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Table 2.

Aggregated “positive” and “memorable” perceptions of DD themes and the applicable democratic skill that aligns with each theme, as reported by students. Significant differences in the proportion of responses that fell into a particular category between the two time points are indicated (* P ≤ 0.05; ** P ≤ 0.001). Students often had responses that fell into more than one theme.

ThemeApplicable Democratic SkillResponses after Course
(Positive)
(n = 446)
Responses One Year Later
(Memorable)
(n = 95)
DescriptorsExample Quotes
Working with Peers** Communication and Collaboration 17% 32% DD helped students collaborate, discuss, and get to know their peers. “It [DD] helps to get to know fellow students especially in a larger class setting.” (Nonmajors)
“These activities really opened the opportunity to meet other students with similar interests and mindsets.” (Majors) 
Real-World Applications** Application of Information 20% 30% DD showed the applications of science (i.e., current events, society/policy, and other real-world scenarios). “This is a great way to connect what we are learning in biology to psychology, politics, capitalism, ethics etc.” (Nonmajors)
“The DDs show the real-world applicability of what we are learning.” (Majors) 
Educational Application of Information 8% 12% DD was informative, and/or tied well to the course materials. “Reflecting on the citric acid cycle was one of the most memorable. I think the process of releasing energy was pretty fascinating and expanded my understanding of organic energy storage and usage.” (Nonmajors)
“This is definitely an excellent way to learn the material.” (Majors) 
Scientific Literacy* Application of Information 8% 15% Students reflect on readings/searching for articles. “The articles were great reading. I enjoyed reading different kinds of topics, even when they're not my first choice.” (Nonmajors)
“[DD] helped with being able to dissect scientific papers and have a deeper understanding of how to formulate questions.” (Majors) 
Valuable** N/A 11% N/A Students had an understanding of the purpose/value of DD. “I like them [DD] and think they are very useful.” (Nonmajors)
“I can understand how this could improve interest in biology.” (Majors) 
New Perspectives** Application of Information N/A 18% DD helped the student gain/observe a new perspective. “[DD] helped me to see perspectives or consequences that I had not thought of.” (Nonmajors)
“The professor asked us to bring our favorite cosmetic product, I went home and searched [and] found out most of them contain those chemicals. That discussion we had in class totally changed my perspective on cosmetic and hygiene products.” (Majors) 
ThemeApplicable Democratic SkillResponses after Course
(Positive)
(n = 446)
Responses One Year Later
(Memorable)
(n = 95)
DescriptorsExample Quotes
Working with Peers** Communication and Collaboration 17% 32% DD helped students collaborate, discuss, and get to know their peers. “It [DD] helps to get to know fellow students especially in a larger class setting.” (Nonmajors)
“These activities really opened the opportunity to meet other students with similar interests and mindsets.” (Majors) 
Real-World Applications** Application of Information 20% 30% DD showed the applications of science (i.e., current events, society/policy, and other real-world scenarios). “This is a great way to connect what we are learning in biology to psychology, politics, capitalism, ethics etc.” (Nonmajors)
“The DDs show the real-world applicability of what we are learning.” (Majors) 
Educational Application of Information 8% 12% DD was informative, and/or tied well to the course materials. “Reflecting on the citric acid cycle was one of the most memorable. I think the process of releasing energy was pretty fascinating and expanded my understanding of organic energy storage and usage.” (Nonmajors)
“This is definitely an excellent way to learn the material.” (Majors) 
Scientific Literacy* Application of Information 8% 15% Students reflect on readings/searching for articles. “The articles were great reading. I enjoyed reading different kinds of topics, even when they're not my first choice.” (Nonmajors)
“[DD] helped with being able to dissect scientific papers and have a deeper understanding of how to formulate questions.” (Majors) 
Valuable** N/A 11% N/A Students had an understanding of the purpose/value of DD. “I like them [DD] and think they are very useful.” (Nonmajors)
“I can understand how this could improve interest in biology.” (Majors) 
New Perspectives** Application of Information N/A 18% DD helped the student gain/observe a new perspective. “[DD] helped me to see perspectives or consequences that I had not thought of.” (Nonmajors)
“The professor asked us to bring our favorite cosmetic product, I went home and searched [and] found out most of them contain those chemicals. That discussion we had in class totally changed my perspective on cosmetic and hygiene products.” (Majors) 
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