Personal DNA testing in college classrooms: perspectives of students and professors.

Genetic testing and molecular biomarkers

PubMedID: 23537214

Daley LA, Wagner JK, Himmel TL, McPartland KA, Katsanis SH, Shriver MD, Royal CD. Personal DNA testing in college classrooms: perspectives of students and professors. Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2013;17(6):446-52.
Discourse on the integration of personal genetics and genomics into classrooms is increasing; however, limited data have been collected on the perspectives of students and professors. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of undergraduate and graduate students as well as professors at two major universities to assess attitudes regarding the use of personal DNA testing and other personalized activities in college classrooms. Students indicated that they were more likely to enroll (60.2%) in a genetics course if it offered personal DNA testing; undergraduate students were more likely than graduate students to enroll if personal DNA testing was offered (p=0.029). Students who majored in the physical sciences were less likely to enroll than students in the biological or social sciences (p=0.019). Students also indicated that when course material is personalized, the course is more interesting (94.6%) and the material is easier to learn (87.3%). Professors agreed that adding a personalized element increases student interest, participation, and learning (86.0%, 82.6%, and 72.6%, respectively). The results of this study indicate that, overall, students and professors had a favorable view of the integration of personalized information, including personal DNA testing, into classroom activities, and students welcomed more opportunities to participate in personalized activities.