Table 4. Qualitative analysis of student responses regarding the helpfulness and limitations of the modeling activities.
Prompt & Total Number of Student Responses (Section A; Section B)ThemePercentage of Student Responses in Theme: Total (Section A, Section B)Example Student Response
“If you agreed that modeling mitosis and meiosis in class was beneficial to your learning, please explain in what ways the modeling activity was helpful.” N = 69 (38; 31)Visual representation49.3% (44.74%, 54.84%)“Visualizing the alleles and how they actually switched over. As well as realizing that they duplicate then proceed with the meiosis or mitosis.”
Physical manipulation28.99% (26.32%, 32.26%)“I love having a physical component to the ideas we talk about in class. I can memorize what you say in a lecture but I actually learn what happens when it is physically happening.”
Compare mitosis and meiosis14.50% (18.42%, 9.68%)“It was helpful in showing how the chromosomes line up compared to meiosis and mitosis, as well as some of the phases.”
Physical nature of genetic loci and exchange of genetic information14.50% (18.42%, 9.68%)“The beads helped me to understand that genes are located on the chromosomes and that they are exchanged during crossing over.”
“In what ways do you think the modeling mitosis and meiosis activity is limited, or could be improved?” N = 74 (48, 31)Instructions introduced confusion40.54% (58.14%, 16.12%)“The directions were confusing to follow, and waiting around to figure out what was going on made me more confused. I would recommend being more clear about the parental and maternal strand, and emphasizing that one bead goes on each pin for each sock.”
Additional instructor explanation16.22% (23.26%, 6.45%)“I think it could be helpful if we went over this activity as a class first so that we knew what was supposed to be happening, and then did the activity as small groups to get a better understanding.”
Large-group activity9.46% (16.28%, 0%)“I think it should have been done in one big group, and then the rest of the class watched it. I feel like it would have been easier to have [the instructor] explain everything while it was going on, too.”