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Board 21: Work In Progress: Jigsaws as an Effective Approach for Developing Analytical and Collaboration Skills in Healthcare Systems and Process Design Courses

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Division (BED) Poster Session

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering Division (BED)

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Paper Authors


Uri Feldman

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Uri Feldman is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He received a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Feldman developed informatics metrics to quantify performance of clinicians when using digital diagnostic tools. He has published in Radiology, Academic Radiology, IS&T, SPIE, and RESNA. As a Latino and native Spanish speaker, born in Peru, Dr. Feldman has created markets and commercialized innovative telemedicine products in Latin America for medical device companies, including Orex Computed Radiography, Kodak Health Group, and ICRco. Dr. Feldman also served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program where he led the strategic planning and migration to EPIC Electronic Health Records system and novel meaningful use implementations through the Massachusetts Health Information Exchange. At Wentworth, Dr. Feldman is focused on project-based instruction, hands-on simulations, experiential learning approaches, and first year curriculum. Dr. Feldman is one of the lead instructors for Introduction to Engineering courses, with enrollments in the hundreds each fall. His research and teaching interests, in addition to first year engineering, include telemedicine, health informatics, rehabilitation engineering, and medical robotics. Dr. Feldman has collaborated with researchers and engineers from organizations including Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Vecnacares, and Restoreskills.

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George D. Ricco University of Indianapolis

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George D. Ricco is an engineering education educator who focuses on advanced analytical models applied to student progression, and teaching first-year engineering, engineering design principles, and project management.

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Jigsaws are an active-learning method which expedites learning, collaborative problem-solving and teamwork skills development. Jigsaws have been used effectively in classrooms ranging from K-12 to advanced engineering courses. A Jigsaw is a team-of-teams activity in which students work in an expert group to develop competence on a topic. Each expert group studies a different topic in depth. Then, as jigsaw teams—comprised of a member from each expert group—students work collaboratively to teach each other what they have learned as they put together and map out the complete activity. Jigsaws tend to foster interdependence and individual accountability.

This paper focuses on evaluation of a jigsaw activity conducted in Medical Informatics and Telemedicine, an elective course for Junior and Senior level biomedical engineering students at Wentworth Institute. The course is not theoretical but focused on applications, delivered in the form of lectures, labs, and workshops, where students, individually and in groups, learn about and explore different aspects of health informatics systems and process design. Active learning interventions used in the course build off real-world scenarios such as design of electronic health record systems (EHR), implementation of clinical decision support rules, evaluation of system interoperability, and health information exchanges. Students analyze the scenarios by creating “end-to-end” diagrams and maps of the “patient and data journeys.” A fictional but realistic scenario, adapted from the cornerstone Shortliffe textbook, in which a diabetic patient’s progression along the continuum of care is used to illustrate the design and operation of an EHR. Jigsaws are an ideal method for analyzing clinical processes and workflows, such as EHR systems. Divided into jigsaw teams, students collaboratively map out the workflows, analyze software modules and features, and evaluate interoperability, clinical-decision-support, telehealth consultations, and clinical outcomes. Preliminary data analysis of student responses to end of semester course evaluations seems to indicate that jigsaws can be an effective active learning intervention which bolsters analytical and collaboration skills in courses involving systems and process design. The next stage of analysis would include coding more data sets and addition of other methods, such as a photovoice protocol to analyze students’ graphical reports and documents collected.

Feldman, U., & Ricco, G. D. (2023, June), Board 21: Work In Progress: Jigsaws as an Effective Approach for Developing Analytical and Collaboration Skills in Healthcare Systems and Process Design Courses Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42624

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