By Jennifer Broatch, Pamela Marshall, Jennifer Hackney-Price, and Kimberly Kobojek, Arizona State University West Campus
Course Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) are a model for undergraduate science education promoting “a deeper understanding of science for all students.” (AAAS, 2011, pg. 29) We present comprehensive materials and activities developed for CUREs emphasizing statistical thinking, experimental design, and the evaluation of evidence. In ASU-West CURE courses, interdisciplinary student teams produce authentic research primarily in the natural sciences (biology, environmental science, forensics). Students generate hypotheses, develop protocols, conduct experiments to generate the data, evaluate evidence, and present the outcome. Hence, an emphasis on statistical thinking, proper experimental design and statistical analysis of the student developed research questions is critical. The materials include discussions and activities that guide the students and the instructor through all phases of the experiment through a statistical lens. Topics include the development of a Testable Hypothesis/Variable Identification, Experimental Design, Data Visualization, and the Evaluation of Evidence. The complete materials are available on project website.