BIOL 310 Genetics - Hiddinga

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About This Article

This article describes how mobile computing, specifically tablets, was piloted in Prof. Jay Hiddinga's BIOL 310 Genetics to transform teaching and learning.

Intended Audience

WSU instructors interested in past faculty experience with tablet devices in the classroom.

Fall 2013 iPad Pilot

Students in this course had access to an iPad tablet to use throughout the fall semester along with several apps selected by Dr. Hiddinga for use in class and in the field. The pilot was repeated in the Spring 2014 term.

How the iPads are Used in BIOL 310

Students in Dr. Hiddinga's BIOL 310 used their iPads more than they used their textbooks. According to Professor Hiddinga, iPad applications allowed for easily discovered and easily understood genetic relationships. The apps started the students at the organism and drilled down to the genetic level, showing how genes worked, how genetics affect disease and vice versa, and the importance of genetic variants.

Dr. Hiddinga set this as his main objective:

  • Make learning more interactive and interesting for the students. The objective is to capture their attention through the applications and the animations, increasing understanding and generating desire for additional information.


Changes in the classroom

  • Students come to lectures wanting more information. Because the applications were engaging and caught the students' interest, they came to lecture more prepared and interested in more details regarding the subject.
  • Students and teachers have access to the most current information. The applications are frequently updated by professionals in the world of biology and updates are sent to the owners of the application. This keeps learning current and produces graduates with the most relevant information available.


  • Dr. Hiddinga sees the value of the iPads and changes in the classroom. He recommends continued use within the curriculum and plans to add assignments based on the applications and mobile quizzing.

iPad Applications Employed in BIOL 310

Professor Hiddinga used the following applications in his BIOL 310 iPad pilot:

  • Gene Screen
  • MyGenome
  • Nature Human Genome Special Edition
  • Talking Glossary of Genetics

Descriptions, pricing, and links to iTunes for each of these applications is available on the iPad Pilot Applications page.

More Information

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