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Each to Their Own CURE: Faculty Who Teach Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences Report Why You Too Should Teach a CURE

    Authors: Erin E. Shortlidge1,2, Gita Bangera3, Sara E. Brownell1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ, 85281; 3: WISE Institute, Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA 98007
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 28 October 2016 Accepted 17 February 2017 Published 26 May 2017
    • ©2017 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, 451 E. Tyler Mall, Tempe AZ, 85281. Phone: 480-965-0803. Fax: 480-965-6899. E-mail: sara.brownell@asu.edu.
    • 2 Currently: Department of Biology, Portland State University, Portland, OR 9701
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2017 vol. 18 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1260
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    Abstract:

    Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) meet national recommendations for integrating research experiences into life science curricula. As such, CUREs have grown in popularity and many research studies have focused on student outcomes from CUREs. Institutional change literature highlights that understanding faculty is also key to new pedagogies succeeding. To begin to understand faculty perspectives on CUREs, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 61 faculty who teach CUREs regarding why they teach CUREs, what the outcomes are, and how they would discuss a CURE with a colleague. Using grounded theory, participant responses were coded and categorized as tangible or intangible, related to both student and faculty-centered themes. We found that intangible themes were prevalent, and that there were significant differences in the emphasis on tangible themes for faculty who have developed their own independent CUREs when compared with faculty who implement pre-developed, national CUREs. We focus our results on the similarities and differences among the perspectives of faculty who teach these two different CURE types and explore trends among all participants. The results of this work highlight the need for considering a multi-dimensional framework to understand, promote, and successfully implement CUREs.

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2017-05-26
2017-11-19

Abstract:

Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) meet national recommendations for integrating research experiences into life science curricula. As such, CUREs have grown in popularity and many research studies have focused on student outcomes from CUREs. Institutional change literature highlights that understanding faculty is also key to new pedagogies succeeding. To begin to understand faculty perspectives on CUREs, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 61 faculty who teach CUREs regarding why they teach CUREs, what the outcomes are, and how they would discuss a CURE with a colleague. Using grounded theory, participant responses were coded and categorized as tangible or intangible, related to both student and faculty-centered themes. We found that intangible themes were prevalent, and that there were significant differences in the emphasis on tangible themes for faculty who have developed their own independent CUREs when compared with faculty who implement pre-developed, national CUREs. We focus our results on the similarities and differences among the perspectives of faculty who teach these two different CURE types and explore trends among all participants. The results of this work highlight the need for considering a multi-dimensional framework to understand, promote, and successfully implement CUREs.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Faculty who develop CUREs differ in overall thematic responses from those who implement CUREs. a) Tangible themes are more prevalent in faculty who develop CUREs than in those who implement CUREs ( 219; 0.0008; 61). Intangible themes do not differ significantly among CURE types. Boxes represent middle quartiles. Box whiskers represent min to max, data mean are at crosses and median at the horizontal lines. b) Tangible:Intangible statement ratio differs by CURE type. Participants who developed CUREs tangible:intangible ratios are significantly higher ( = 2.36, 0.02; 61) than those who implemented pre-developed CUREs.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2017 vol. 18 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1260
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FIGURE 3

Tangible statements differ by the position that a faculty member has. The mean number of tangible statements made by participants across the three focal questions differed by position type. Instructors made significantly fewer tangible statements than did assistant or associate professors ( 0.01; 61). Full professors did not differ in mean number of tangible statements made from the faculty with other positions.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2017 vol. 18 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1260
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FIGURE 2

Relative frequency of each category of faculty responses. Motivations for faculty who develop CUREs are different than those of faculty who implement CUREs in that they state more tangible motivations, both faculty-centered ( 0.03; 61) and student-centered ( 0.05; 61). Those who develop CUREs collectively state faculty-centered tangible benefits more than those who implement CUREs ( 0.003; 61) and those who implement CUREs state student-centered intangible benefits more often than those who develop CUREs ( 0.03; 61). The relative frequency of pitch categories is not different between CURE types. Results are based on contingency tests and Fisher’s Exact test two-tail test of significance.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2017 vol. 18 no. 2 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1260
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