Applying Cognitive Tutoring in the use of Bioinformatics Tools

Angela U. Makolo, Daniel K. Nkemelu

With the proliferation of simple and complex bioinformatics tools, there is the need to teach researchers how to use these tools effectively. To evaluate the potential of cognitive tutoring in the wide-scale adoption of several bioinformatics tools, we designed a simple prototype. We embedded a cognitive tutor, built with the Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tool, on a preexisting platform, the Gene Adjacency Program, developed by the University of Ibadan Bioinformatics group. Our preliminary tests show that researchers who used the platform with the cognitive tutor embedded showed higher levels of competence and efficiency. These results indicate that cognitive tutors have the potential to teach bioinformatics researchers employing new tools how to efficiently use them and accurately make sense of their results.

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