Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
In this paper we will report on the development and deployment of a new, integrative, first-year biomedical engineering curriculum focused on studio-based learning of engineering design. Developed by an interdisciplinary team of faculty and staff, this curriculum is team-taught (meaning, multiple faculty are in the studio at all times) by biomedical engineers, mechanical engineers who specialize in design, a professor of English, a computer scientist, and a mathematician. The foundation of the curriculum is the engineering design studio, which meets four hours per day, four days per week. No homework is assigned from the design studio. The studio is complemented by a coordinated mathematics course which meets three times as week as lecture/active learning sessions and once for a three-hour laboratory each week. Over the academic year, the mathematics course covers topics traditionally taught as Calculus I, II, and III classes. The design studio has a different general theme for each academic quarter – for example, the Fall quarter theme is ‘Play for All,’ focusing on children’s play environments, toys, and games that are universally accessible. Within this theme, students complete multiple design projects through the prototyping phase (e.g., redesigning the ‘popcorn popper’ walking toy for children with a range of physical abilities and sensitivities), accompanied by a range of documentation (e.g., empathy maps; engineering drawings; written, poster, and oral presentations). This paper will map the instructional topics covered in the new curriculum to typical first and second year biomedical engineering curricula, and will report results of qualitative research on student and faculty/staff reactions to the new curriculum as the first year progresses. This paper will also report initial quantitative data on the academic hardiness of the biomedical engineering students: Were these students measurably more ‘academically hardy’ than other incoming engineering students? Did the repeated exposure to open-ended problem-solving situations measurably increase these biomedical engineering students’ academic hardiness? Finally, we will present a comparison of the academic performance of students who participated in this new curriculum with students who did not.
Dee, K. C., & Brackin, P., & Watt, A., & Chiu, A., & Livesay, G. A., & McCormack, J. P., & Rogge, R. D., & House, R. A. (2018, June), An Engineering Design-Oriented First Year Biomedical Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29779
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