Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Picture Essay: Recombinant DNA - Section 3: Instructional Input/Student Activities

 

In terms of the series of steps taken that lead toward understanding the concept of genetic engineering, many students struggle with this particular concept. If they don't grasp this step, then the remaining concepts will remain murky. Therefore, I am looking at student work with three criteria in mind.

Let's look at the samples.

 Student A

1. Did the student show the splicing of DNA from two separate species? In this case, human and bacterial. Yes

2. Did the student show the insertion of the recombinant DNA into a separate (recipient) organism (a different bacterium in this case)? Yes

3. Did the student show how the bacteria was coaxed to produce the human protein product (once it was genetically redesigned)? No

Miscellaneous observations: The plasmid was mislabeled. The response to the prompt was vague. It was not entirely clear that he understood the purpose of the process. Yes, he mentions that "Finally, you combine the Vector, Desired Gene, and the Plasmid you get the recipient organism".

Student B

1. Did the student show the splicing of DNA from two separate species? In this case, human and bacterial. No. The relationship is incorrectly understood.

2. Did the student show the insertion of the recombinant DNA into a separate (recipient) organism (a different bacterium in this case)? Yes (mostly). Although the diagram doesn't correctly label the parts, the written response gets at the gist of this process.

3. Did the student show how the bacteria was coaxed to produce the human protein product (once it was genetically redesigned)? Somewhat. This is correctly described in written response to prompt however the diagram is muddled.

Miscellaneous observations: Here are just a few issues. "Chromosome", among other words, misspelled. Wrong label on #5 (Recipient Organism). Misconstrues the relationship between vector and plasmid.

Clearly these students need re-teaching which is exactly what happened. After reviewing the answer key with the class (and answering questions and clarifying misconceptions) the vast majority of students got the answers right on the unit test!

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: "Frankestein" genes
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Picture Essay: Recombinant DNA

Unit 5: 5) Genetic Engineering
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: Students will be able to explain (make sense of) the technical process leading to the creation of GMOs (via “recombinant DNA”).

Big Idea: By manipulating the genome, genetically modified organisms can be created through a straightforward but technically complex three-step process.

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Subject(s):
Science, genetic material, Biotechnology, Genetics, GMOs, Genetic Engineering, recombinant DNA, Concept Map, engineering
  55 minutes
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