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Students Who Analyze Their Own Data in a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) Show Gains in Scientific Identity and Emotional Ownership of Research

    Authors: Katelyn M. Cooper1,#,*, Matthew L. Knope2,#, Maya J. Munstermann3, Sara E. Brownell4
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    Affiliations: 1: School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501; 2: Biology Department, University of Hawai’i Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720; 3: Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Graduate Program, University of Hawai’i Hilo, Hilo, HI 96720; 4: Research for Inclusive STEM Education Center, Biology Education Research Lab, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 11 May 2020 Accepted 09 September 2020 Published 12 November 2020
    • ©2020 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: Research for Inclusive STEM Education Center, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, PO Box 874501, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501. Phone: 480-965-3500. E-mail: [email protected].
    • # These authors contributed equally to this work.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. November 2020 vol. 21 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v21i3.2157
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    Abstract:

    While it has been established that course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) lead to student benefits, it is less clear what aspects of CUREs lead to such gains. In this study, we aimed to understand the effect of students analyzing their own data, compared with students analyzing data that had been collected by professional scientists. We compared the experiences of students in a CURE investigating whether the extinction risk status of terrestrial mammals and birds is associated with their ecological traits. Students in the CURE were randomly assigned to analyze either data that they had collected or data previously collected by professional scientists. All other aspects of the student experience were designed to be identical. We found that students who analyzed their own data showed significantly greater gains in scientific identity and emotional ownership than students who analyzed data collected by professional scientists.

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2020-11-12
2020-12-01

Abstract:

While it has been established that course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) lead to student benefits, it is less clear what aspects of CUREs lead to such gains. In this study, we aimed to understand the effect of students analyzing their own data, compared with students analyzing data that had been collected by professional scientists. We compared the experiences of students in a CURE investigating whether the extinction risk status of terrestrial mammals and birds is associated with their ecological traits. Students in the CURE were randomly assigned to analyze either data that they had collected or data previously collected by professional scientists. All other aspects of the student experience were designed to be identical. We found that students who analyzed their own data showed significantly greater gains in scientific identity and emotional ownership than students who analyzed data collected by professional scientists.

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FIGURE 1

Timeline of activities for students in the CURE. All students engaged in the same scientific practices with one exception: students in one group analyzed the data they had collected (students’ own data) while students in the other group analyzed data collected by professional scientists (professional scientists’ data).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. November 2020 vol. 21 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v21i3.2157
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