Track: Posters

Title Learning Genetics by Breeding Ozimals Bunnies
Author(s): Stephen Gasior
Date Thursday, March 15 19:00
Location: Posters
Abstract For nomajors biology students, one of the challenges of understanding biodiversity and evolution is to have a foundation in inheritance patterns and genetics. Mendelian genetics follows very simple rules that are relatively easy to know; however, being able to analyze a pedigree with the traits and deduce the inheritance pattern is separate challenge. Many times classes use reiterations of Mendel's peas or other simple human traits. The advantage of Ozimals bunnies is that they follow a Mendelian-like inheritance pattern than can conform to known examples, but also requires analysis to know when it is non-Mendelian. Also, they have 4 separate traits that allow to analysis in one organism. These, and other Second Life specific breedables, offer an opportunity for students to "take care" of an animal for pedigree analysis. This promotes more engagement for student learning. Students were given a male and female Ozimals bunny pair and ask to build a visible pedigree for 4 traits and then analyze the inheritance pattern.By requiring engagement and creation in combination, students can learn basic Mendelian genetics. Student are required to check-in on the health and happiness of their bunnies and are able to interact with them by petting.   
Bio(s): Stephen Gasior: I have been teaching biology at University of New Orleans for 4 years and have taught a nonmajors biology course in Second Life for 2 semester.

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