Are we meeting student expectations of a cure?
Keywords:CUREs, Student Expectations, Student Perceptions, Student Motivations
AbstractCourse-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) allow students to integrate research-like activities into their program. Since 2011, students at The University of Queensland have been able to complete the ALURE (Authentic Large-scale Undergraduate Research Experience) practical stream, as part of a 2nd-level introductory biochemistry course. Unlike most CUREs, ALURE runs concurrently with a traditional practical stream, allowing students to choose whichever stream is best for them. We used a survey instrument (CURE Survey; Lopatto, 2009) and focus groups to gather the opinions of students from both streams. Student expectations, perceptions, and motivations, regarding CUREs, were determined. These data were gathered at two time points: both during (pre-completion); and after course completion (post-completion). Pre-completion data suggests that student motivations to engage in ALURE align with previous studies: Including the opportunity to participate in authentic research and a perceived advantage for their future research careers. Curiously, we also observed a sub-population of students whom intentionally avoided ALURE, because they perceived it as disadvantageous for their future academic careers. Post-completion data will also be presented. These findings will be used to identify aspects of ALURE that should be retained, removed, or added, to enhance the student experience.