Alaina Buchanan


Fisher, Ginger R.

Committee Member

Holt, Emily A.

Committee Member

Reinsvold, Robert

Committee Member

Bergstrom, Cassendra


College of Natural and Health Sciences; School of Biological Sciences, Biological Education


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



188 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) have become more commonly incorporated in laboratory courses in undergraduate education. Because CUREs incorporate research within the context of a course, the benefits of mentored research (self-efficacy, science identity, persistence, and more) are extended to each student enrolled. CUREs are designed with five key components: discovery, relevance, iteration, collaboration, and science practices. However, the term science practices is broad and includes a diversity of student activities which can make it difficult to compare student outcomes across different CUREs. The first part of this work reviews the components and specific science practices included in all CUREs published over a 20-year timeframe. This systematic review summarizes the nature of CUREs; including the course level for which they are designed, their scientific discipline and subdiscipline (if applicable), as well as the primary CURE components and the science practices included. The second project examines the relationship between students having autonomy over science practices and how autonomy or no autonomy impacts the development of science identity using a mixed methods analysis in a single CURE. The final project uses qualitative methodology to better understand how science identity is impacted by students performing research in a CURE. It also examines how students differentiate between being a scientist or a science person and how performance of research during a CURE influences this perception of themselves. The three included articles begin by assessing CUREs as a whole, elucidating the practices that are used within a CURE by comparing practices across 242 unique CUREs(Chapter I). From there, I measured the science identity scores of 147 students in an introductory biology class to examine the impact of two specific science practices used within a CURE (Chapter II). Finally, I used a smaller subset of participants (n = 14) to examine how participation within a CURE affected their perception of scientists, science people, and their own science identities. The purpose of this project is to assess the science practices most commonly represented in CUREs, to determine how these specific science practices impact development of student science identity, and to define how students think about their own science identities.

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