Cure disrupted! Takeaways from a cure without a wet-lab experience

Christine E. Cutucache, Amie S. Sommers, Andrew W Miller, Alan D. Gift, Dana L. Richter-Egger, Joshua P. Darr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (spring 2020), universities quickly moved to remote instruction. Our research during this time frame included investigating course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) in General Chemistry, and we found ourselves in the middle of a CURE study without any laboratory component (aka “CURE-disrupted”). While the literature surrounding the importance of CUREs is extensive, based on our literature search, we posit that this is the first report of a study demonstrating student outcomes when given the CURE offering without actually implementing the wet-lab component. Consequently, we asked “is it important for students to execute the entire research project of a CURE or to simply understand scientific reasoning and rationalization of the processes?” Herein, we report student responses as “expert-like” and “non-expert-like” data using the CLASS instrument, and we describe the qualitative results from focus groups for the participating CURE and non-CURE students. Top emergent themes from the CURE participants included: Discovery (29.91%), Understanding by Doing (23.41%), and Research Skills and Techniques (20.36%). Conversely, students in the traditional lab reported top emergent themes mostly surrounding course organization, and top emergent themes included: Required More Structure (14.69%), Research Skills and Techniques (7.3%), and Understanding by Doing (6.11%). These preliminary findings demonstrate the value of a CURE, even while disrupted. While this pandemic allowed for the unique opportunity to evaluate offering a CURE without a wet-lab-based experience, we ultimately suggest that additional studies be completed surrounding this idea, in a more controlled (nonremote) learning environment to corroborate these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • General Public
  • Inquiry-Based/Discovery Learning
  • Laboratory Instruction
  • Second-Year Undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education

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