FIG 1. Flow of the CREATE method as originally described by Hoskins and Krufka.
Jessica Garzke, Blaire J. Steinwand. 2024. CREATE’ing improvements in first-year students’ science efficacy via an online introductory course experience
With a primary objective to engage students in the process of science online, we transformed a long-standing laboratory course for first-year science students into a more accessible, immersive experience of current biological research using a narrow and focused set of primary literature and the Consider, Read, Elucidate a hypothesis, Analyze and interpret data, Think of the next Experiment (CREATE) pedagogy. The efficacy of the CREATE approach has been demonstrated in a diversity of higher education settings and courses. It is, however, not yet known if CREATE can be succes fully implemented online with a large, diverse team of faculty untrained in the CREATE pedagogy. Here, we present the transformation of a large-enrollment, multi-section, multi-instructor course for first-year students in which the instructors follow different biological research questions but work together to reach shared goals and outcomes. We assessed students’ (i) science self-efficacy and (ii) epistemological beliefs about science throughout an academic year of instruction fully administered online as a result of ongoing threats posed by COVID-19. Our findings demonstrate that novice CREATE instructors with varying levels of teaching experience and ranks can achieve comparable outcomes and improvements in students’ science efficacy in the virtual classroom as a teaching team. This study extends the use of the CREATE pedagogy to large, team-taught, multi-section courses and shows its utility in the online teaching and learning environment.