Design of Resources for First Year Meiosis Tutorial

Project Leaders: Annette Cashmore and Nicola Suter-Giorgini

This project was funded by the GENIE CETL grant.

students at desks doing the meiosis tutorial cards

The meiosis tutorial card game was developed to help students grasp the concept of gametic variation created during the process of meiosis.  It assumes previous knowledge and understanding of meiotic division.

The tutorial takes students through the process of meiosis using coloured cards, coin tossing and questions to emphasise the randomness of gamete creation.  Each group of 4 or 5 students were given a complete set of cards depicting meiotic stages. 

The cards are based on a cell containing 2 chromosome pairs.  One crossover of each chromosome is depicted.  The student place cards on the table depicting progression through meiosis and answer the relevant questions on their tutorial sheets. At the point of the first cell division, students are asked to toss a coin to decide if they will carry on with orientation A or orientation B of the chromosomes.  The unused set of cards is then placed to one side.  Following the first division, there are two card sets (Ai and Aii cells if the A set was chosen from the first coin toss).  These cards are again used to follow the progress of meiosis.  At the point of sister chromatid separation, the cards become two-sided, with different colours for the different possible chromosome orientations. The students again toss a coin for each cell (i and ii) to decide which orientation (colour) of sister chromatids will be used.  At the completion of meiosis, the students end up with two cards, each with two cells.  The cells they end up with are entered into a table, both at the front of the class, and in the students’ tutorial sheet.  The students add their results to the class table at the front, and any missing possible combinations are added as a class with the guidance of the tutor.

The 16 possible different gametes that can result from a single, 2 chromosome cell, with one crossover per chromosome help to emphasise the extent of variation possible. The final question in the tutorial extrapolates these results to the variation possible for human gametes.
Before and after questionnaires used in a focus group and a pilot study of this tutorial have shown improved understanding of meiotic variation.

If you wish to access any of the key documents relating to this tutorial, please click the link below, which will take you to the relevant page within the Virtual Genetics Education Centre

Conferences Attended:

Poster presentation at HEA “Shaping the future” conference 22-23 June 2010


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