The advent of "omic" technologies has revolutionized Genetics and created a demand to focus classical genetics on its present-day applications (Redfield, 2012, PLoS Biol 10, e1001356ff.). This demand can be met by training students in Drosophila mating scheme design, which is an important problem solving skill routinely applied in many modern research laboratories. It requires thorough understanding and application of classical genetics rules, whilst also introducing to transgenic technologies and the use of model organisms. As we show here, such training can be implemented as a flexible and concise module (~1 day home study, ~8 hours course time) on university courses by using our previously published training package designed for fly researchers (Roote & Prokop, 2013, G3/Bethesda 3, 353ff.). However, assessing this training to make it an accredited course element, is difficult especially on large courses. Here, we present a powerful assessment strategy based on a novel hybrid concept where students solve crossing tasks initially on paper and then answer automatically marked questions on the computer (1.5 hours in total). This procedure can examine student performance on more complex tasks than conventional e-assessments and is more versatile, time-saving and fairer than standard paper-based assignments. Our evaluation shows that the hybrid assessment is effective and reliably detects varying degrees of understanding amongst students. It may be applicable also in other disciplines requiring complex problem solving, such as mathematics, chemistry, physics or informatics. Here, we describe our strategies in detail and provide all resources needed for their implementation.
- Received November 5, 2014.
- Accepted February 18, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 Author et al.
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