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Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) are laboratory courses that integrate broadly relevant problems, discovery, use of the scientific process, collaboration, and iteration to provide more students with research experiences than is possible in individually mentored faculty laboratories. Members of the national Malate dehydrogenase CUREs Community (MCC) investigated the differences in student impacts between traditional laboratory courses (control), a short module CURE within traditional laboratory courses (mCURE), and CUREs lasting the entire course (cCURE). The sample included approximately 1,500 students taught by 22 faculty at 19 institutions. We investigated course structures for elements of a CURE and student outcomes including student knowledge, student learning, student attitudes, interest in future research, overall experience, future GPA, and retention in STEM. We also disaggregated the data to investigate whether underrepresented minority (URM) outcomes were different from White and Asian students. We found that the less time students spent in the CURE the less the course was reported to contain experiences indicative of a CURE. The cCURE imparted the largest impacts for experimental design, career interests, and plans to conduct future research, while the remaining outcomes were similar between the three conditions. The mCURE student outcomes were similar to control courses for most outcomes measured in this study. However, for experimental design, the mCURE was not significantly different than either the control or cCURE. Comparing URM and White/Asian student outcomes indicated no difference for condition, except for interest in future research. Notably, the URM students in the mCURE condition had significantly higher interest in conducting research in the future than White/Asian students.


Georgia Southern University faculty member, Sue Ellen DeChenne-Peters co-authored Length of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CURE) impacts student learning and attitudinal outcomes: A study of the Malate dehydrogenase CUREs Community (MCC).


© 2023 DeChenne-Peters et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.