Exploring the CURE: A Symposium on Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences

Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have been developing since at least 2000 at the University of British Columbia. This pedagogical innovation is consistent with UBC’s strategic vision of providing its undergraduates with opportunities for enhanced educational experiences as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science which called for the integration of authentic research experience as part of undergraduate education in Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action.

CUREs can be broadly defined as courses that provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to engage in laboratory experience where elements of scientific practice, discovery, collaboration, iteration, and meaningful research are encountered. Interest in understanding the development, implementation, authenticity, and accessibility of CUREs has garnered attention. In addition, there is a need and growing interest in developing tools to assess student learning associated with participation in CUREs and in drawing objective comparisons with directed studies-type experiences. A community of educators with interests in CUREs is growing and has begun to organize at CUREnet. Several CUREs have developed related to the life sciences at UBC. These courses have evolved in different departments and vary in structure and function. To date, a dedicated UBC forum to explore these innovative courses has not been established. We would like to spearhead this effort at UBC by hosting a symposium bringing together educators sharing interests in CUREs.

The goals of this symposium are to:

  1. Showcase the structure and function of CUREs currently being offered in the life sciences at UBC
  2.  Discuss approaches and challenges to CURE design and implementation
  3. Share ideas for assessing student learning gains associated with participation in CUREs
  4. Build a network of UBC educators with shared interests in CUREs

Registration Required

At this time we require everyone – UBC affiliated or otherwise – to register for the CTLT events system. If you already have a CWL please sign in. However, if you do not have a campus-wide login, then please register for a BASIC cwl account (you will see basic as the bottom option on the 3rd screen).