What is GENIE?
GENIE (Genetics Education Networking for Innovation and Excellence) is a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). In March 2005 the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) agreed to fund 74 CETLs across all English regions as part of a £315 million program to promote excellence in teaching and learning covering a wide range of subjects and aspects of higher education. The University of Leicester is the lead institution for two CETLs, including GENIE, and a partner in a third.
GENIE is based within the Department of Genetics which is internationally recognised for its pioneering, revolutionary research and dynamic teaching by academics at the cutting edge of their discipline. GENIE is an effective tool to continue the department's passion for disseminating an understanding of and enthusiasm for science beyond academia, and will create a learning experience that is both innovative and intellectually exciting.
The GENIE Networks
GENIE is taking a national lead in developing innovative approaches and resources for genetics education. DNA is the molecular blueprint for all living things, putting genetics at the heart of all biology. It impacts on many areas of human health, welfare, daily life and society in general. We incorporate two networks, a real network of institutions engaged in genetics teaching and the Virtual Genetics Education Centre, providing an internationally accessible database of resources and information. The GENIE networks not only impact on genetics education locally, nationally and internationally, but also have wider implications through novel approaches to develop generic skills and through impact on outreach resources for promoting public awareness of science and widening participation in science education. Raising public awareness of genetics in science, society and medicine is an integral part of the GENIE CETL, working closely with the University's Institute of Lifelong Learning and the University's Widening Participation.
Excellence and Innovation
As part of GENIE's real network, a UK-wide network of stake holders in genetics education, GENIE's National Network, is being established. Via workshops and seminars, we will enable not only the dissemination of resources produced by the GENIE CETL in Leicester, but also the coordination and sharing of innovation and excellence being developed nationally. GENIE will enthuse and motivate other genetics educators and will strongly promote sharing of resources to establish best practice.
GENIE's Virtual Genetics Education Centre is a genetics information and education resource in the form of an ever expanding web-based network, which will has an international impact. It serves as a central platform for teachers and learners in higher education and for schools, health professionals and the general public.
The University of Leicester houses a wide variety of excellent teaching facilities. Additional dynamic, state of the art teaching facilities have been established with capital funding from the GENIE CETL. This is creating opportunities for innovative combinations of laboratory and e-learning approaches for undergraduates and postgraduates. GENIE will further enrich the learning experience through the development of motivating project work, for instance: student-centered problem-based group exercises, the design of modules focused on the social, legal and ethical implications of genetics, and engaging undergraduates in outreach activities in schools.