Title

A course-based research experience: how benefits change with increased investment in instructional time

SMC Author

Vidya Chandraskaran

SMC Affiliated Work

1

Author Role

co-author

Status

Faculty

School

School of Science

Department

Biology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Publication Title

CBE Life Sci Educ.

Description/Abstract

There is widespread agreement that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs should provide undergraduates with research experience. Practical issues and limited resources, however, make this a challenge. We have developed a bioinformatics project that provides a course-based research experience for students at a diverse group of schools and offers the opportunity to tailor this experience to local curriculum and institution-specific student needs. We assessed both attitude and knowledge gains, looking for insights into how students respond given this wide range of curricular and institutional variables. While different approaches all appear to result in learning gains, we find that a significant investment of course time is required to enable students to show gains commensurate to a summer research experience. An alumni survey revealed that time spent on a research project is also a significant factor in the value former students assign to the experience one or more years later. We conclude: 1) implementation of a bioinformatics project within the biology curriculum provides a mechanism for successfully engaging large numbers of students in undergraduate research; 2) benefits to students are achievable at a wide variety of academic institutions; and 3) successful implementation of course-based research experiences requires significant investment of instructional time for students to gain full benefit.

DOI

10.1187/cbe-13-08-0152.

Volume

13

Issue

1

First Page

111

Last Page

130

Disciplines

Biology | Life Sciences

Original Citation

Shaffer CD, Alvarez CJ, Bednarski AE, Dunbar D, Goodman AL, Reinke C, Rosenwald AG, Wolyniak MJ, Bailey C, Barnard D, Bazinet C, Beach DL, Bedard JE, Bhalla S, Braverman J, Burg M, Chandrasekaran V, Chung HM, Clase K et.al., A course-based research experience: how benefits change with increased investment in instructional time. CBE Life Sci Educ.13(1):111-30. Spring 2014. 10.1187/cbe-13-08-0152.

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