School of Government & International Affairs

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-20-2022


Introductory political science courses are usually considered Gateway courses to student success in college, yet those courses often use minimal high impact practices. This study investigates a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) as a means to increase students’ self-assessed learning gains and motivation to acquire critical thinking skills. This study used a quasi-experiment across two online sections of POLS 1101, American Government, taught at a large public Southeastern university. The experimental section made use of a CURE, and the control section did not. Pre- and post- surveys indicated significant differences in self-assessed learning gains. The section with the CURE showed more confidence and a better understanding of political science. No difference was found in motivation for acquiring critical thinking skills.

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