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J Biol Chem ; 298(9): 102298, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2180105


Integrating research into the classroom environment is an influential pedagogical tool to support student learning, increase retention of STEM students, and help students identify as scientists. The evolution of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) has grown from individual faculty incorporating their research in the teaching laboratory into well-supported systems to sustain faculty engagement in CUREs. To support the growth of protein-centric biochemistry-related CUREs, we cultivated a community of enthusiastic faculty to develop and adopt malate dehydrogenase (MDH) as a CURE focal point. The MDH CURE Community has grown into a vibrant and exciting group of over 28 faculty from various institutions, including community colleges, minority-serving institutions, undergraduate institutions, and research-intensive institutions in just 4 years. This collective has also addressed important pedagogical questions on the impact of CURE collaboration and the length of the CURE experience in community colleges, undergraduate institutions, and research-intensive institutions. This work provided evidence that modular or partial-semester CUREs also support student outcomes, especially the positive impact it had on underrepresented students. We are currently focused on expanding the MDH CURE Community network by generating more teaching and research materials, creating regional hubs for local interaction and increasing mentoring capacity, and offering mentoring and professional development opportunities for new faculty adopters.

Biochemistry , Malate Dehydrogenase , Students , Biochemistry/education , Faculty , Humans , Universities
J Microbiol Biol Educ ; 22(1)2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1197231


The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged undergraduate instructors and students in an unprecedented manner. Each has needed to find creative ways to continue the engaged teaching and learning process in an environment defined by physical separation and emotional anxiety and uncertainty. As a potential tool to meet this challenge, we developed a set of curricular materials that combined our respective life science teaching interests with the real-time scientific problem of the COVID-19 pandemic in progress. Discrete modules were designed that are engaging to students, implement active learning-based coursework in a variety of institutional and learning settings, and can be used either in person or remotely. The resulting interdisciplinary curriculum, dubbed "COVID-360," enables instructors to select from a menu of curricular options that best fit their course content, desired activities, and mode of class delivery. Here we describe how we devised the COVID-360 curriculum and how it represents our efforts to creatively and effectively respond to the instructional needs of diverse students in the face of an ongoing instructional crisis.