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Research Update

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November 16th, 2011

Students were given the DNA Concept Quiz on September 6, 2011 prior to any lecture on DNA structure and function.

I administered the DNA structure modeling lab on October 17, 2011. The lab was delayed due to unforseen circumstances, but seemed to go quite well. Prior to the lab, students were given an independent study assignment and required to take a quiz on DNA structure and replication prior to any formal lecture and the DNA modeling lab. This quiz was first taken by the students individually and then in groups of five assigned by me on the basis of grade point, class ranking and sex. The next day after the quiz, students participated in the DNA modeling lab in the same groups. After completion of the lab, the quiz was returned to the students and reviewed. After the review, the students were then expected to complete a Peer Review Evaluation Form on each of the other members in their group. (Groups were given the names of either, Viruses, Bacteria or Fungi. All forms, quizzes and lab details have been placed on my Research page.) The final quiz score was based as follows:

Individual score:       40%

Group score:             40%

Group participation:  20%

  Since completion of the DNA modeling lab and Quiz, the students have completed the second exam which will be compared with last year's class. At the end of the semester, they will retake the same DNA concept quiz to see how their understanding has changed and what they remember. This same concept quiz will be used in subsequent courses that our biology majors are required to complete, in particular, Genetics and Biochemistry, so we can monitor student retention and changes in understanding.