June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.445.1 - 12.445.6
Demonstrating Neural Function through Both Hands-on and Computer Simulated Laboratory Modules
The Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) focuses on three areas of study: Cell and Tissue Engineering, Neural Engineering and Medical Imaging. Within the Neural Engineering curriculum, students take a core class called “BME 445 Quantitative Neural Function”. The major objective of this class is to teach fundamental concepts of neural function with an emphasis on quantitative analysis. Originally, this class was created as a lecture only class based on a traditional neuroscience class. However, it has been shown that students learn more effectively when the concepts are demonstrated through either hands-on or computer simulated laboratory modules. In order to enhance the learning experience, several laboratory modules and computer simulations were incorporated into the BME 445 class. Students found the modules enjoyable and helpful to deepen their understanding of the material. Overall, it was beneficial to introduce these hands-on experimental modules into a traditional neural science class for the BME students.
What is hands-on learning? An hands-on learning approach requires students to become active participants instead of passive learners who simply listen to lectures. The concept of “hands-on learning” is not new in engineering education. A previous study of engineering education showed that hands-on learning is an effective method for engineering classes.1 In fact, over the past 10 years or so, many engineering schools and programs have started to adopt “hands-on learning” into their curricula. Whether using simple everyday household items or sophisticated equipment, professors are now trying to integrate hands-on learning into their classes. Laboratory activities are the traditional method of providing students hands-on experience. However, with advancements in technology, students can participate in a non-traditional form of hands-on education through use of computers. This methodology may include running computational simulations on personal computers as well as web-based learning programs.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) focuses on three areas of study: Cell and Tissue Engineering, Neural Engineering and Medical Imaging. Within the Neural Engineering curriculum, students take a core class called “BME 445 Quantitative Neural Function”. This class was originally created as a lecture based class. The emphasis of this class is to teach the basic principles of neuroscience to biomedical engineers. Our students who take this class generally have only one year of biology with no prior exposure to neuroscience. Since our BME curriculum is new, there has been an emphasis on integrating more hands-on learning into our classrooms. With this in mind, BME 445 was re-organized to incorporate more hands-on learning techniques to demonstrate neural science principles. The major objective of this class is to teach the fundamental concepts of neural function with an emphasis on quantitative analysis and to illustrate these concepts through hands-on experiments.
Kang-Mieler, J. (2007, June), Demonstrating Neural Function Through Both Hands On And Computer Simulated Laboratory Modules Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2273
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