Published In

Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

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Biology -- Study and teaching (Higher), Biology -- Research, Project method in teaching, Research -- Methodology


Integrating research experiences into undergraduate life sciences curricula in the form of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) can meet national calls for education reform by giving students the chance to “do science.” In this article, we provide a step-by-step practical guide to help instructors assess their CUREs using best practices in assessment. We recommend that instructors first identify their anticipated CURE learning outcomes, then work to identify an assessment instrument that aligns to those learning outcomes and critically evaluate the results from their course assessment. To aid instructors in becoming aware of what instruments have been developed, we have also synthesized a table of “off-the-shelf” assessment instruments that instructors could use to assess their own CUREs. However, we acknowledge that each CURE is unique and instructors may expect specific learning outcomes that cannot be assessed using existing assessment instruments, so we recommend that instructors consider developing their own assessments that are tightly aligned to the context of their CURE.


©2016 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 (, which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

Supplemental materials available at and also below -- see supplemental files.



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jmbe-17-399-s001.pdf (435 kB)
Supplemental Materials for How to Assess Your CURE: A Practical Guide for Instructors of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences

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