PLoS Computational Biology (Nov 2020)

Using interactive digital notebooks for bioscience and informatics education.

  • Alan Davies,
  • Frances Hooley,
  • Peter Causey-Freeman,
  • Iliada Eleftheriou,
  • Georgina Moulton

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 16, no. 11
p. e1008326


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Interactive digital notebooks provide an opportunity for researchers and educators to carry out data analysis and report the results in a single digital format. Further to just being digital, the format allows for rich content to be created in order to interact with the code and data contained in such a notebook to form an educational narrative. This primer introduces some of the fundamental aspects involved in using Jupyter notebooks in an educational setting for teaching in the bio/health informatics disciplines. We also provide 2 case studies that detail how we used Jupyter notebooks to teach non-coders programming skills on a blended Master's degree module for a Health Informatics programme and a fully online distance learning unit on Programming for a postgraduate certificate (PG Cert) in Clinical Bioinformatics with a more technical audience.