1. Ellis Bell
  2. Research Associate Professor
  3. Malate Dehydrogenase CUREs Community
  4. https://mdh-cures-community.squarespace.com/
  5. University of San Diego
  1. Jessica Bell
  2. Asst. Prof.
  3. Malate Dehydrogenase CUREs Community
  4. https://mdh-cures-community.squarespace.com/
  5. University of San Diego
  1. Joseph Provost
  2. Professor
  3. Malate Dehydrogenase CUREs Community
  4. https://mdh-cures-community.squarespace.com/
  5. University of San Diego
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Paul Craig

    Paul Craig

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 12, 2019 | 08:38 p.m.

    How do you collaborate and still protect student anonymity? I think that can be pretty critical.

    This is really terrific. 

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 01:59 a.m.

    We are really interested to hear how you think our MCC CUREs could be better integrated into First year courses, particularly introductory chemistry courses

  • May 13, 2019 | 08:25 a.m.

    Great work! I am curious about how you facilitate student interactions across different campuses. - Rebecca Roberts

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 09:33 a.m.

    Thankyou for visiting STEM for All and our video on the Malate Dehydrogenase CUREs Community. We look forward to your feedback and suggestions.

    For more information please visit our project web page

    https://mdh-cures-community.squarespace.com/

    and our CURENet Link

    https://serc.carleton.edu/curenet/collection/211948.html

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 09:43 a.m.

     For a couple of years we have found that Faculty from other institutions sitting in on student presentations during the semester- whether hypothesis and proposal presentations of results and final presentations has helped both the faculty involved and increases student engagement and excitement about their projects. We encourage these interactions through regular faculty communication in the Malate Dehydrogenase CUREs Community and make it a focus of our summer faculty conference (either in person or electronic using Zoom)

  • May 14, 2019 | 12:12 p.m.

    That is a great model. We've done the virtual presentations for off-campus thesis committee members, but not as part of the CURE. Is there a facilitation of students interacting with students from other campuses to gain insight and trouble-shoot together?

  • Icon for: Betsy Martinez-Vaz

    Betsy Martinez-Vaz

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2019 | 06:34 p.m.

    Nice work and very interesting CURE! Do you have any insights on whether this CURE has helped with retention of  traditionally underrepresented students in STEM?  Also, I am curious about what types of challenges you have faced when implementing the CURE with groups of students who are still developing quantitative skills and find chemistry concepts challenging.

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 07:18 p.m.

    Betsy, Thankyou for your comments. With regard to your first question, we are collecting that data and we have a number of MSI in the community and by the end of the grant should be able to give a detailed answer to your question. Anecdotally, Faculty in the MCC report to date significant impact on underrepresented students, and  it will be interesting to see if this translates into retention.

    With regard to your second question, there are of course challenges with introductory students, but  I find it one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching at the introductory level as it offers opportnities to present and discuss foundational chemistry concepts of bonding and reactions in a broader context than they usually see. We have published on  an MCC CURE with intro biology students (Using research to teach an "introduction to biological thinking". Bell E., Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2011 Jan-Feb;39(1):10-6. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20441.). As part of the program we are developing rubrics to assess both foundational understanding, for example of Non Covalent Interactions, as well as using established assessments of for example, research oriented skills

  • May 13, 2019 | 09:22 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your project. We have been ramping up to implement 6-week CUREs in our introductory year lab courses, and knowing that they do have a positive impact even after 6 weeks is really helpful.

  • Icon for: Perla Myers

    Perla Myers

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2019 | 11:16 a.m.

     Congratulations on your great work! It will be so exciting to see the results of your study.

  • Icon for: Jessica Bell

    Jessica Bell

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 02:49 p.m.

    Many thanks, Perla!  We are looking forward to the analyses of the Year 2 data that will add to our assessment of CURE length but also provide data to examine the impact of collaboration.

  • Icon for: Jay Labov

    Jay Labov

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 01:35 p.m.

