The PARE Project: A Short Course-Based Research Project for National Surveillance of Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes in Environmental Samples
October 31, 2018
Elizabeth A. Genné-Bacon and Carol A. Bascom-Slack
Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education: 2018; 19(3): 19.3.97.
Published online 2018 Oct 31. doi: 10.1128/jmbe.v19i3.1603 PMID | 30377474
Course-based research experiences (CREs) have been proposed as an inclusive model to expose all students, including those at institutions without a strong research infrastructure, to research at an early stage. Converting an entire semester-long course can be time consuming for instructors and expensive for institutions, so we have developed a short CRE that can be implemented in a variety of life science course types. The Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment (PARE) project uses common microbiology methods and equipment to engage students in nationwide surveillance of environmental soil samples to document the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The project has been implemented at institutions ranging from community colleges to doctoral-granting institutions in 30 states plus Puerto Rico. Programmatic feedback was obtained from instructors over three iterations, and revisions were made based on this feedback. Student learning was measured by pre/post assessment in a subset of institutions. Outcomes indicate that students made significant gains in the project learning goals.