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CBE Life Sciences Education

Aakanksha Angra, Stephanie M Gardner
As undergraduate biology curricula increasingly aim to provide students with access to courses and experiences that engage them in the practices of science, tools are needed for instruction, evaluation, and research around student learning. One of the important skills for undergraduate biology students to master is the selection and creation of appropriate graphs to summarize data they acquire through investigations in their course work and research experiences. Graphing is a complex skill, and there are few, discipline-informed tools available for instructors, students, and researchers to use...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
David I Hanauer, Justin Nicholes, Fang-Yu Liao, Aaron Beasley, Heather Henter
The San Diego Biodiversity Project introduces undergraduate students at four different 2- and 4-year schools to a short-term research experience (SRE) that was implemented as a module in the last third of a traditional laboratory course. The study assesses the qualities of this SRE for students using three different methods. Twenty-one participants were interviewed about their experiences in the traditional and research components of their course. In a repeated-measures design, 124 participants took the Persistence in the Sciences (PITS) survey immediately before and after their participation in the SRE...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
JoNita Q Kerr, Donald J Hess, Celia M Smith, Michael G Hadfield
Climate change is impacting the Pacific Islands first and most drastically, yet few native islanders are trained to recognize, analyze, or mitigate the impacts in these islands. To understand the reasons why low numbers of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders enter colleges, enroll in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, or undertake life sciences/STEM careers, 25 representatives from colleges and schools in seven U.S.-affiliated states and countries across the Pacific participated in a 2-day workshop...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Susan D Hester, Michele Nadler, Jennifer Katcher, Lisa K Elfring, Emily Dykstra, Lisa F Rezende, Molly S Bolger
Providing opportunities for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics undergraduates to engage in authentic scientific practices is likely to influence their view of science and may impact their decision to persist through graduation. Laboratory courses provide a natural place to introduce students to scientific practices, but existing curricula often miss this opportunity by focusing on confirming science content rather than exploring authentic questions. Integrating authentic science within laboratory courses is particularly challenging at high-enrollment institutions and community colleges, where access to research-active faculty may be limiting...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Sharotka M Simon, Helen Meldrum, Eric Ndung'u, Fred D Ledley
The majority of students who enroll in undergraduate biology courses will eventually be employed in non-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) business occupations. This work explores how representations of industry in undergraduate biology textbooks could impact STEM learning for these students and their ability to apply this learning in their chosen work. We used text analysis to identify passages with references to industry in 29 textbooks. Each passage was categorized for relevance to health or environment, for implied positive or negative connotations, and for descriptions of synergy or conflict between science and industry...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Victoria Del Gaizo Moore, Jennifer Loertscher, Diane M Dean, Cheryl P Bailey, Peter J Kennelly, Adele J Wolfson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Deborah A Donovan, Georgianne L Connell, Daniel Z Grunspan
Group work is often a key component of student-centered pedagogies, but there is conflicting evidence about what types of groups provide the most benefit for undergraduate students. We investigated student learning outcomes and attitudes toward working in groups when students were assigned to groups using different methods in a large-enrollment, student-centered class. We were particularly interested in how students entering the class with different levels of competence in biology performed in homogeneous or heterogeneous groups, and what types of group compositions were formed using different methods of group formation...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Jennifer Jo Thompson, Danielle Jensen-Ryan
We argue that cultural capital plays an underexamined role in students' recognition as budding scientists by faculty. By triangulating interview data from undergraduates and faculty mentors in a multi-institutional biology research network, we identified a set of intersecting domains of capital that help render students recognizable to faculty. We argue that faculty recognition often reflects a (mis)alignment between the cultural capital that students possess and display and what faculty expect to see. To understand why mis- or underrecognition occurs, and how this influenced students' opportunities to further develop cultural capital, we explored our data set for patterns of explanation...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Courtney Ngai, Hannah Sevian
The solving of problems in biochemistry often uses concepts from multiple disciplines such as chemistry and biology. Chemical identity (CI) is a foundational concept in the field of chemistry, and the knowledge, thinking, and practices associated with CI are used to answer the following questions: "What is this substance?" and "How is it different from other substances?" In this study, we examined the relevance of CI in biochemical contexts and first explored the ways in which practicing biochemists consider CI relevant in their work...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Logan E Gin, Ashley A Rowland, Blaire Steinwand, John Bruno, Lisa A Corwin
