CUREs (Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences) are a model for changing laboratory design to include hallmarks of authentic research. CUREs have been shown to have similar improvements in student research skills to apprentice-based research experiences . Unlike apprentice-based experiences, course-based research is available to all students in a program. At Endicott College, the undergraduate bioinformatics lecture course is required for two majors, Biology/Biotechnology and Bioengineering. The addition of an authentic in silico research experience as a project for this lecture course would thus expose all students in both majors to an independent research experience. A single post-project survey was used to measure differences in student perception of themselves as a researcher by asking students to rate how the research project increased their knowledge in the use of scientific practices, was an act of discovery, required collaboration, required iteration, and had relevance outside the course. These categories have been used to assess other CUREs and define the characteristics a CURE . Students who participated in both the traditional lab to sequence DNA and the computational analysis were compared to students who only participated in the computational research project. The initial results indicate that there was no significant difference between the survey responses of the two groups and that a computational CURE may have similar impact without including a traditional lab component. Further study of the project design and impact on students is planned for future semesters.
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