NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1011728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
Toward a Better Understanding of Population Genetics: Pop!World--A Virtual, Inquiry-Based Tool for Teaching Population Genetics
Poulin, Jessica; Ramamurthy, Bina; Dittmar, Katharina
Journal of College Science Teaching, v42 n3 p32-37 Jan 2013
Population genetics is fundamental to understanding evolutionary theory, and is taught in most introductory biology/evolution courses. Many students are unaware that understanding this topic requires pertinent knowledge of mathematics and consequently struggle with the subject. As a response to this problem, a virtual tool (Pop!World) was developed that teaches introductory population genetics through intuitive, inquiry-based visual discoveries. In seven modules students test hypotheses pertaining to the tenants of Mendelian and population genetics. The use of these exercises in a large introductory evolution (1,500+) course as part of a lab unit is described. Survey responses indicate that students perceive the tool as helpful, and a significantly higher interest in the field of evolution is reported after completion of the Pop!World section. Evaluations of multiple student assessments suggest an increased performance in the population genetics section of the course. Generally, we conclude that the visual and modular nature of Pop!World represents a valuable approach to improving the understanding of the concepts of population genetics. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A