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Author Notes:

Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Physics, Hope College, Holland MI 49423. Phone: 616-395-7114. Fax: 616-395-7123. E-mail: mader@hope.edu.

We thank David Lopatto and Leslie Jaworski at Grinnell College for administering the CURE survey for many of the courses.

We thank Barb Throop at Hope College for compiling all of the CURE data and carrying out preliminary analyses.

We thank many faculty and staff who participated in the design and implementation of the CREs included in this study and the students who took these courses.

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

Financial support for the curricular changes and the collaboration programs was provided by grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Undergraduate Science Education Program.

Multi-Institutional, Multidisciplinary Study of the Impact of Course-Based Research Experiences†

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Journal Title:

Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education


Volume 18, Number 2


Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Numerous national reports have called for reforming laboratory courses so that all students experience the research process. In response, many course-based research experiences (CREs) have been developed and implemented. Research on the impact of these CREs suggests that student benefits can be similar to those of traditional apprentice-model research experiences. However, most assessments of CREs have been in individual courses at individual institutions or across institutions using the same CRE model. Furthermore, which structures and components of CREs result in the greatest student gains is unknown. We explored the impact of different CRE models in different contexts on student self-reported gains in understanding, skills, and professional development using the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey. Our analysis included 49 courses developed and taught at seven diverse institutions. Overall, students reported greater gains for all benefits when compared with the reported national means for the Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE). Two aspects of these CREs were associated with greater student gains: 1) CREs that were the focus of the entire course or that more fully integrated modules within a traditional laboratory and 2) CREs that had a higher degree of student input and results that were unknown to both students and faculty.

Copyright information:

©2017 Author(s)

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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