June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.135.1 - 22.135.16
Active and Cooperative Learning Activities for An Introductory Biomaterials CourseThis paper presents a Rowan University initiative to incorporate biomaterials education into itscurriculum. Biomaterials is a relatively new interdisciplinary field within ChemicalEngineering. Because of the increasing prevalence of muscoskeletal, cardiovascular, andneurodegenerative diseases, there is a necessity to engineer biomaterials that can be used to treatthese painful and debilitating disorders. The overall objective of this initiative is to teach ourstudents concepts in research, development, and clinical application of biomaterials. Recently,educators have been developing active and cooperative learning activities within the frameworkof pedagogical theories such as the Felder-Soloman Learning Styles, the Kolb ExperientialLearning Cycle, and Bloom’s Taxonomy. We used a similar approach to the development ofeducational activities within the area of biomaterials. In this paper, we describe this active andcooperative approach to biomaterials education, which can be adapted by other institutions andfor a range of class sizes. Reverse engineering of biomedical devices, case studies on materialsin medicine, and a laboratory activity in hydrogel characterization are described. Each activitypossesses elements which appeal to a range of learning styles described by Felder and Soloman,incorporates the four phases of learning described by Kolb, and utilizes the higher levels ofBloom’s Taxonomy. By utilizing this approach to developing these activities, we aim topromote more efficient learning than a traditional, straight lecturing approach. A summary ofour student evaluations provides evidence of the effectiveness of these classroom activities.
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