    Thank you for producing and submitting this video. It points to some very exciting opportunities for others who may be thinking of developing CUREs. I’m especially pleased to see the emphasis that your initiative has placed on integrating education research into the fabric of the project to assess various kinds of learning outcomes.  You’ve already revealed some important results regarding the length of time needed to show that a CURE can enhance various aspects of learning.

    My questions below are based on work that I did as a staff member at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, where I organized a convocation about CURES in 2015 (report is available for free download at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/21851) and helped staff a consensus study in 2017 on the efficacy of undergraduate research experiences more generally (report is available for free download at https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24622).  Even if you don’t respond to all of the questions, I’m hoping that the questions themselves will spark some additional thinking and reflection for people who are planning to develop CUREs.

    1. Why did you select malate dehydrogenase as the basis for developing these CUREs? The reason that I ask this question is to get at the issue of how narrowly or broadly focused these kinds of experiences should be. National initiatives such as the Genomics Education Partnership and SEA-Phages are more broadly focused than your CURE. The benefits of such focus are that all students can partake in variations on the theme of this enzyme system. The disadvantage is that individual faculty may wish to deviate somewhat from the protocols that have been established for the national program. That’s easier to do in some of them and more difficult in others. Your insights about how your group settled on this focus could be helpful to others who view your video and are thinking of establishing a CURE themselves, either individually or a part of a collaborative effort.

    2. How are students selected to participate in this CURE? Is participation mandatory if they enroll in the course or is participation optional (e.g., they can opt to take only the lecture portion of the course or there are other laboratory sections that are more traditional)? Whether participation is required or optional has a number of implications for both faculty and students. For example, if faculty get to select who is allowed to participate, various forms of implicit bias could come into play (e.g., I only want majors in my discipline or I only want students who have very high GPAs to participate). If participation is optional, students may opt for the more traditional lab if there are additional fees associated with the CURE or if they are concerned about how they will be graded if the results they produce don’t reveal any new findings (thus, elucidating grading strategies is a critical aspect of a syllabus for a CURE).

    3. Since this initiative involves multiple institutions, how are decisions made about things such as future revisions to the CURE, future avenues for education research, etc.? Do all partners contribute to the decision making? Are there incentives or consequences for collaborators who fail to provide such input?

    Thank you again for this contribution. I see that it already has generated a series of questions from other viewers! I had some similar additional questions but have not included them here in cases where others have asked the question.

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 03:01 p.m.

    Thankyou for your comments.

     

    Some of the reasons we selected Malate Dehydrogenase as the focus of our CUREs (and I would emphasize the word CUREs since it is a community of faculty developing MDH focused CUREs that are tailored to their own individual research interests) is that it is an enzyme that plays a critical role in virtually every life form and as a result there is a central focus on evolution. The enzyme is easy to assay and relatively stable from most sources. Since we place a central role in all the CUREs on student generated hypotheses, its ubiquitous nature allows students to ask questions at many different levels of both biology and chemistry, for example adaptation to extremeophile conditions, organelle differences, post translational modifications, metabolomes,  mechanistic enzymology, drug design, protein folding are a few of the types of questions that different partners in the consortium are exploring. Although it is "one" enzyme I think the diversity of research areas makes it an attractive topic for a wide variety of faculty who can build into their version of the CURE their own research interests. It also lends itself to collaborative research within the consortium.

    Students taking a course that contains a CURE element (a six-seven week mCURE) or a full course CURE automatically are involved in the CURE- they cant opt out, thus we are assured of a wide range of student demographics. The question about grading is important for student comfort and grading policy is clearly laid out for the students and focuses on skills and conceptual learning not on the importance of the data- the only thing that is data focused is the importance of reproducibility.

