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Table 4.

Student interview (n = 19) responses reflected the salient themes from the survey responses of perceptions of DD (refer to Tables 2 and 3 for theme descriptors).

ThemeApplicable Democratic SkillExample Quotes
Working with Peers Communication and Collaboration “It [DD] was interesting. The classes were really large, so a lot of people had different thoughts about it. And we all came from different backgrounds which was also interesting because it was a nonmajors course. So, we definitely didn't have the same way of thinking about things.” (Nonmajors)
“There was one group where we all started, none of us understood much of anything. So, when we started going through the questions and then going back through the article, we were all just back and forth – everyone going around – and then we all finally figured it out. And it was just fantastic.” (Majors) 
Challenges of Group Dynamics Communication and Collaboration “A lot of the time people not being accountable for their own work and the discussions sometimes falling flat because people weren't engaging well … [two people] didn't do the work and now this [worksheet] becomes more of a burden on two people in the group rather than four.” (Nonmajors)
“There's always going to be some people who aren't contributing as much, and that may be frustrating … contributing as in they're just not really trying very hard. They bring back sources that aren't good for your second day when you're trying to craft your policy statement.” (Majors) 
Scientific Literacy Application of Information “DD has helped because it has introduced you to understanding, even if you don't understand, specifically all the language used in the research article – I can kind of get the overall idea and can use the abstract to help me navigate. I can always look up terms, so I can at least, if not fully, understand it – the main idea is so great!” (Nonmajors)
“[DD] totally showed me how to do it [literature search] and I didn't even know the format of scientific papers – so for us as we go through these sections on “how you write it and how it is read,” it makes a lot more sense. Now I can understand.” (Majors) 
New Perspectives Application of Information; Communication and Collaboration “People would like to express opinions that I had never heard before, that I didn't share with them. And so just having a discussion with someone that I didn't agree with is exposure to just an idea – even if it's not something I agreed with – it was an exchange of information.” (Nonmajors)
“It [DD] was good. It was definitely eye-opening because we had a problem, had to try to come up with our own solutions – which is how science works – so it was like a very real-real example … made the class less like a class and more of like an experience.” (Nonmajors)
“I think by the end of the class period, there was a short moment of ‘well, I can see how this added value for the world as a whole going forward,’ now there's 200 people who have experienced this [DD] and clearly thought that fertilizer had no point other than to create algae blooms or something.” (Majors)
“That one [DD on endocrine-disrupting chemicals] definitely made me far more aware: what we actually consume and how that affects us.” (Majors) 
ThemeApplicable Democratic SkillExample Quotes
Working with Peers Communication and Collaboration “It [DD] was interesting. The classes were really large, so a lot of people had different thoughts about it. And we all came from different backgrounds which was also interesting because it was a nonmajors course. So, we definitely didn't have the same way of thinking about things.” (Nonmajors)
“There was one group where we all started, none of us understood much of anything. So, when we started going through the questions and then going back through the article, we were all just back and forth – everyone going around – and then we all finally figured it out. And it was just fantastic.” (Majors) 
Challenges of Group Dynamics Communication and Collaboration “A lot of the time people not being accountable for their own work and the discussions sometimes falling flat because people weren't engaging well … [two people] didn't do the work and now this [worksheet] becomes more of a burden on two people in the group rather than four.” (Nonmajors)
“There's always going to be some people who aren't contributing as much, and that may be frustrating … contributing as in they're just not really trying very hard. They bring back sources that aren't good for your second day when you're trying to craft your policy statement.” (Majors) 
Scientific Literacy Application of Information “DD has helped because it has introduced you to understanding, even if you don't understand, specifically all the language used in the research article – I can kind of get the overall idea and can use the abstract to help me navigate. I can always look up terms, so I can at least, if not fully, understand it – the main idea is so great!” (Nonmajors)
“[DD] totally showed me how to do it [literature search] and I didn't even know the format of scientific papers – so for us as we go through these sections on “how you write it and how it is read,” it makes a lot more sense. Now I can understand.” (Majors) 
New Perspectives Application of Information; Communication and Collaboration “People would like to express opinions that I had never heard before, that I didn't share with them. And so just having a discussion with someone that I didn't agree with is exposure to just an idea – even if it's not something I agreed with – it was an exchange of information.” (Nonmajors)
“It [DD] was good. It was definitely eye-opening because we had a problem, had to try to come up with our own solutions – which is how science works – so it was like a very real-real example … made the class less like a class and more of like an experience.” (Nonmajors)
“I think by the end of the class period, there was a short moment of ‘well, I can see how this added value for the world as a whole going forward,’ now there's 200 people who have experienced this [DD] and clearly thought that fertilizer had no point other than to create algae blooms or something.” (Majors)
“That one [DD on endocrine-disrupting chemicals] definitely made me far more aware: what we actually consume and how that affects us.” (Majors) 
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