June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.278.1 - 14.278.10
BIOENGINEERING EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS BANK
Abstract The BioEngineering Educational Materials Bank is a web repository of biological applications that can be used in undergraduate chemical engineering courses. A Phase I Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement project has been carried out including the development of the website and beta testing in chemical engineering programs across the country. The presentation will provide a description of the website, outcomes of the beta testing, the expansion of the project during the newly awarded Phase II project, and directions for the sustainability of the project following the NSF funding period.
Introduction More and more chemical engineering (ChE) graduates are entering careers that involve applications in the life sciences. Traditionally, ChE education focused on petrochemical or inorganic chemical processes. Many ChE departments have attempted to address the need to better prepare graduates by requiring biology courses or offering elective courses that apply the ChE principles to biological applications.
To facilitate the incorporation of biological applications in the ChE undergrad curriculum, a website has been constructed with solved problems to accompany popular ChE textbooks for the initial course that most students take on material and energy balance (MEB) analysis of chemical processes. Because many chemical engineering faculty have little or no biological training, a workshop was offered during Summer '07 at SJSU to provide a "crash-course" in biology and biochemistry that is applicable to biochemical engineering.
The assessment of the project has been multi-faceted. Beta-test sites that incorporated some of the problems into their courses evaluated student performance during the Fall '07 and '08 semesters. A statistical analysis of the data from the first round of beta testing showed that the evaluation strategy was not appropriate to demonstrate improved student learning from the use of the website materials. At the same time, student surveys suggested that students found the course more interesting with the inclusion of the biological problems. Likewise, faculty who used the website problems in their courses were polled about their experience with the website and their observations about student learning. Finally, statistics of the web usage were collected as an indicator of the utility of the website in the ChE courses. In particular, the number of problems used by the faculty who attended the workshop suggests the workshop enabled them to use the website problems in their courses.
Methods and Results
Construction of Website: In January of 2007 the project began with the construction of the website and development and collection of problems for the MEB course. The design of the website includes the bank of solved problems that are accessible to registered users. The website, Bioengineering Educational Materials Bank, or BioEMB, is hosted on the SJSU server and is a MySQL secure database that enables students, faculty and others access to applications in biological engineering. The problem statements, key word lists, abstracts describing the problem
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