Display Accessibility Tools

Accessibility Tools


Highlight Links

Change Contrast

Increase Text Size

Increase Letter Spacing

Readability Bar

Dyslexia Friendly Font

Increase Cursor Size

Got Data? Instructors surveyed on using and teaching data science

This is one of the main questions asked by MSU Academic Specialist and EEB Core Faculty, Nathan Emery and collaborators in a recent publication in BioScience. In their paper "Data Science in Undergraduate Life Science Education: A Need for Instructor Skills Training," they surveyed college/university educators from around the globe on teaching practices related to data science and how scientists use data science in their own research. Their work offers a window into how data science is currently taught and how to best empower instructors to incorporate data science into future biology and environmental science courses.

Nathan Emery
Nathan Emery

"The survey asked biology instructors to consider six categories of data science skills that they might teach, use in their own research, or view as important for biology or environmental science undergraduates" said Emery, who is in the Department of Plant Biology in the College of Natural Science. "Across institution types, undergraduate Biology instructors viewed data management, analysis and visualization as the most important data science skills to use in research and teach in courses."

The authors of this study are a part of the recently NSF-funded Biological and Environmental Data Science Education (BEDE) Network. This NSF Research Coordination Network is dedicated to training life science instructors in evidence-based teaching techniques to incorporate core data science skills into their curricula and courses. The network aims to design short-format training workshops for undergraduate biology instructors, forming faculty mentoring networks related to data science teaching in biology, and generating curricular maps that can aid instructors or departments in scaffolding modern data science skills into existing coursework.

Read more at the College of Natural Science.