An Introduction to Genetic Analysis 11th Edition
Since its first edition in 1974, Introduction to Genetic Analysis has emphasized the power and incisiveness of the genetic approach in biological research and its applications. Over its many editions, the text has continuously expanded its coverage as the power of traditional genetic analysis has been extended with the introduction of recombinant DNA technology and then genomics. In the eleventh edition, we continue this tradition and show how the flowering of this powerful type of analysis has been used for insight into research in biology, agriculture, and human health.
One of the important new features in this edition is the inclusion of lists of learning outcomes at the beginning of each chapter. Learning outcomes are crucial components of understanding. One of the tenets of the constructivist theory of learning is that although understanding might be a series of new mental circuits, the learner can never be sure of what is in his or her brain until called upon for some type of performance. Indeed, understanding has even been defined by some as flexible performance capacity. The lists of goals show learners what precise performances are expected of them. The notes that follow show how the benefits of the learning outcomes in this book can be maximized for instructors who wish to use them.
Classroom sessions large and small (for example, lectures and tutorials) should be structured as far as possible on learning outcomes closely paralleling those in these chapters. At various stages in the classes students should be asked to demonstrate their understanding of the material just covered by attaining one or more learning outcomes. In writing examination or test questions, the instructor should try to stick closely to learning outcomes. When reviewing test results, show in what ways the outcomes have been attained or not attained by the learner.
Students should read the list of learning outcomes before embarking on a chapter. Although it will not be possible to understand most of them before reading the chapter, their wording gives a good idea of the lay of the land, and shows the extent of what the instructor’s expectations are. Ideally, after reading a section of the chapter, it is a good idea for a student to go back to the list and match the material covered to an outcome. This process should be repeated at the end of the chapter by scanning the sections and making a complete match with each outcome as far as possible. In solving the end-of-chapter problems, try to focus effort on the skills described in the learning outcomes. Students should use the learning outcomes for rapid review when studying for exams; they should try to imagine ways that they will be expected to demonstrate understanding through the application of the outcomes.
The general goal of a course in genetics is to learn how to think and work like a geneticist. The learning outcomes can fractionate this general goal into the many different skills required in this analytical subject.
In this edition we have replaced “Messages” with “Key Concepts.” Messages have been in the book since its first edition in 1974. In the 1960s and 1970s, perhaps due to the popularity of Marshall McLuhan’s principle “The medium is the message,” the word message was in common use, and teachers were often asked, “What is your message?” Although with the rise of electronic media it is perhaps time for a resurgence of McLuhan’s principle, we felt that the word message no longer has the meaning it had in 1974.
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