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Board 5: Work in Progress: Problem-based Learning in a Flipped Classroom Applied to Biomedical Instrumentation Teaching

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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


Jorge E. Bohorquez University of Miami

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Dr. Jorge Bohórquez received his bachelor degrees in Physics and Electrical engineering in 1984 and his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering in 1991. Currently Dr. Bohórquez works as an Associate professor of Professional Practice at the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Miami. His research interests are Engineering Education, Neural Engineering, Biosignal Processing and Instrumentation.

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Bioinstrumentation is a required course in our Biomedical Engineering program. The student learning outcomes require the students to be proficient in the use of system theory for the analysis of medical devices, as well as the ability to design and simulate medical electronics circuits and to explain the needs, operation principles, standards of the most common medical instruments. The student body, as the discipline itself, has diverse motivations and professional expectations. Promoting student’s intrinsic motivation by using an engaging content to all of them is a challenge. Additionally, we have to cover an extensive amount of knowledge in an already overcrowded curriculum, without diluting the fundamental scientific and engineering principles. After many iterations, we propose a model that emphasizes a problem based learning. We used the wellbeing of a patient undergoing physiological recordings as ultimate goal. Every problem requires the students writing a discussion addressing the like hood of having a diagnostic error and its consequences. The students are required to support their argumentation using quantitative predictions, the applicable devices standards and the medical practice. The courses revolves around the solution of realistic problems in the analysis and the development of medical instruments. As the complexity of the problems increases, new concepts and tools are introduced. The use of modern computational tools enables the students to effectively solve medium-complexity problems and deeply explore the concepts without the cost of tedious manual mathematical developments. The recent use of the flipped classroom setup has significantly boosted the implementation of the pedagogic strategy by providing the natural inclusion of collaborative learning elements and enhancing the student instructor interactions. The classroom consist of tables (~6), each one holding two teams (3 students) and a big TV where any student can easily share their computer screen. The students are assigned to study material before the lecture and during the first minutes of the lecture, the instructor gives s short explanation of the topic/problem of the day. The remaining time is dedicated to the problem solving. Normally one or two TA (advanced undergrads) attend the lecture to interact with the students. The instructor or TAs can have long interaction with individual students without disrupting the lecture flow. The TAs are trained not only to help the students solving the problems but also inquiring the students about the way they interpret and try to perform their solution. The students and faculty very well appreciated the pedagogical changes, as showed by end of class surveys and testimonials. The students are more engaged in the class as they feel they are solving real/important problems; they learn from each other and they feel they grow as engineers. They appreciate the individualized feedback provided by the instructor. By inquiring the students during the solution of the problems, the instructor better understand any possible misconception that the students may have. The instructor and the TAs reflect on the teaching experience and make changes for continuing improvement. Active learning has been very successfully to teach bioinstrumentation by enhancing problem-solving skills along other important traits of modern engineers such teamwork and communication skills.

Bohorquez, J. E. (2018, June), Board 5: Work in Progress: Problem-based Learning in a Flipped Classroom Applied to Biomedical Instrumentation Teaching Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30047

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