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Research experience is essential for the ongoing education of many students. As an instructor, you may have developed research tasks, implemented them into your course, and sought supporting personnel to ensure your students learn the essentials. CUREs, or course-based undergraduate research experiences, provide undergraduates a form of apprenticeship-style research experience.
Dolan and Weaver’s A Guide to Course-based Undergraduate Research offers guidance and some of the best practices on how to provide research experiences outside of the lab. One of the first things to take into account when planning to implement a CURE, is that students bring with them certain types of background knowledge and skills, and have different areas of knowledge that need to be developed. Knowing about your students skill levels should help guide the structure of the CURE, including which instruments and materials will be needed, which sections of the project will be “practice” versus novel exploration, and how much time will be devoted to each aspect of the experience.
If you would prefer to adapt an existing CURE, you can choose to do so separately from other instructors who teach that CURE, or you can join a group of users implementing the CURE at multiple other institutions.
Consider these existing programs:
Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) at the University of Texas at Austin: https://cns.utexas.edu/fri
Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters program (SEA-PHAGES): https://seaphages.org/
How do you introduce research experiences in your course?
To learn more about developing and implementing CUREs, get your copy of A Guide to Course-based Undergraduate Research today!
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