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Lab Talk


Research has shown that course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) can influence undergraduate students’ educational and career trajectories. Specifically, CUREs allows students to make discoveries, engage in iterative work, and develop greater ownership of their project. However, these specific features of CUREs do not completely capture the influence that CUREs have on students’ persistence and success in science. Building off of previous research, this project will explore whether and how the ways that instructors talk to students in CUREs vs. traditional lab courses may be an influential factor in the differential effects of these learning experiences. We have collected audio recordings of instructors as they teach different types of lab courses and analyzed the recordings inductively and deductively using standard qualitative content analysis procedures and frameworks of instructor talk, instructor immediacy, and research mentoring processes. We are now comparing and contrasting the forms of instructor talk observed in different types of lab courses and relating talk patterns to students' scientific development and intentions to continue in science and in research. 


This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2021138, entitled Collaborative Research: Examining the Nature and Impacts of Instructors' Communication with Students in Classroom-based Undergraduate Research Experiences. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.