The CREATE Strategy for Intensive Analysis of Primary Literature can be Used Effectively by Newly Trained Faculty to Produce Multiple Gains in Diverse Students
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The CREATE (Consider Read, Elucidate the hypotheses, Analyze and interpret the data, and Think of the next Experiment) strategy aims to demystify scientific research and scientists while building critical thinking, reading/analytical skills, and improved science attitudes through intensive analysis of primary literature. CREATE was developed and piloted at the City College of New York (CCNY), a 4-yr, minority-serving institution, with both upper-level biology majors and first-year students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To test the extent to which CREATE strategies are broadly applicable to students at private, public, research-intensive, and/or primarily undergraduate colleges/universities, we trained a cohort of faculty from the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area in CREATE pedagogies, then followed a subset, the CREATE implementers (CIs), as they taught all or part of an existing course on their home campuses using CREATE approaches. Evaluation of the workshops, the CIs, and their students was carried out both by the principal investigators and by an outside evaluator working independently. Our data indicate that: intensive workshops change aspects of faculty attitudes about teaching/learning; workshop-trained faculty can effectively design and teach CREATE courses; and students taught by such faculty on multiple campuses make significant cognitive and affective gains that parallel the changes documented previously at CCNY.