Taxonomic Annotations: Instructor Notes

Instructor notes

Lesson motivation and learning objectives

The purpose of this lesson is not to teach how to do data analysis in spreadsheets, but to teach good data organisation and how to do some data cleaning and quality control in a spreadsheet program.

Lesson design

Data tidiness

Planning for NGS projects

Examining Data on the NCBI SRA Database

Concluding points

Working with participants’ level of expertise

Learners may be taking this lesson for many reasons - they may be just thinking of maybe doing a sequencing experiment, they may be trying to analyse public data, they may have already generated their own data, they may be speculatively acquiring new skills.

You should feel free to “read the room”, and it can be helpful to ask more specifics in a pre-workshop survey.

Data tidiness

Discussion 1, “What kinds of data and information have you generated before you sent your DNA/RNA off for sequencing?” can go very differently depending on the participants’ background. Many instructors make adjustments to this section, and they should, depending on the learners.

Some instructors have succeeded in adding ice-breaker questions and more on scientific background to discussion 1, such as:

This had some positive points:

The drawback:

It could be more efficient to ask these questions in the pre-workshop survey, then present the range of answers during the class. It can also be helpful for instructors and helpers to share what they work on.

Technical tips and tricks

Provide information on setting up your environment for learners to view your live coding (increasing text size, changing text color, etc), as well as general recommendations for working with coding tools to best suit the learning environment.

Common problems

Excel looks and acts different on different operating systems

The main challenge with this lesson is that Excel looks very different and how you do things is even different between Mac and PC, and between different versions of Excel. So, the presenter’s environment will only be the same as some of the learners.

We need better notes and screenshots of how things work on both Mac and PC. But we likely won’t be able to cover all the different versions of Excel.

If you have a helper who has more experience with the other OS than you, it would be good to prepare them to help with this lesson and tell people how to do things in the other OS.

People are not interactive or responsive on the exercises

This lesson depends on people working on the exercise and responding with things that are fixed. If your audience is reluctant to participate, start out with some things on your own, or ask a helper for their answers. This generally gets even a reluctant audience started.