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Exposure to primary literature using CREATE tools has been shown to have a positive impact on students’ self-efficacy and beliefs when incorporated into semester-long courses taught by extensively trained faculty. However, it is unknown whether similar benefits can occur with a brief exposure to CREATE in an otherwise traditionally taught course. We hypothesized that students who experienced a short-term CREATE module taught by faculty with minimal training in this pedagogy would make gains in scientific literacy and self-efficacy while also experiencing epistemological maturation. To test this hypothesis, we compared sections of students who experienced the CREATE module with sections of the same course taught without CREATE. Our hypothesis was partially supported by the data in that students in CREATE sections made significant gains in self-efficacy but did not gain transferable data analysis skills. Students in those sections also self-reported significantly enhanced understanding of the research process. Thus, this study suggests that analysis of primary literature using CREATE, even in short modules, can significantly and positively affect students’ self-efficacy and their views of science.


This work was originally published in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, available at

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license ( and, which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.



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