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Peer Review

The Biology Project: Mendelian Genetics



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Feb 22, 2001 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This module provides a series of multiple choice questions in four major areas: 1) Monohybrid Cross (autosomal
single gene inheritance), 2) Dihybrid Cross (independent assortment of autosomal genes with and without
epistasis, introduction of linkage but not recombination), 3) Sex-linked Inheritance I (sex-linked single gene
inheritance), and 4) Sex-linked Inheritance II (sex-linked inheritance of two genes with recombination but not
recombination frequency).

Multiple choice answers act as hyperlinks. Selecting the correct answer will update the question with a brief
explanation of why the answer is correct. Selecting the incorrect answer will update the question with a detailed
explanation of how the correct answer is derived. Even if the correct answer is chosen, the detailed explanation
of how the correct answer is derived can be accessed to reinforce understanding.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: 5, 5, 5 = 5

Questions provided are standard types of questions that would be used to probe the understanding of basic
genetic concepts. The explanations of the correct answers (referred in each question as a "tutorial" for that
question) are very well done. Explanations are clear, succinct, and accompanied by diagrams which use color
very effectively to show phenotype and trace the inheritance of alleles.

Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: 4, 5, 4 = 4.33

Step by step explanations of how correct answers are derived along with excellent step by step illustrations
making very effective use of color in many cases.

Concerns: Each question has access to a "tutorial" prior to submission of an answer. In actuality, for most questions, the
tutorial is an explanation of how the correct answer is derived and thus contains the correct answer. Students
should be aware that the tutorial will not just give them background information which would aid them in answering
the question.

Incorrect answers to multiple choice questions fall into several categories. In the simplest case, incorrect answers
are simply numbers or phrases in the conceptual "neighborhood" of the correct answer. Their selection simply
means a lack of understanding on the part of the student and in such a case, just the explanation of why the
correct answer is correct is sufficient. In more complex types of multiple choice questions, incorrect answers
anticipate some specific misunderstanding and act as a "trap". In this case, in addition to an explanation of how the
correct answer is derived, an explanation should also be provided to correct the specific misconception or
misconceptions that would have caused the selection of the incorrect answer. The structure of this tutorial mainly
utilizes the former types of questions and does not provide explanations of incorrect answers for the latter types
of questions

The Mendelian Genetics module is not complete in its coverage of basic genetics. While the notion of linkage is
introduced in the "Dihybrid Cross" problem set and expanded upon in the "Sex-linked Inheritance 2" problem set,
students will not obtain a thorough review. Specifically, a more comprehensive treatment of autosomal linkage and
the concept of recombination is missing. No review of material dealing with recombination frequency determination
and gene mapping is presented at all

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: 5, 5, 5 = 5

Navigation through the tutorial is quite obvious from the use of hyperlinks and clearly labeled buttons.

Concerns: In cases where the tutorial makes a detour to another module or section, the new destination replaces the material
in the current window. Use of general browser navigation tools is required to return to the quiz material. While this
may cause some initial confusion navigation back should be quite obvious to most students familiar with web