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A Structured Inquiry Approach to Cotyledon Phenotyping

Transmission genetics labs are valuable for undergraduate development of analytical thinking skills. However, these labs typically present the scientific process as artificially linear, with a single "right answer." This resource describes an inquiry-based approach to teaching a transmission genetics lab focused on plant cotyledon color. Student groups are required to develop a hypothesis based on limited information, determine phenotype categories based on observation rather than given information, and use qualitative and chi-squared analysis to evaluate their hypotheses. Optional activities to further enhance the scientific thinking component of the project are also described.
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Format
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
General Biology Core Concepts
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords transmission genetics, scientific thinking, hypothesis development, qualitative data, Mendelian inheritance, chi-squared test, hypothesis evaluation, hypothesis refinement, collaboration
Key taxa tobacco, tomato, corn, sorghum, Brassica rapa, Arabidopsis thaliana
Audience
Intended End User Role
Language
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Description This resource describes multiple ways to enhance the scientific thinking component of a transmission genetics lab project. The "core" lab project is described for the instructor, with an example of a worksheet for students and two grading rubrics to aid implementation. Several advanced options to extend or increase the challenge level of the project are described for the instructor. The pedagogical reasoning behind various options is described.
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Department of Natural Sciences, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN
Primary Author email Lindsey.Tuominen@metrostate.edu
Rights L.K. Tuominen
Date Of Record Submission 2015-11-12

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