Course Title:

Working as a Genetic Assistant, SOM


In the Working as a Genetic Assistant non-degree, non-credit course, learners are tasked with “drawing” pedigrees for different scenarios for an assessment. A pedigree can be and often is drawn using pedigree software tools, but not all students have access to or are comfortable using them.  

Areas of Focus:

  • Provide diverse assessment strategies

Hopkins Universal Design for Learning logo

  • Barrier to Student Success

    Not all learners have access to or are comfortable using drawing tools or other software or hardware to draw and submit a pedigree assessment.

  • Solution

    To facilitate learner success for this assessment, directions were developed that provide the learner with a list of different suggested options that they can choose from to draw and submit their pedigrees for the assessment.

    When the faculty and instructional designer met, they decided on a list of appropriate options for students to “draw” their pedigrees, including Word processing/ presentation software, by hand on a piece of white blank paper, or free online pedigree tools/ software. Additionally, a list of free pedigree software tools was provided to the learners in their optional resources for the module.

    Furthermore, to provide clarity and flexibility, the faculty and instructional designer created a list of various file formats that the pedigrees could be submitted in, such as .docx, .pptx, .jpg, .png, and .pdf. They ensured that this list accommodated all the “drawing” methods were provided.

    A note regarding the drawing by hand option was also developed and included in the assessment directions as well, noting that it was acceptable to take a photo of the paper (in the case they might not have access to a scanner), but that the learner needed to ensure it was legible.

    Providing the learners with a diverse set of options for developing and submitting their assessment overcomes the barriers of not having certain software or hardware to be able to successfully and efficiently be able to complete the assessment. Learners can select the option(s) that work(s) best for them and the tool(s) and resources that they currently have access to. Collaboration between the faculty and instructional designer ensured for ease and capacity in grading for the faculty for the different formats as well. Learners and faculty have experienced great success with this assessment strategy that incorporated appropriate choice and diversity.

  • Alignment with UDL
  • Additional Information

    Division/Department: School of Medicine
    HUDL Ambassador: Lindsay Ledebur
    Faculty Name: Jennifer Cedeno, Carolyn Applegate
    Instructional Designer: Lindsay Ledebur