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Active Learning Experiences On Medical Devices For Manufacturing And New Product Development

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.157.1 - 14.157.8

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Paper Authors


Susana Lai-Yuen University of South Florida

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Susana K. Lai-Yuen is an Assistant Professor of Industrial & Management Systems Engineering at the University of South Florida, USA. She received her Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. (Summa Cum Laude) degrees in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University, USA. Her research interests include computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided molecular design (CAMD), human-computer haptic interfaces, computational geometry for design and manufacturing, and engineering education. She is the director of the Virtual Manufacturing and Design Laboratory for Medical Devices (VirtualMD Lab) at USF.

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Kingsley Reeves University of South Florida

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Kingsley Reeves is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida in the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Department. In addition to engineering education, his core research interest centers on the creation of value across the extended supply chain. His current research focus is on inter-organizational and intra-organizational collaboration within the healthcare supply chain.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Active Learning Experiences on Medical Devices for Manufacturing and New Product Development


This paper describes the ongoing work of a NSF CCLI project for analyzing the impact of medical device-related active learning pedagogies in manufacturing and new product development courses within the engineering curriculum. The main focus of the study is on the impact of these approaches on students’ engagement, retention of material, and conceptual understanding of course material. A project-based learning (PBL) approach was incorporated into a manufacturing processes course through a real-world medical device project to provide students with active learning experiences on medical device design and manufacturing. The course was redesigned to provide a combination of lectures on theoretical concepts and hands-on laboratory sessions focused on medical devices to help students through the learning process and the realization of their projects. Preliminary results show that the redesigned course through integration of a real-world medical device project-based learning approach increased students’ interest and understanding of design and manufacturing principles.

1. Introduction

The medical device and equipment industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The U.S. is the largest medical device market and is the global leader of the medical device and technology industry. Medical devices are important for the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of disease, and for the compensation for an injury or handicap. The increasing life expectancy and the search for better health care and preventive therapies have influenced the demand growth for medical devices. To remain competitive in the global market, medical device manufacturers need highly qualified engineers to develop innovative and functional products.

Undergraduate engineering students are often taught theoretical concepts without having the opportunity to actually apply these concepts in a real-world context. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) made the following two recommendations that are relevant to academic institutions: (1) academic institutions should take the steps to cultivate U.S. student interest, and aptitude for careers in engineering, and (2) academic institutions should develop and implement innovative curricula that address the engineering needs of the nation, but do not compromise the teaching of fundamental engineering principles 7.

Active learning approaches are essential for students to think about what they are learning and to increase their engagement, retention of material, and conceptual understanding. Active learning can be defined as any instructional method introduced into the classroom that engages students in the learning process 8. Research in the adoption of active learning techniques in engineering courses has demonstrated benefits to student learning outcomes 2-4, 8. Along with active learning, problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional method where relevant problems are presented at the beginning of the course to provide the context and motivation for learning 8. Through a PBL approach, students learn to address realistic and complex problems instead of academic and

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