    Each year the consortium partners get together for a summer workshop- we alternate in person here in San Diego, with an electronic workshop using zoom. These workshops provide an opportunity for all participants to not only discuss the pedagogical research but also to have input into thier needs for the coming year and the scientific questions to be explored. The group is organized into three scientific themes (see the MCC web page for details : https://mdh-cures-community.squarespace.com/) and all of the CUREs have common foci on skills and appropriate concepts

  • Icon for: Jay Labov

    Jay Labov

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 03:18 p.m.

    Thank you. Your responses are very helpful, especially your elaboration of your reasons for selecting this enzyme system. It offers insights for others who may wish to design CUREs that can be both focused but offer broad opportunities for the kinds of questions that students may wish to ask.

  • Icon for: Joanne Figueiredo

    Joanne Figueiredo

    K-12 Teacher
    May 14, 2019 | 07:16 p.m.

    WOW, what a great video! I am a science research teacher in a high school and I see the transformative effect that engaging in authentic scientific research can have on students! What are you expecting of students in this program? I understand that they make a hypothesis and collect data but what do students do with their results? Are they presenting at symposia or writing papers? 

  • Icon for: Gabriela Weaver

    Gabriela Weaver

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2019 | 08:46 p.m.

    This CURE model sounds exciting and sustainable.  How are decisions made about which courses will include this CURE?  Do students know in advance of registering for one of those courses that there will be a CURE component to it?  What level (1st - 4th year) are those courses in the undergraduate curriculum?  Is the building of hypotheses by students grounded in work that others in the consortium have done previously, or do students develop their hypotheses based on their own interest regardless of potential synergy with other work done?  I'm curious about so many aspects of your work!

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 08:49 p.m.

    Joanne, a great question. During the class the students have to give a presentation on their project and write a final paper. Since this is original research depending upon the outcomes students have also made presentations at regional and national meetings and several groups of students are currently involved in writing manuscripts for submission for publication in the peer reviewed scientific literature. One of these manuscripts will have around 20 undergraduate coauthors along with 3-4 faculty

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 11:17 p.m.

    Gabriela, Thanks for your comments and questions, the answers are complex

    First, faculty, with the consent of their department chair, decided to join the consortium and offer CURE containing courses. Whether they are full semester CUREs or 6-7 week miniCUREs is also decided by the faculty person in consultation with their department and its needs. Students do not necessarily know when they register for a given course if it is a CURE containing course, though in cases where there are multiple faculty teaching multiple sections I’m pretty sure that word of mouth lets students know what type of course they are taking! Across the consortium we have taught CUREs at all levels, from first year intro courses to final year capstone courses, and even courses for non science majors. The question about how students go about building a hypothesis depends upon both the length of the CURE and the faculty person’s interests. The one thing all of the courses have in common is a focus on hypothesis development using a similar overall approach no matter what the research area is. We try to ensure that all students go through the following stages while building their hypothesis:

    Involvement of the student in/ownership of the following:

     

    Big Picture- why is this important to science, to society

     

    Background Information

                        Preliminary Experiments/Observations, What is known/published

     

    Specific Hypothesis

     

    Predictions arising from the hypothesis

     

    Tests of the predictions

                        What types of information do you need to falsify/support the hypothesis

    At the faculty person’s discretion this may involve completely novel mutations or build from previous mutations developed by the consortium. In general the full semester CUREs tend to involve the former and the miniCUREs the latter. One of the pedagogical questions we are trying to address is the impact of true scientific collaboration (between class in different institutions) on student outcomes. These tend to involve some discussion between faculty while they are “designing” their collaborative CURE to agree on a general area of research the students in both classes will explore.

     

    In all cases one overall goal is to generate research results that can lead to scientific presentations and publications in the peer reviewed literature. Having said that, we make clear to the students that they are being graded not on that outcome but on the skills and approaches that they develop during the CURE

  • Icon for: Ivory Toldson

    Ivory Toldson

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 12:18 p.m.

