A course-based research experience: How benefits change with increased investment in instructional time

Christopher D. Shaffer, Consuelo J. Alvarez, April E. Bednarski, David Dunbar, Anya L. Goodman, Catherine Reinke, Anne G. Rosenwald, Michael J. Wolyniak, Cheryl Bailey, Daron Barnard, Christopher Bazinet, Dale L. Beach, James E.J. Bedard, Satish Bhalla, John Braverman, Martin Burg, Vidya Chandrasekaran, Hui Min Chung, Kari Clase, Randall J. DeJongJustin R. DiAngelo, Chunguang Du, Todd T. Eckdahl, Heather Eisler, Julia A. Emerson, Amy Frary, Donald Frohlich, Yuying Gosser, Shubha Govind, Adam Haberman, Amy T. Hark, Charles Hauser, Arlene Hoogewerf, Laura L.M. Hoopes, Carina E. Howell, Diana Johnson, Christopher J. Jones, Lisa Kadlec, Marian Kaehler, S. Catherine Silver Key, Adam Kleinschmit, Nighat P. Kokan, Olga Kopp, Gary Kuleck, Judith Leatherman, Jane Lopilato, Christy MacKinnon, Juan Carlos Martinez-Cruzado, Gerard McNeil, Stephanie Mel, Hemlata Mistry, Alexis Nagengast, Paul Overvoorde, Don W. Paetkau, Susan Parrish, Celeste N. Peterson, Mary Preuss, Laura K. Reed, Dennis Revie, Srebrenka Robic, Jennifer Roecklein-Canfield, Michael R. Rubin, Kenneth Saville, Stephanie Schroeder, Karim Sharif, Mary Shaw, Gary Skuse, Christopher D. Smith, Mary A. Smith, Sheryl T. Smith, Eric Spana, Mary Spratt, Aparna Sreenivasan, Joyce Stamm, Paul Szauter, Jeffrey S. Thompson, Matthew Wawersik, James Youngblom, Leming Zhou, Elaine R. Mardis, Jeremy Buhler, Wilson Leung, David Lopatto, Sarah C.R. Elgin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


There is widespread agreement that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs should provide undergraduates with research experience. Practical issues and limited resources, however, make this a challenge.We have developed a bioinformatics project that provides a coursebased research experience for students at a diverse group of schools and offers the opportunity to tailor this experience to local curriculum and institution-specific student needs. We assessed both attitude and knowledge gains, looking for insights into how students respond given this wide range of curricular and institutional variables. While different approaches all appear to result in learning gains, we find that a significant investment of course time is required to enable students to show gains commensurate to a summer research experience. An alumni survey revealed that time spent on a research project is also a significant factor in the value former students assign to the experience one or more years later. We conclude: 1) implementation of a bioinformatics project within the biology curriculum provides a mechanism for successfully engaging large numbers of students in undergraduate research; 2) benefits to students are achievable at a wide variety of academic institutions; and 3) successful implementation of course-based research experiences requires significant investment of instructional time for students to gain full benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-130
Number of pages20
JournalCBE Life Sciences Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'A course-based research experience: How benefits change with increased investment in instructional time'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this