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide students opportunities to engage in research in a course. Aspects of CURE design, such as providing students opportunities to make discoveries, collaborate, engage in relevant work, and iterate to solve problems are thought to contribute to outcome achievement in CUREs. Yet how each of these elements contributes to specific outcomes is largely unexplored. This lack of understanding is problematic, because we may unintentionally underemphasize important aspects of CURE design that allow for achievement of highly valued outcomes when designing or teaching our courses...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Erika G Offerdahl, Melody McConnell, Jeffrey Boyer
For decades, formative assessment has been identified as a high-impact instructional practice that positively affects student learning. Education reform documents such as Vision and Change: A Call to Action expressly identify frequent, ongoing formative assessment and feedback as a key instructional practice in student-centered learning environments. Historically, effect sizes between 0.4 and 0.7 have been reported for formative assessment experiments. However, more recent meta-analyses have reported much lower effect sizes...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Sara A Wyse, Paula A G Soneral
Despite its value in higher education, academic rigor is a challenging construct to define for instructor and students alike. How do students perceive academic rigor in their biology course work? Using qualitative surveys, we asked students to identify "easy" or "hard" courses and define which aspects of these learning experiences contributed to their perceptions of academic rigor. The 100-level students defined hard courses primarily in affective terms, responding to stressors such as fast pacing, high workload, unclear relevance to their life or careers, and low faculty support...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Thushani Rodrigo-Peiris, Lin Xiang, Vincent M Cassone
Based on positive student outcomes, providing research experiences from early undergraduate years is recommended for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors. To this end, we designed a novel research experience called the "STEMCats Research Experience" (SRE) for a cohort of 119 second-semester freshmen with diverse college preparatory levels, demographics, and academic majors. The SRE targeted student outcomes of enhancing retention in STEM majors, STEM competency development, and STEM academic performance...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Kathleen Quardokus Fisher, Charles Henderson
Academic departments are thought to be highly productive units of change in higher education. This paper investigates department-level instructional change via case studies analyzed with two change frameworks. One framework embodies prescribed change, emphasizing leader actions. The other framework embodies emergent change, emphasizing participants' responsibilities. Analysis identified successes and missed opportunities. The results provide guidance on how change agents might create vision, motivate participants, build momentum, and institutionalize change...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Julia Svoboda Gouvea
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Amber Todd, William Romine
Modern genetics is a relatively new domain, but it is increasingly important for students to have a firm grasp on the content, because genetic technologies are becoming more commonplace. In a previous study, we used the Learning Progression-based Assessment of Modern Genetics to assess high school students' knowledge of genetics concepts after an intensive inquiry-based genetics instructional period. Given that this type of intensive inquiry-based instruction is unique, we are now investigating how students' knowledge of genetics changes after instruction (i...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Kari L Nelson, Claudia M Rauter, Christine E Cutucache
The development of critical thinking skills in recent college graduates is keenly requested by employers year after year. Moreover, improving these skills can help students to better question and analyze data. Consequently, we aimed to implement a training program that would add to the critical thinking skills of undergraduate students: Nebraska Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math 4U (NE STEM 4U). In this program, undergraduates provide outreach, mentoring, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to K-8 students...
December 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Zakiya S Wilson-Kennedy, Margaret I Kanipes, Goldie S Byrd
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Paul R Hernandez, Patricia D Hopkins, Krysta Masters, Lisa Holland, Betty M Mei, Michelle Richards-Babb, Kimberly Quedado, Natalie J Shook
It is widely recognized that the United States needs to attract and retain more people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Intensive undergraduate research experiences (UREs) are one of the few strategies shown to improve longitudinal student interest and persistence in STEM-related career pathways; however, less is known about the underlying process linking activities to positive outcomes. The tripartite integration model of social influences (TIMSI) provides a framework for understanding the social influence processes by which students integrate into STEM careers and culture...
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Sara J Wahlberg, Niklas M Gericke
This study investigates how the domain-specific language of molecular life science is mediated by the comparative contexts of chemistry and biology education. We study upper secondary chemistry and biology textbook sections on protein synthesis to reveal the conceptual demography of concepts central to the communication of this subject. The term "conceptual demography" refers to the frequency, distribution, and internal relationships between technical terms mediating a potential conceptual meaning of a phenomenon...
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
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