1. Pre and post course assessment [COMING SOON]
    2. An example from UK Apprenticeship standards: Level 7 Apprenticeship standard for bioinformatics (includes assessment endpoints)
How do I evaluate a course?

Evaluating the quality and impact of a course can assist in improving and/or strengthening future training.

  1. Minimum information standard:
    1. ELIXIR training quality and impact assessment strategy
    2. Inspiring Young People In STEM: Feedback Tools for STEM Ambassadors: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/stem-volunteering-feedback
  2. Training statistics, audience demographics, and quality in short term (i.e. administered directly after training)
    1. Recommend that you are consistent in the data elements that you collect for all your training events / courses. This will help with enabling comparable evaluations of  different training courses /events and ease the review of training evaluation statistics reporting. 
    2. Consider what demographics or key information are needed to collect from trainees in order to produce training statistics and audience demographics
    3. It may be worthwhile extending evaluations of training against any other similar trainings a trainee may have attended
    4. How to avoid bias when evaluating training:
      1. Boring et al.
      2. 5 Elements to Include in any Post Training Evaluation
  3. Training Impact in the long term (i.e. administered 6 months to 1 or 2 years after training, in 6 month intervals)
    1. Continuing Education Workshops in BioInformatics Positively Impact Research and Careers
    2. 10 simple Rules for Measuring Impact of Workshops
    3. Using core competencies to evaluate course impact [COMING SOON]
    4. When measuring long term training impact, how do you accommodate for external training impacts [COMING SOON]
  4. Handling data from assessment forms [COMING SOON]
    1. Classification
    2. comments/suggestions
    3. How to use feedback data to improve future iterations of a course/new course development
How do I endorse and accredit a course?


Consider the curriculum and the environment

What should I consider when teaching bioinformatics to high school students?

When teaching bioinformatics at high school level, one should consider the curriculum and the language that is being used as this might be useful in deciding the content and level of standard.

  1. Existing materials
    1. Materials (e.g. Toronto 2014 and 2016, 2019 events), practical guides [COMING SOON]
    2. mGen – https://mgen.h3abionet.org/
    3. “SEA-PHAGES Bioinformatics Guide” – https://seaphagesbioinformatics.helpdocsonline.com/home 
    4. European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences
      1. http://emblog.embl.de/ells/teachingbase
      2. http://thenode.biologists.com/embl-ells/outreach/
    5. TReND – https://trendinafrica.org/activities/education/bioinformatics-schools/ 
    6. WITS genetics app –
      1. https://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/research-news/2019/2019-03/wits-students-create-genetics-app.html
      2. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=scoping.genetics&hl=en
    7. BIOINFORMATICS: CODING FOR MEDICINE (https://hs.coding4medicine.com/)
    8. Whitehead, BaRc – http://barc.wi.mit.edu/education/
    9. Teaching – Student projects – Bornberglab – Bioinformatics at the IEB
    10. Didactic research in High School for innovative STEM bioinformatics
    11. https://www.nbic.nl/education/high-school-programmes/bioinformaticsschool/index.html
    12. http://bornberglab.org/teaching/student-projects
  2. Relevant papers and materials
    1. Integrating bioinformatics into senior high school: design principles and implications (https://academic.oup.com/bib/article/14/5/648/218781)
    2. Bioinformatics in High School Biology Curricula (https://www.academia.edu/8167807/Bioinformatics_in_High_School_Biology_Curricula
    3. Bioinformatics Education in High School: Implications for Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Careers (https://www.lifescied.org/doi/full/10.1187/cbe.12-11-0193
    4. Explaining Genomics and Bioinformatics to High School Biology Students (http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
    5. Teaching Bioinformatics at the Secondary School Level: https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002243
    6. Teaching High-School Biology: Materials and Strategies:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218805/
    7. Ten Simple Rules for Teaching Bioinformatics at the High School Levelhttp://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002243
    8. “Bringing Bioinformatics into the Biology Classroom” – http://education.expasy.org/cours/Outreach/Toronto/GOBLET_MCB_booklet.pdf
    9. How to design an anti-inflammatory drug without side effects for the stomach?- http://www.atelier-drug-design.ch/cox.php
    10. The Case for Cyberlearning: Genomics (and Dragons!) in the High School Biology Classroom (http://www.learntechlib.org/p/50513/
    11. Education in Europe – Bioinformatics.Org Wiki – http://europepmc.org/articles/pmc2262119
    12. Bioinformatics for middle school aged children: Activities for …
    13. Kids.Net.Au – Encyclopedia > Bioinformatics – encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/bi/Bioinformatics
    14. Bioinformatics for middle school aged children – https://www.researchgate.net/…/316529924_Bioinformatics_for_middle_school_aged_c…
    15. Ten Simple Rules for Teaching Bioinformatics at the High School Level
    16. https://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Bioinformatics
    17. RRI-tools for Responsible Research and Innovation (many useful links included)
    18. Science education policies in the European Commission: towards responsible citizenship
    19. European Commission Work Programme 2018-2020 – SWAFS (Science With And For Society) see mention to (primary and) secondary schools
Where can I find other sources of support?
  1. Big Data Biomedicine and Education – rationale for doing bioinformatics training
  2. Envisioning the Future of ‘Big Data’ Biomedicine
  3. Selection of the 10 rules papers
  4. Report on surveys about bioinformatics training needs [COMING SOON]
  5. Didactics/Pedagogy papers, e.g about Blooms, but also about learning styles [COMING SOON]
  6. International training partnerships 
  7. Forums / networks for training discussion [COMING SOON]
  8. A good Example of a Biomedical Data Science Webinar Series