June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
June 14, 2014
Curriculum and Lab Development
20.12.1 - 20.12.11
Development of Experiential Learning Models in Biomedical Engineering Programs for International ImplementationUndergraduate biomedical engineering (BME) programs have increased considerably across theglobe and the drives for continuous improvement of the programs persist. Covering acomprehensive base of multiple disciplines supplemented by specialized courses required forBME studies on campus has been a big challenge. In addition, the members of the IndustryProfessional Advisory Committees usually recommend incorporating experiential learningmodules of co-op or internship in the curriculum. The underlying notion is that integratingcooperative modules with formal on-campus academic training provides the students exposure toprofessional experience which leads to formation a superior educational model especially inBME programs. The main objective of the present work is to develop a few cooperativeexperiential learning models for selective international implementation.In order to earn a baccalaureate degree in BME, students are required to take a multitude ofcourses in basic sciences and engineering disciplines prior to taking courses in BME. Embeddingcooperative modules within the undergraduate BME educational program is aimed to assiststudents in gaining exposure to different aspects of the complex work processes in the BME fieldand providing highly valuable real-life experience. However, the developers of the BMEcurricula find the inclusion of cooperative work experience or internship with a heavy courseload in the program a formidable challenge. The overall program objectives place a very severeconstraint on the available and assignable time for practical work experience training since thetrend is to diligently manage the total number of academic credits within reasonable limits. Inthis paper, designs of a few co-op/internship models embedded in the undergraduate BMEcurriculum are described. A cooperative experiential learning model suitable for biomedicalengineering students at a large teaching hospital is illustrated in progressive phases. Othermodels of BME co-op developed are of different time durations at companies dealing withmedical devices and systems or at academic research laboratories with ongoing R&D activities.The proposed models have been implemented in different countries and the results obtainedclearly support the proposed scheme of including co-op/internship in BME curriculum. Theoutcomes of the BME co-operative work enabled the students to have a comprehensive learningof multifaceted activities in the BME field. It is realized that varied curricula for education andpractical training may exist in the international settings. However, the model and the detailspresented are applicable to BME programs at the international level. It is recommended that newprograms consider incorporating co-op/internship training as a mandatory requirement.In conclusion, integrating the cooperative work experience is of significant value in biomedicalengineering education by giving opportunities for real-life work experience to students. Forsustained success, it is essential that a suitable model must be selected to blend with the missionof the overall training program at the academic institution.
Krishnan, S. M. (2014, June), Development of Experiential Learning Models in Biomedical Engineering Programs for International Implementation Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/17175
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