Adding Authenticity to Inquiry in a First-Year, Research-Based, Biology Laboratory Course

Jane L. Indorf, Joanna Weremijewicz, David P. Janos, Michael Gaines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) are an effective way to integrate research into an undergraduate science curriculum and extend research experiences to a large, diverse group of early-career students. We developed a biology CURE at the University of Miami (UM) called the UM Authentic Research Laboratories (UMARL), in which groups of first-year students investigated novel questions and conducted projects of their own design related to the research themes of the faculty instructors. Herein, we describe the implementation and student outcomes of this long-running CURE. Using a national survey of student learning through research experiences in courses, we found that UMARL led to high student self-reported learning gains in research skills such as data analysis and science communication, as well as personal development skills such as self-confidence and self-efficacy. Our analysis of academic outcomes revealed that the odds of students who took UMARL engaging in individual research, graduating with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) within 4 years, and graduating with honors were 1.5–1.7 times greater than the odds for a matched group of students from UM’s traditional biology labs. The authenticity of UMARL may have fostered students’ confidence that they can do real research, reinforcing their persistence in STEM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberar38
JournalCBE life sciences education
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

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authenticity
biology
Students
Research
Research laboratories
Engineering technology
student
Mathematics
experience
science
Learning
mathematics
engineering
Technology
Curricula
communication sciences
Group
self-confidence
first-year student
Self Efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Adding Authenticity to Inquiry in a First-Year, Research-Based, Biology Laboratory Course. / Indorf, Jane L.; Weremijewicz, Joanna; Janos, David P.; Gaines, Michael.

In: CBE life sciences education, Vol. 18, No. 3, ar38, 01.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Indorf, Jane L. ; Weremijewicz, Joanna ; Janos, David P. ; Gaines, Michael. / Adding Authenticity to Inquiry in a First-Year, Research-Based, Biology Laboratory Course. In: CBE life sciences education. 2019 ; Vol. 18, No. 3.
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