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Student Conceptions of Collaboration within and between CUREs: An Investigative Analysis

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Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences, or CUREs have become an increasingly popular way to integrate research opportunities into the undergraduate biology curriculum. Unlike traditional cookbook labs which provide students with a set experimental design and known outcome, CUREs offer students the

Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences, or CUREs have become an increasingly popular way to integrate research opportunities into the undergraduate biology curriculum. Unlike traditional cookbook labs which provide students with a set experimental design and known outcome, CUREs offer students the opportunity to participate in novel and interesting research that is of interest to the greater biology community. While CUREs have been championed as a way to provide more students with the opportunity to experience, it is unclear whether students benefit differently from participating in different CURE with different structural elements. In this study we focused in on one proposed element of a CURE, collaboration, to determine whether student's perception of this concept change over the course of a CURE and whether it differs among students enrolled in different CUREs. We analyzed pre and post open-ended surveys asking the question "Why might collaboration be important in science?" in two CUREs with different structures of collaboration. We also compared CURE student responses to the responses of senior honors thesis students who had been conducting authentic research. Five themes emerged in response to students' conceptions of collaboration. Comparing two CURE courses, we found that students' conceptions of collaboration were varied within each individual CURE, as well as what students were leaving with compared to the other CURE course. Looking at how student responses compared between 5 different themes, including "Different Perspectives", "Validate/Verify Results", "Compare Results", "Requires Different Expertise", and "Compare results", students appeared to be thinking about collaboration in distinct different ways by lack of continuity in the amount of students discussing each of these among the classes. In addition, we found that student responses in each of the CURE courses were not significantly different for any of the themes except "Different Expertise" compared to the graduating seniors. However, due to the small (n) that the graduating seniors group had, 22, compared to each of the CURE classes composing of 155 and 98 students, this comparison must be taken in a preliminary manner. Overall, students thought differently about collaboration between different CUREs. Still, a gap filling what it means to "collaborate", and whether the structures of CUREs are effective to portray collaboration are still necessary to fully elaborate on this paper's findings.

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2016-05

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Lessons from embryos: Haeckel's embryo drawings, evolution, and secondary biology textbooks

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In 1997, developmental biologist Michael Richardson compared his research team's embryo photographs to Ernst Haeckel's 1874 embryo drawings and called Haeckel's work noncredible.Science soon published <“>Haeckel's Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered,<”> and Richardson's comments further reinvigorated criticism of Haeckel by others with

In 1997, developmental biologist Michael Richardson compared his research team's embryo photographs to Ernst Haeckel's 1874 embryo drawings and called Haeckel's work noncredible.Science soon published <“>Haeckel's Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered,<”> and Richardson's comments further reinvigorated criticism of Haeckel by others with articles in The American Biology Teacher, <“>Haeckel's Embryos and Evolution: Setting the Record Straight <”> and the New York Times, <“>Biology Text Illustrations more Fiction than Fact.<”> Meanwhile, others emphatically stated that the goal of comparative embryology was not to resurrect Haeckel's work. At the center of the controversy was Haeckel's no-longer-accepted idea of recapitulation. Haeckel believed that the development of an embryo revealed the adult stages of the organism's ancestors. Haeckel represented this idea with drawings of vertebrate embryos at similar developmental stages. This is Haeckel's embryo grid, the most common of all illustrations in biology textbooks. Yet, Haeckel's embryo grids are much more complex than any textbook explanation. I examined 240 high school biology textbooks, from 1907 to 2010, for embryo grids. I coded and categorized the grids according to accompanying discussion of (a) embryonic similarities (b) recapitulation, (c) common ancestors, and (d) evolution. The textbooks show changing narratives. Embryo grids gained prominence in the 1940s, and the trend continued until criticisms of Haeckel reemerged in the late 1990s, resulting in (a) grids with fewer organisms and developmental stages or (b) no grid at all. Discussion about embryos and evolution dropped significantly.

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2014