Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence


Here we evaluate undergraduate student attitudes about science after each of three authentic research experiences in a semester of an introductory biology laboratory course at Utah State University. The three course-based research experiences (CUREs) vary in length and student freedom, and they cover different areas of biology. Students responded to the science attitude items of the CURE Survey. When compared to national data, our students faired similarly, and all students struggled with certain epistemic assumptions about science knowledge. As also seen in the national database, change in science attitude was slight and nonlinear. Student self confidence in what a career scientist is and in scientific process skills was the best predictor of scientific maturity, not the three CUREs or other aspects of students’ background. We discuss the slight positive and negative change in attitude we did influence, and we note that most students would choose to have another research experience.