Long-term Assessment of a CURE on Biology Student Learning Gains and Perception

Saturday, 14 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Lisa M. Hines, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO
The Vision and Change Report calls on educators to provide undergraduate students with early research experiences.  Three years ago, we implemented a Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) entitled “Soakin’ Up the Rays with S. pombe” into the introductory biology laboratory course at a public, primarily undergraduate institution.  During the CURE, students performed a yeast UV-mutagenesis screen, isolated DNA damage response (DDR) mutants and assigned them to sensor, transducer or effector branches of this tumor-suppressor pathway.  Using a randomized study design with control and experimental groups, we first evaluated the short-term impact of this curricular transformation using end-of-semester perception and knowledge assessments.  We found that students preferred the CURE over the traditional stand-alone labs and made significantly higher targeted learning gains.  We continue to collect perception and knowledge data as these students progress through the biology program and will report our findings here.