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Drawing a Link Between Genetic Inheritance and Meiosis: A Set of Exercises for the Undergraduate Biology Classroom

    Authors: Stephanie Strand1,#,*, Katie E. Boes1,#
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH 44691
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 20 December 2018 Accepted 22 March 2019 Published 26 July 2019
    • ©2019 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, The College of Wooster, 931 College Mall, Wooster, OH 44691. Phone: 330-263-2088. E-mail: [email protected].
    • # Both authors contributed equally to this report.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. July 2019 vol. 20 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i2.1733
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    Abstract:

    Alleles are passed from parent to offspring through meiotic cell division and subsequent fusion of gametes. Despite this important link, general biology courses at the high school and college levels frequently discuss meiosis and genetic inheritance as two distinct content areas. As a consequence, students may leave biology courses with a working knowledge of both meiosis and genetic inheritance in isolation rather than understanding them as interconnected topics. In this paper, we describe and provide a series of classroom exercises that prompt students to explore the connection between meiosis and genetic inheritance. Specifically, students draw cells containing chromosomes with labeled alleles to illustrate key steps in the formation of gametes during meiosis and the subsequent fusion of gametes during fertilization. We believe that this approach is appropriate for either group or individual work, during or outside of class time, and we describe potential benefits for students and instructors.

References & Citations

1. American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action: a summary of recommendations made at a national conference organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science July 15–17, 2009 Washington, DC
2. Brownell SE, Freeman S, Wenderoth MP, Crowe AJ 2014 BioCore guide: a tool for interpreting the core concepts of Vision and Change for biology majors CBE Life Sci Educ 13 200 211 10.1187/cbe.13-12-0233 4041499 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.13-12-0233
3. Newman DL, Catavero CM, Wright LK 2012 Students fail to transfer knowledge of chromosome structure to topics pertaining to cell division CBE Life Sci Educ 11 425 436 10.1187/cbe.12-01-0003 23222838 3516798 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.12-01-0003
4. Quillan K, Thomas S 2015 Drawing-to-learn: a framework for using drawings to promote model-based reasoning in biology CBE Life Sci Educ 14 1 16
5. Meade ME, Wammes JD, Fernandes MA 2018 Drawing as an encoding tool: memorial benefits in younger and older adults Exp Aging Res 44 369 396 10.1080/0361073X.2018.1521432 30300080 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0361073X.2018.1521432
6. Freeman S, Eddy SL, McDonough M, Smith MK, Okoroafor N, Jordt H, Wenderoth MP 2014 Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering and mathematics Proc Natl Acad Sci 111 8410 8415 10.1073/pnas.1319030111 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1319030111
7. Haak DC, HilleRisLambers J, Pitre E, Freeman S 2011 Increased structure and active learning reduce the achievement gap in introductory biology Science 332 1213 1216 10.1126/science.1204820 21636776 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1204820
8. Kindfield ACH 1994 Assessing an understanding of biological processes: elucidating students’ models of meiosis Am Biol Teach 56 367 371 10.2307/4449854 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/4449854
9. Smith MK, Wood WB, Knight JK 2008 The genetics concept assessment: a new concept inventory for gauging student understanding of genetics CBE Life Sci Educ 7 422 430 10.1187/cbe.08-08-0045 19047428 2592048 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.08-08-0045

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v20i2.1733
2019-07-26
2019-09-21

Abstract:

Alleles are passed from parent to offspring through meiotic cell division and subsequent fusion of gametes. Despite this important link, general biology courses at the high school and college levels frequently discuss meiosis and genetic inheritance as two distinct content areas. As a consequence, students may leave biology courses with a working knowledge of both meiosis and genetic inheritance in isolation rather than understanding them as interconnected topics. In this paper, we describe and provide a series of classroom exercises that prompt students to explore the connection between meiosis and genetic inheritance. Specifically, students draw cells containing chromosomes with labeled alleles to illustrate key steps in the formation of gametes during meiosis and the subsequent fusion of gametes during fertilization. We believe that this approach is appropriate for either group or individual work, during or outside of class time, and we describe potential benefits for students and instructors.

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