Review of CURE Descriptions

The mission of CUREnet is to support CURE resource sharing within the undergraduate science education community. In order to provide the community with high quality examples of CUREs, CUREnet developed and pilot tested a peer review process for entries in the CURE collection. During the pilot review, seven reviewers representing different institution types, disciplines, and perspectives tested a draft review rubric and provided significant feedback to improve it.

Finalized CURE review rubric (Acrobat (PDF) 232kB May26 21).

The review process involves volunteer reviewers from the CURE community who evaluate a set of examples against the rubric. There are four elements of each activity that get reviewed during the process:

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  • Science Practices
  • Research Elements
  • Instructional Design
  • Feasibility of Implementation

Reviews are conducted online via a web-based management tool. As the reviewers evaluate entries, they rate each element and provide constructive comments to help the author improve their entries. The review process is managed by editors from the CUREnet leadership team. The editors maintain communications with the reviewers to ensure that the process moves ahead smoothly. The editor has the ultimate responsibility for assigning the final ratings and communicating the results to example authors. Based on the results of the reviews, each activity receives one of four possible ratings:

  • Exemplary: Examples in the Exemplary Collection have been identified by reviewers as strong examples for others to follow and learn from.
  • Reviewed: Examples in the Reviewed Collection have received positive reviews in all categories, consisting of mostly of exemplary or good ratings in one or more areas. Authors with activities in this collection will receive recommendations from the reviewers and associate editors for ways of improving their activity such that it can be brought into the Exemplary Collection.
  • Inquiry Activity: An example with this rating contains does not meet the definition of a CURE that CUREnet has adopted. It may be a very good example of how to engage students in scientific inquiry, but it does not constitute a CURE because it does not include key research elements. These examples may form the nucleus of a CURE if they were developed into a research experience.
  • Deaccession: These examples contain serious deficiencies which would be difficult or impossible to remedy. They will be removed from the collection entirely.

Highly rated CUREs are given more prominence in  search returns. The set of exemplary CUREs is also highlighted as its own distinct collection.