In Italian universities, bioinformatics courses are increasingly being incorporated into different study paths. However, the content of bioinformatics courses is usually selected by the professor teaching the course, in the absence of national guidelines that identify the minimum indispensable knowledge in bioinformatics that undergraduate students from different scientific fields should achieve. The Training&Teaching group of the Bioinformatics Italian Society (BITS) proposed to university professors a survey aimed at portraying the current situation of bioinformatics courses within undergraduate curricula in Italy (i.e., bioinformatics courses activated within both bachelor's and master's degrees). Furthermore, the Training&Teaching group took a cue from the survey outcomes to develop recommendations for the design and the inclusion of bioinformatics courses in academic curricula. Here, we present the outcomes of the survey, as well as the BITS recommendations, with the hope that they may support BITS members in identifying learning outcomes and selecting content for their bioinformatics courses. As we share our effort with the broader international community involved in teaching bioinformatics at academic level, we seek feedback and thoughts on our proposal and hope to start a fruitful debate on the topic, including how to better fulfill the real bioinformatics knowledge needs of the research and the labor market at both the national and international level.
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