    Hello All! My name is Ivory Toldson, professor at Howard University, president of Quality Education for Minorities, and one of the facilitators for the STEM for All Video Showcase. The conversation is off to a great start and I will be chiming in with my own input this afternoon and over the next few days. I'm excited about what we can achieve for the next generation of STEM learners!

  • Icon for: Ivory Toldson

    Ivory Toldson

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 03:10 p.m.

    I agree that the exposure to and engagement in the scientific process is of critical importance in our efforts to promote student participation in STEM. It seems as though you have made quite an impact with numerous students in just six weeks. I am curious to know if there have been any continued efforts on part of the students extending beyond the six week duration where students have expanded their research which they have successfully conducted in CURE.

    Also, have you been able to measure the impact that the program has on academic outcomes as well? (i.e. increased interest in STEM courses, better performance in STEM courses, continued education in STEM fields)

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 04:32 p.m.

    Ivory, thanks for the questions. Because the project is still in progress (currently in its second year) its hard at this point to track further enrollment is STEM courses and performance in subsequent STEM courses although we will be compiling this data for the final report. We are particularly interested in comparing underrepresented students  to the whole cohort. Anecdotally we have observed that students who take an MCC CURE early in their college career seek out and engage in faculty mentored research in much larger numbers than other first year courses, and that we have  a significant impact on students in 2 year institutions.

     
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    Ivory Toldson
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    Pauline Powell

    May 15, 2019 | 07:19 p.m.

    Fantastic video! This sounds exciting for new budding scientist.

    Pauline Powell

    Assistant Dean

    University of San Diego

    College of Arts and Sciences

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 08:26 p.m.

    Thankyou for your comment, I think CUREs can be really effective in introductory courses

  • Icon for: Judith Dilts

    Judith Dilts

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 10:33 p.m.

    Nice project and video. It's crucial, I think, to involve students during their first year in undergraduate research and CUREs are a great way to do that. Your project should help faculty get past the "how do I do this" phase of initiating a CURE. I like the use of the word "community" and that you get faculty together each summer. I wondered if you have thought about a student conference where students can present the results of their research and network both with students and faculty at other institutions beyond the virtual interactions?

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 10:02 a.m.

    Judith,

    Thanks for the comment. In addition to traditional first year students in 4 yr institutions we are particularly excited about the preliminary data coming from our Community College partners in the project on the impact on students and their career trajectories.

    While it would be great to get students together physically for a student conference, with the numbers of students involved its probably impractical. We are looking to create regional/local hubs of institutions involved and student conferences via that approach is probably more practical. The electronic interactions, particularly for the "hypothesis" presentations early in the semester have been well recieved by students and faculty involved and have led to electronic interactions beyod the actual presentations.

  • Icon for: Judith Dilts

    Judith Dilts

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 03:35 p.m.

    Ellis, Glad you all are thinking about regional student conferences. That opportunity for real time presentations is very beneficial.

  • May 16, 2019 | 04:15 p.m.

    Ellis, rest of the team, great project. Have you ever considered creating a shared data space where students can archive their data, and let other students use it? Since so much of the current evolutionary genetics work depends on in silico work, it might be a way to expand the project.

     

  • Icon for: Ellis Bell

    Ellis Bell

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 04:33 p.m.

     Daniel,

     

    Thanks for the comments and the suggestion. At present we are, among other things, exploring the impact that scientific collaboration has on student outcomes and this involves sharing of experimental data between specific groups of students at different institutions. We are archiving final presentations. Although we are relatively early in the overall project, I like the idea of a shared data space and I am sure the faculty in the community (MCC) will discuss this at this summer's project workshop.

    Again, thanks for a great suggestion

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    Lisa Gentile

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 20, 2019 | 07:24 a.m.

    Ellis and team, this is excellent! Not only is it helping students at USD, but also bringing in faculty and students at institutions across the country. Your inclusive approach is modeling the inclusivity we need in STEM, and in higher ed, in general. Congratulations on the success of years of work. 

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.