We will continue development of our Cybertory Virtual Molecular Biology Laboratory software, and create accompanying instructional materials. New modules will work together to support a wide range of virtual experiments. We will develop exercises in the context of existing undergraduate molecular biology and genetics courses. Using an iterative approach, results from ongoing educational evaluations will guide the development of software and curricular materials to tailor the product to the educational needs of this audience.
Specific Aims I. Additional modules will support Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), ligation, cloning, blotting, band isolation, library screening, hybridization, microarray assays, and mapping transcribed regions of genomes. II. Code optimization will focus on refactoring and designing code in a modular, easily maintainable object oriented framework. III. Exercises in the virtual laboratory will include topics in agriculture, forensics and medicine. IV. Evaluation of the exercises as teaching tools will be used both to provide feedback to developers during development, and summatively to assess the final product. V. Plans for commercialization center around growing a large worldwide audience by making the basic simulator and example exercises available at no charge on the Web. Added-value products will include exercise workbooks, server software licenses, and workshop services.