At a Glance


  • STEM
  • Biology

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP
  • University

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Analyzing
  • Reading
  • Taking a quiz & test

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Laptops

Class size

  • Small (20-49)
  • Medium (50-99)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building
  • Assessment & knowledge refinement


In this activity, students analyze a pedigree chart (Part A in the pdf) to identify which individuals are carriers of the disease Alkaptonuria (ALK). The pedigree uses two linked traits (ALK and blood type), providing an extra challenge for students in analyzing the pedigree.

Students begin by doing pre-class readings and watching videos through Moodle related to pedigrees and genetics, and also perform a quiz to test what they have learned.

In class, the instructor reviews inheritance patterns and answers any student questions related to the material. During this time, students perform a clicker-like quiz on Moodle to test that they have understood the key concepts. The recommended time for reviewing the material and doing the quiz is 35 minutes.

The rest of the class time is devoted to the activity. Students get into their pre-assigned groups of 4. Using Moodle, groups work through a pedigree chart and answer questions related to that chart.

There are extra pedigree analyses (Part B and Part C in the pdf) for groups that finish early. Alternatively, these extra activities can be accessed by students outside of class (through Moodle) as additional practice post-class.

Instructional Objectives

At the end of this activity, students are expected to have a better understanding of autosomal dominant, recessive, and sex-linked traits, and be able to analyze displayed patterns and genetic relationships. They should also have a deeper understanding of gene linkage, and be able to apply this knowledge to other pedigree charts. This includes the application of probability to solve complex pedigree problems.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

Karl Laroche

Karl Laroche

Vanier College, Montreal


This case study-like activity motivates students, since they see a real-world application for genetics in the pedigree analysis.

The questions are set up to guide the students through the pedigree chart in a step-by-step manner, which helps students break down the chart into more manageable and understandable sections.


Keeping students focused and on track (time-wise)

Because this activity is performed in Moodle, there is a specific way that students must input their answers. If they do not, even if their answer is correct, it is marked as incorrect.


Bonus question worth points on their next test really motivates students to take the time to answer well. It also helps keep them focused and on track during the activity.

Be sure to emphasize how to correctly input answers in Moodle.


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