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Engaging CSULA Engineering Students in Biomedical Engineering Learning Activities with the Tablet PC

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Developments in BME Pedagogy and Assessment

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.571.1 - 22.571.12



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Paper Authors


Deborah Won California State University, Los Angeles

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Deborah Won joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at CSULA as an Assistant Professor in January 2009. Her specialization is in biomedical engineering, and she has launched 3 new courses in biomedical engineering. She also enjoy teaching a variety of courses ranging from electronics to signal processing. She conducts research in the area of bioelectrical communication.

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Huiping Guo California State University, Los Angeles

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Jianyu Dong California State University, Los Angeles

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Engaging CSULA Engineering Students in Biomedical Engineering Learning Activities with the Tablet PCBiomedical engineering (BME) has been a burgeoning field for decades now, but at California StateUniversity, Los Angeles (CSULA), the seeds are just now being planted for BME to take root on thecampus and grow into a full-fledged curriculum and degree-offering program. Three new courses wereintroduced since 2009 into the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department program, one ofwhich was entitled Introduction to Biomedical Instrumentation. A handful of students have also beeninvolved in BME research projects. As CSULA begins to develop this BME program, we aim to makethe limited opportunities available to our students in BME thus far as enriching as possible. Over thepast year, we have exploited the unique user interface of the HP Tablet PC to restructure the teaching /student learning paradigm in the Biomedical Instrumentation course and to involve students in abiomedical engineering research project. Our objectives were to engage students in learning BMEcourse material by incorporating a technological gadget which students find fun and interesting in andof itself, provide an avenue for interaction with the teacher and other students, and give students anopportunity to design a research study which benefited from the features of this current computertechnology. More specifically, we used the HP Tablet PC in achieving the following aims: 1) Provide students with an opportunity to see the applicability of computer engineering to a biomedical research problem 2) Create interactive in-class exercises which increase class participation 3) Improve learning assessment by monitoring student work in class 4) Encourage collaborative thinking among students on class projectsThe Tablet PC is well-suited to serve as a tool to help achieve these aims. It features “digital-ink” inputvia a pen-like instrument, or stylus. Its swiveling display can be written and drawn on just like a writingtablet. This feature, along with supporting classroom management software called DyKnow, opens upmany opportunities for interactive learning.The use of Tablet PCs and DyKnow software in the Biomedical Instrumentation course has provided atechnology-saavy way to make lectures more interactive and dynamic. For example, live illustrationsof circuits during class made lectures more dynamic; polls and student submission of answers duringclass provided the instructor with a means of assessing student understanding; the “share control” tool,which gives any specified students capability to make live markings visible to everyone in the session,engaged the students in a more participatory classroom setting. In-class exercises were developedwhich gave students more opportunities to think about device design on their own and to demonstrateas well as further their understanding. DyKnow also readily enabled collaboration in class, as it allowsgroups to be created in which students can view and work on a common screen which appears on eachof their own displays. In addition, the pen-based human-computer interface of the Tablet PC allowedus to develop an innovative biomedical engineering research project. A group of undergraduatestudents designed and implemented Tablet PC-based assessments of tremor and bradykinesia inParkinson's patients. This project has given students an opportunity to create an accessible andquantitative tool for a clinical application using a technology that is in vogue.We will present how the Tablet PC was incorporated into both biomedical research and classroomactivities and provide a student survey-based assessment of how the use of Tablet PCs in these BMElearning activities enhanced student learning.

Won, D., & Guo, H., & Dong, J. (2011, June), Engaging CSULA Engineering Students in Biomedical Engineering Learning Activities with the Tablet PC Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17852

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