A high-enrollment course-based undergraduate research experience improves student conceptions of scientific thinking and ability to interpret data

Sara Brownell, Daria S. Hekmat-Scafe, Veena Singla, Patricia Chandler Seawell, Jamie F. Conklin Imam, Sarah L. Eddy, Tim Stearns, Martha S. Cyert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present an innovative course-based undergraduate research experience curriculum focused on the characterization of single point mutations in p53, a tumor suppressor gene that is mutated in more than 50% of human cancers. This course is required of all introductory biology students, so all biology majors engage in a research project as part of their training. Using a set of open-ended written prompts, we found that the course shifts student conceptions of what it means to think like a scientist from novice to more expert-like. Students at the end of the course identified experimental repetition, data analysis, and collaboration as important elements of thinking like a scientist. Course exams revealed that students showed gains in their ability to analyze and interpret data. These data indicate that this course-embedded research experience has a positive impact on the development of students’ conceptions and practice of scientific thinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalCBE Life Sciences Education
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

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Students
ability
Research
experience
student
biology
Tumor Suppressor Genes
Point Mutation
Curriculum
Curricula
Tumors
Genes
data analysis
cancer
research project
expert
curriculum
Neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

A high-enrollment course-based undergraduate research experience improves student conceptions of scientific thinking and ability to interpret data. / Brownell, Sara; Hekmat-Scafe, Daria S.; Singla, Veena; Chandler Seawell, Patricia; Conklin Imam, Jamie F.; Eddy, Sarah L.; Stearns, Tim; Cyert, Martha S.

In: CBE Life Sciences Education, Vol. 14, No. 2, 21, 01.06.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brownell, Sara ; Hekmat-Scafe, Daria S. ; Singla, Veena ; Chandler Seawell, Patricia ; Conklin Imam, Jamie F. ; Eddy, Sarah L. ; Stearns, Tim ; Cyert, Martha S. / A high-enrollment course-based undergraduate research experience improves student conceptions of scientific thinking and ability to interpret data. In: CBE Life Sciences Education. 2015 ; Vol. 14, No. 2.
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