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Title: Addressing the Unique Qualities of Upper-Level Biology Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences through the Integration of Skill-Building
Synopsis  Early exposure to course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in introductory biology courses can promote positive student outcomes such as increased confidence, critical thinking, and views of applicability in lower-level courses, but it is unknown if these same impacts are achieved by upper-level courses. Upper-level courses differ from introductory courses in several ways, and one difference that could impact these positive student outcomes is the importance of balancing structure with independence in upper-level CUREs where students typically have more autonomy and greater complexity in their research projects. Here we compare and discuss two formats of upper-level biology CUREs (Guided and Autonomous) that vary along a continuum between structure and independence. We share our experiences teaching an upper-level CURE in two different formats and contrast those formats through student reported perceptions of confidence, professional applicability, and CURE format. Results indicate that the Guided Format (i.e., a more even balance between structure and independence) led to more positive impacts on student outcomes than the Autonomous Format (less structure and increased independence). We review the benefits and drawbacks of each approach while considering the unique elements of upper-level courses relative to lower-level courses. We conclude with a discussion of how implementing structured skill-building more » can assist instructors in adapting CUREs to their courses. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1751296
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10273000
Journal Name:
Integrative and Comparative Biology
ISSN:
1540-7063
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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