Classroom research experiences can provide outstanding learning opportunities for undergraduate students while also benefiting faculty research programs. However, such courses often require more faculty work than traditional lecture-based courses do, potentially discouraging instructors. Here, we propose one solution. We describe a research-based course designed and implemented by multiple members of a research team. The students in this course measured insects for an evolutionary genetics experiment while participating in classroom-based discussions, readings, and presentations focused on the nature of science. The benefits of the course were threefold. First, the students reported strong positive gains in understanding the nature of science and their attitudes toward science. Second, this course produced publishable data, which benefited faculty research. Third, members of the research team received valuable training in teaching, teamwork, and data management. If incorporated more widely in undergraduate curricula, courses such as this one could improve both research programs and undergraduate education.
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Vol. 63 • No. 9