facilitating growth through frustration: Using genomics research in a course-based undergraduate research experience

David Lopatto, Anne G. Rosenwald, Justin R. DiAngelo, Amy T. Hark, Matthew Skerritt, Matthew Wawersik, Anna K. Allen, Consuelo Alvarez, Sara Anderson, Cindy Arrigo, Andrew Arsham, Daron Barnard, Christopher Bazinet, James E.J. Bedard, Indrani Bose, John M. Braverman, Martin G. Burg, Rebecca C. Burgess, Paula Croonquist, Chunguang DuSondra Dubowsky, Heather Eisler, Matthew A. Escobar, Michael Foulk, Emily Furbee, Thomas Giarla, Rivka L. Glaser, Anya L. Goodman, Yuying Gosser, Adam Haberman, Charles Hauser, Shan Hays, Carina E. Howell, Jennifer Jemc, M. Logan Johnson, Christopher J. Jones, Lisa Kadlec, Jacob D. Kagey, Kimberly L. Keller, Jennifer Kennell, S. Catherine Silver Key, Adam J. Kleinschmit, Melissa Kleinschmit, Nighat P. Kokan, Olga Ruiz Kopp, Meg M. Laakso, Judith Leatherman, Lindsey J. Long, Mollie Manier, Juan C. Martinez-Cruzado, Luis F. Matos, Amie Jo McClellan, Gerard McNeil, Evan Merkhofer, Vida Mingo, Hemlata Mistry, Elizabeth Mitchell, Nathan T. Mortimer, Debaditya Mukhopadhyay, Jennifer Leigh Myka, Alexis Nagengast, Paul Overvoorde, Don Paetkau, Leocadia Paliulis, Susan Parrish, Mary Lai Preuss, James V. Price, Nicholas A. Pullen, Catherine Reinke, Dennis Revie, Srebrenka Robic, Jennifer A. Roecklein-Canfield, Michael R. Rubin, Takrima Sadikot, Jamie Siders Sanford, Maria Santisteban, Kenneth Saville, Stephanie Schroeder, Christopher D. Shaffer, Karim A. Sharif, Diane E. Sklensky, Chiyedza Small, Mary Smith, Sheryl Smith, Rebecca Spokony, Aparna Sreenivasan, Joyce Stamm, Rachel Sterne-Marr, Katherine C. Teeter, Justin Thackeray, Jeffrey S. Thompson, Stephanie Toering Peters, Melanie van Stry, Norma Velazquez-Ulloa, Cindy Wolfe, James Youngblom, Brian Yowler, Leming Zhou, Janie Brennan, Jeremy Buhler, Wilson Leung, Laura K. Reed, Sarah C.R. Elgin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A hallmark of the research experience is encountering difficulty and working through those challenges to achieve success. This ability is essential to being a successful scientist, but replicating such challenges in a teaching setting can be difficult. The Genomics Education Partnership (GEP) is a consortium of faculty who engage their students in a genomics Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE). Students participate in genome annotation, generating gene models using multiple lines of experimental evidence. Our observations suggested that the students' learning experience is continuous and recursive, frequently beginning with frustration but eventually leading to success as they come up with defendable gene models. In order to explore our “formative frustration” hypothesis, we gathered data from faculty via a survey, and from students via both a general survey and a set of student focus groups. Upon analyzing these data, we found that all three datasets mentioned frustration and struggle, as well as learning and better understanding of the scientific process. Bioinformatics projects are particularly well suited to the process of iteration and refinement because iterations can be performed quickly and are inexpensive in both time and money. Based on these findings, we suggest that a dynamic of “formative frustration” is an important aspect for a successful CURE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biology Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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