Faculty Publications


Christopher D. Shaffer, Washington University in St. Louis
Consuelo J. Alvarez, Longwood University
April E. Bednarski, Lindenwood University
David Dunbar, Cabrini College
Anya L. Goodman, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Catherine Reinke, Linfield CollegeFollow
Anne G. Rosenwald, Georgetown University
Michael J. Wolyniak, Hampden-Sydney College
Cheryl Bailey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Daron Barnard, Worcester State University
Christopher Bazinet, St. John's University
Dale L. Beach, Longwood University
James E.J. Bedard, Adams State University
Satish Bhalla, Johnson C. Smith University
John Braverman, Saint Joseph's University
Martin Burg, Grand Valley State University
Vidya Chandrasekaran, Saint Mary's College of California
Hui-Min Chung, University of West Florida
Kari Clase, Purdue University
Randall J. DeJong, Calvin College
Justin R. DiAngelo, Hofstra University
Chunguang Du, Montclair State University
Todd T. Eckdahl, Missouri Western State University
Heather Eisler, University of the Cumberlands
Julia A. Emerson, Amherst College
Amy Frary, Mount Holyoke College
Donald Frohlich, University of St. Thomas, Houston
Yuying Gosser, CUNY City College
Shubha Govind, City College of New York
Adam Haberman, Oberlin College
Amy T. Hark, Muhlenberg College
Charles Hauser, St. Edward's University
Arlene Hoogewerf, Calvin College
Laura L.M. Hoopes, Pomona College
Carina E. Howell, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
Diana Johnson, George Washington University
Christopher J. Jones, Moravian College
Lisa Kadlec, Wilkes University
Marian Kaehler, Luther College
S. Catherine Silver Key, North Carolina Central University
Adam Kleinschmit, Adams State University
Nighat P. Kokan, Cardinal Stritch University
Olga Kopp, Utah Valley University
Gary Kuleck, Loyola Marymount University
Judith Leatherman, University of Northern Colorado
Jane Lopilato, Simmons College
Christy MacKinnon, University of the Incarnate Word
Juan Carlos Martinez-Cruzado, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Gerard McNeil, York College, City University of New York
Stephanie Mel, University of California - San Diego
Hemlata Mistry, Widener University - Main Campus
Alexis Nagengast, Widener University - Main Campus
Paul Overvoorde, Macalester College
Don W. Paetkau, Saint Mary's College
Susan Parrish, McDaniel College
Celeste N. Peterson, Suffolk University
Mary Preuss, Webster University
Laura K. Reed, University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa
Dennis Revie, California Lutheran University
Srebrenka Robic, Agnes Scott College
Jennifer Roecklein-Canfield, Simmons College
Michael R. Rubin, University of Puerto Rico - Cayey University College
Kenneth Saville, Albion College
Stephanie Schroeder, Webster University
Karim Sharif, LaGuardia Community College
Mary Shaw, New Mexico Highlands University
Gary Skuse, Rochester Institute of Technology
Christopher D. Smith, San Francisco State University
Mary A. Smith, North Carolina A & T State University
Sheryl T. Smith, Arcadia University
Eric Spana, Duke University
Mary Spratt, William Woods University
Aparna Sreenivasan, California State University, Monterey Bay
Joyce Stamm, University of Evansville
Paul Szauter, University of New Mexico
Jeffrey S. Thompson, Denison University
Matthew Wawersik, College of William and Mary
James Youngblom, California State University, Stanislaus
Leming Zhou, University of Pittsburgh
Elaine R. Mardis, Washington University School of Medicine
Jeremy Buhler, Washington University in St. Louis
Wilson Leung, Washington University in St. Louis
David Lopatto, Grinnell College
Sarah C.R. Elgin, Washington University in St. Louis

Publication Date



Bioinformatics | Biology | Curriculum and Instruction | Genetics and Genomics | Higher Education | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning | Science and Mathematics Education


There is widespread agreement that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs should provide undergraduates with research experience. Practical issues and limited resources, however, make this a challenge. We have developed a bioinformatics project that provides a course-based research experience for students at a diverse group of schools and offers the opportunity to tailor this experience to local curriculum and institution-specific student needs. We assessed both attitude and knowledge gains, looking for insights into how students respond given this wide range of curricular and institutional variables. While different approaches all appear to result in learning gains, we find that a significant investment of course time is required to enable students to show gains commensurate to a summer research experience. An alumni survey revealed that time spent on a research project is also a significant factor in the value former students assign to the experience one or more years later. We conclude: 1) implementation of a bioinformatics project within the biology curriculum provides a mechanism for successfully engaging large numbers of students in undergraduate research; 2) benefits to students are achievable at a wide variety of academic institutions; and 3) successful implementation of course-based research experiences requires significant investment of instructional time for students to gain full benefit.

Document Type

Published Version


This article is the publisher-created version, also considered to be the final version or the version of record. It includes value-added elements provided by the publisher, such as copy editing, layout changes, and branding consistent with the rest of the publication.

Original Citation

Christopher D. Shaffer, et al.
A course-based research experience: How benefits change with increased investment in instructional time.
CBE—Life Sciences Education, 2014, volume 13, pages 111-130



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