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GBES 2024 Agenda

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Session descriptions are below.

May 20, 2024

May 21, 2024

May 22, 2024

Session Descriptions

Session #2A: Train-the-trainer for bioinformatics

The BES Train the Trainer course is aimed at empowering scientists focused on bioinformatics and data science to design, develop, and deliver effective training in their field of expertise. Trainees from this course have formed a community and highlight support needs to successfully implement training in their institutions. During this session we will discuss challenges and barriers faced by current and prospective trainers, and best practices to overcome them.

Session #2B: Accreditation of a training program

This session will develop materials and strategies for assessing a program for purposes of evaluation and potentially accreditation through the framework of bioinformatics competencies.  Attendees will work through the process of describing a training program through the competency framework and applying an evaluation rubric, with the goals of improving these instruments and learning how to apply them most effectively.

Session #4A: Assessment of learning during short-format training

Assessing and receiving feedback during training is essential for trainers to evaluate their educational objectives and where their students are about their learning outcomes, and for  students to self-assess their learning progress. There are plenty of teaching activities that can be used to asses learning on the go. In this session, we will describe some of the activities commonly used, and exchange experiences with the attendees. 

Session #4B: Bioinformatics in life science curriculum

This session will address the barriers and opportunities of delivering bioinformatics education at the undergraduate level. This work builds upon the U.S.-based Network for Integrating Bioinformatics into Life Sciences Education (NIBLSE; pronounced "nibbles"). In particular, we will focus on how distributed projects working on genomics and DNA sequence data provide opportunities for exposure to bioinformatics in the context of course-based research experiences.

Session #5A: Professional development workshop: Evaluation and Assessment

How do we measure the true impact of education programs on learners and the systems they operate in? In this workshop we’ll present a suite of tools to help plan, develop, deliver and evaluate education in the genomics context. The tools are adaptable to multiple settings, such as bioinformatics education across formal and informal settings. A program logic model and evaluation framework can be used to support busy educators to plan and evaluate their initiatives, and capture not just program feedback, but immediate, intermediate and long-term outcomes relevant to bioinformatics. International experts will lead participants through the theory and tools, using real-world examples, then lead small group work to co-produce templates for different education formats that can be immediately applied to bioinformatics education. 

Session #6A: Competencies framework: data scientist

This session will bring together various stakeholders and expertise in biomedical science and related fields to evaluate the draft version of the competencies in data science for health and biomedical research. This will involve collaborative discussions to evaluate the competency framework for application to curriculum development and mapping of personas.

Session #6B: Competencies framework: core facilities

The third iteration of the ISCB competency framework has been completed and made openly available at the EMBL-EBI Competency Hub. The guidelines with recommended best practices are now publicly available and the manuscript for the framework has recently been published.

This framework covers ten professional profiles within the bioinformatics field, and for each profile different proficiency levels are assigned to each of the 13 set competencies. However, currently the framework does not reflect different career stages, such as beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

A working group was established with the BioInfo-Core community from the ISCB, which is formed by core facility scientists in bioinformatics research infrastructures. The main objectives of this taskforce are to extend the competency framework with competencies specific for core facility staff and to cover their career progression. 

In this session we will present the outputs of this taskforce and continue the work on the extension of the ISCB competency framework to reflect core facility careers, mainly focusing on the final reporting.

Session #7A: How to use competencies

In this session, several use cases about how to use competencies will be presented. Participants will practice how to use competencies to design a programme from a set of course offerings to meet a set of learning objectives, through the framework of competencies.  We will then use competencies to evaluate that program and identify needs for new course development, including a discussion on how to present competencies to learners so as to meet course and programme learning outcomes.

Session #7B: FAIR-CARE checklist for training and training resources

To increase the accessibility of training and training materials it is important to make them findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR). Additionally, training should follow the CARE (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, and Ethics) principles.The community has developed a FAIR checklist for assessing how FAIR training and training materials are. These will be presented and discussed, with the aim to test and refine them, as well as discuss ways in which they could be implemented. 

Session #8A: Addressing the Grand Challenges in bioinformatics education and training

The landscape of bioinformatics education is rapidly evolving, posing several grand challenges that educators, learners, and stakeholders face today. We will delve into the intricacies of seven Grand Challenges identified in the field, providing attendees with a detailed overview, and stimulating a rich discussion on practical solutions. The session will have an introductory presentation, outlining the seven grand challenges. This will set the stage for working group discussions. Participants will be divided into smaller groups, each focusing on a specific challenge and its relevant stakeholders.

Session #8B: How to use AI in training

Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques promise to facilitate bioinformatics education from the trainer's and learner's perspectives. For example, instructors may be able to use AI tools (such as large language models) to generate or adapt content, to grade assignments more efficiently, provide feedback to students, identify trends and patterns in students' performance over time, etc. Capabilities in the field are changing rapidly, so it is difficult for trainers to stay abreast of which options are available and any evidence that might be available to support their use. Additionally, AI advances have raised questions about whether trainers should teach learners how to facilitate their work and which topics should be covered. This session will be a moderated discussion about these opportunities and challenges. 

Session #9A: How to make training accessible

Truly effective training must be accessible to potential learners. Barriers to accessibility can take many different forms, including physical, digital (e.g. screen reader-unfriendly websites), time-based (e.g. parental status), and financial. This workshop will provide participants with skills and resources to identify, address, and remove these barriers, and will establish an ongoing working group to develop a framework. This session is aimed at anyone involved in training and education development and delivery. Participants will be provided with optional pre-readings from ISMB WEB 2023, where the topic was initially developed.

Session #9B: Training in low- and middle-income countries: conclusion

The Low to Middle Income Countries (LMICs) session at the summit started at the 2020 iteration of the event and was initiated to start addressing topics of special interest to communities within LMICs, focusing on their specific challenges. As a result of the first meeting the LMICs community is in the process of setting up initiates and resources that will be available to training communities in general. The LMIC session at the summit will aim to finalise some of the outputs from the previous years. It will be best suited to those who have joined these sessions in the past.

Session #10A: Implementing the Bicycle Principles

In this session we will review the Bicycle Principles for effective and inclusive short-format professional development. We will focus on recommendations individual instructors can implement and develop checklists and strategies for making the Principles actionable. 

Session #10B: How to green training

The environmental impact of teaching and training is an item which many of us are now being asked to consider in greater detail, but how we assess and mediate potential impacts is still open for discussion. Following on from a successful start at last year's summit (and a previous ISMB WEB session), this session will discuss both the wider environmental impact of our training / education programs as a whole, and how we can encourage greener compute practices for delivery of programs and in our learners' ongoing work.

Applicable to trainers and educators (ie those involved in short course training and higher education programs), the session will:

  1. continue work on the development of a decision making tool for defining and addressing identified impact

  2. start to identify concrete actions / methods for greening computer practices in learning and research

Optional Session #12A: Funders, Policymakers, and Industry Forum

This session will gather major bioinformatics and biomedical funders, policymakers, and industry liaisons from the U.S. and abroad to sit alongside bioinformatics educators to identify how stakeholders can best align their efforts to serve the need for bioinformatics education. We will focus on the need for national and international strategic thinking and develop an ongoing working group to develop plans and policy calls. 

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