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Board 10:Work in Progress: 3-D Curriculum - An Innovative Structure to Model the Co-curricular Experience in Biomedical Engineering

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Lianne Cartee North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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Lianne Cartee is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

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Hatice O. Ozturk North Carolina State University

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Dr. Hatice Ozturk is a Teaching Associate Professor at North Carolina State University, Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. She teaches Signals and Systems, works on curriculum development and coordinates assessment and accreditation activities. Her engineering education area of research is development of instructional technologies for successful math to engineering transition. She also collaborates with faculty in Women's and Gender Studies to study the impacts of interventions done to increase the number of women in engineering.

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Frances S. Ligler North Carolina State University

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Frances S. Ligler is the Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University and School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an elected member, past chair of the Bioengineering Section, and Councillor of the National Academy of Engineering. She earned a B.S. from Furman University and both a D.Phil. and a D.Sc. from Oxford University. Currently working in the fields of biosensors and microfluidics, she has also performed research in biochemistry, immunology, and proteomics. She has over 400 full-length publications and patents, which have led to eleven commercial biosensor products and have been cited over 14,000 times (GS H=72). She serves as an Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry and on editorial/advisory boards for Biosensors & Bioelectronics, Analytical Bioanalytical Chemistry, Sensors, Open Optics, and Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Elected an SPIE Fellow in 2000, a Fellow of AIMBE in 2011, a Fellow of AAAS in 2013, and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2017, she also serves on the organizing committee for the World Biosensors Congress and the permanent steering committee for Europt(r)odes, the European Conference on Optical Sensors. In 2003, she was awarded the Homeland Security Award (Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Field) by the Christopher Columbus Foundation and the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Senior Professional by President Bush. In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Senior Professional by President Obama. In 2014, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. In 2017 she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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The era of producing top performing graduates by following a one-size-fits-all curriculum composed of a flowchart of prescribed courses is over. The “flat” curriculum has been maximized and optimized and has no more room to grow without adding other dimensions and mapping the student experience to a layered process. The proposed 3D curriculum has academic, synergistic and professional dimensions and has the capacity to create the eco-culture necessary for educational innovation. The 3D curriculum is a process that aligns the attributes of graduates with their post-graduate plans in a way that is customized for each student in the Biomedical Engineering program. In the first dimension, the academic dimension, core courses have been converted into course bricks that also include synergistic activities and professional development, but not in a way that is customized to each individual student. Courses are embedded with research based instructional technologies. In the second, synergistic dimension, students may pursue a diverse set of opportunities such as clinical, research, and entrepreneurial experiences to be realized in partnership with another academic division such as the medical school, business school, college of veterinary medicine and college of arts and sciences. In the professional development dimension, students are encouraged to develop a rich set of professional and communication skills. Student outcomes and sub-outcomes of the program assessment plan were mapped to the course bricks required for all students, guaranteeing students meet the minimum requirements for an accredited degree. The rest of the undergraduate educational experience is flexible. Students who choose to take full advantage of the added dimensions will be awarded a Certificate in Leadership and Professional Development. This certificate program has its own program educational objectives and assessment plan. A mentor, chosen by the student, will oversee the fulfillment of the requirements for the certificate. Alumni, members of the Industrial Advisory Board, start-up company CEO’s, faculty from other institutions, and others with relevant experience will be eligible to mentor these students. By creating a structure for co-curricular experiences and providing an incentive to pursue these options, more reticent students may be encouraged to develop additional skills other than traditional academic skills, and more ambitious students can be guided to optimize their co-curricular experiences.

Cartee, L., & Ozturk, H. O., & Ligler, F. S. (2018, June), Board 10:Work in Progress: 3-D Curriculum - An Innovative Structure to Model the Co-curricular Experience in Biomedical Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29854

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