Are we meeting student expectations of a cure?

Samuel Holland, Justin Ridge

Abstract


Course-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.

Keywords


CUREs, Student Expectations, Student Perceptions, Student Motivations

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