Thank you to Jack Barbera and Regis Komperda for statistical guidance and to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback. Thank you to Emily Cornelius and Mike Wendel for assistance with developing and facilitating the Principles of Biology CURE and to Yelisey Gurzhuy for additional help with qualitative data analysis. Finally, we are grateful for the Principles of Biology students who volunteered to participate in this study. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (E.C.G.) and IOS-1354549 (J.E.P.). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
CBE Life Sciences Education
Biology Students -- Pedagogy
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) and inquiry-based curricula both expose students to the scientific process. CUREs additionally engage students in novel and scientifically relevant research, with the intention of providing an "authentic" research experience. However, we have little understanding of which course design elements impact students' beliefs that they are experiencing "authentic" research. We designed a study to explore introductory biology students' perceptions of research authenticity in CURE and inquiry classes. Using the Laboratory Course Assessment Survey, we found that students in CURE sections perceived higher levels of authentic research elements than students in inquiry-based sections. To identify specific factors that impact perceptions of research authenticity, we administered weekly reflection questions to CURE students. Coding of reflection responses revealed that experiences of failure, iteration, using scientific practices, and the relevant discoveries in their projects enhanced students' perceived authenticity of their research experiences. Although failure and iteration can occur in both CUREs and inquiry-based curricula, our findings indicate these experiences-in conjunction with the Relevant Discovery element of a CURE-may be particularly powerful in enhancing student perceptions of research authenticity in a CURE.
© 2021 E. C. Goodwin et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2021 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by-nc-sa/3.0).
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Goodwin, E. C., Anokhin, V., Gray, M. K. J., Zajic, D. E., Podrabsky, J. E., & Shortlidge, E. E. (2021). Is This Science? Students’ Experiences of Failure Make a Research-Based Course Feel Authentic. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 20(1), ar10. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.20-07-0149