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Fostering the Entrepreneurial Mindset Through the Development of Multidisciplinary Learning Modules Based on the "Quantified Self" Social Movement

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division – Tactical Approaches to Entrepreneurship Education

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.794.1 - 26.794.17



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Paper Authors


Eric G Meyer Lawrence Technological University

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Dr. Meyer directs the Experimental Biomechanics Laboratory (EBL) at LTU with the goal to advance experimental biomechanics understanding. Dr. Meyer teaches Introduction to Biomechanics, Tissue Mechanics, Engineering Applications in Orthopedics and Cellular and Molecular Mechanobiology. He has been an active member of the engineering faculty committee that has redesigned the Foundations of Engineering Design Projects course that is required for all freshman in the College of Engineering at LTU. This committee is currently designing a new sophomore-level Engineering Entrepreneurship Studio that will also be required for all students as a continuation of the “Foundations studio”. He has published 33 peer-reviewed journal and conference proceeding articles. At LTU, Meyer offers a number of outreach programs for high school students and advises many projects for undergraduate students.

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Mansoor Nasir Lawrence Technological University

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Dr. Mansoor Nasir received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from University of Cincinnati and Bioengineering from University of California-Berkeley. He worked as a research scientist at US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC before joining Biomedical Engineering department at Lawrence Technological University. He has several publications in the areas of microfluidics, chemical and biological sensors and MEMS technology. He is also passionate about engineering pedagogy and has attended several workshops on using techniques that make the classroom instruction more engaging and effective

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Fostering the entrepreneurial mindset through the development of multidisciplinary learning modules based on the “Quantified Self” social movement Traditional engineering curriculum and coursework lacks entrepreneurial experiences forstudents as related to opportunity recognition and communications. But recently, networks ofengineering colleges supported by the Kern Family Foundation, VentureWell (formerly NCIIA),Coleman Foundation and NSF among others have promoted the idea that “Entrepreneurship is aMindset” and that the entrepreneurship process can be formalized in engineering education [1].In this project we set out to modify courses across the curriculum to promote Entrepreneurial-Minded Learning (EML) with the aim of training students to stop thinking only like anengineer/scientist and start thinking like a product developer. The method was to develop coursemodules that focus on EML using real world problems and current trends [2]. The modules weredistributed broadly across disciplines; Biomedical, Mechanical, Electrical and RoboticsEngineering and Life Sciences and at various levels of the curriculum. The theme for these EMLmodules was the “Quantified Self” (QS) social movement, an exciting real-world trend that isaccessible and can be used to motivate a variety of academic topics. QS is experiencingtremendous growth through the interest of large consumer electronics companies and newdigital health startups centered around wearable technology. This explosive growth has beenmade possible by the convergence of technologies such as sensors, computer miniaturization,big data and widespread participation in social networks that allow sharing of personalinformation, such as fitness activities and diet tracking. (Figure 1). In order to understand what and where emphasis was formerly dedicated towards EMLin engineering and science programs, other faculty and students were surveyed about theirexperiences and perceptions. Next, the Biomedical Engineering program at XXXXXXXXXUniversity was targeted for course modifications across the curriculum by introducing modulesfocused on EML. While broader efforts at XXXXXXXX have dedicated significant attention towardsEML in freshman and sophomore design studios and senior projects, QS modules wereimplemented in four additional courses at the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior levels.Direct and indirect assessment was used to gauge the modules’ effectiveness at changingstudents’ perceptions and improving their entrepreneurial capabilities. Finally, these resourceswere shared with faculty from four additional disciplines at three different institutions to developand implement additional EML modules across a broad range of engineering and science topics. The EML modules that were developed were multi-week assignments that wereorganized following Problem Based Learning pedagogical techniques. Each module combinedseveral open-ended tasks that built sequentially following previously completed work and thetopics that were covered in class. They included smaller in-class Active, Cooperative Learningactivities with individual or group homework assignments. Multiple modules covered each of thespecific entrepreneurship skills that were targeted (Table 1). Highlights of modules in each of thecourses will be described and results of student assessment of EML will be documented. The EMLmodules were important for students to gain some understanding and experience withopportunity recognition and communications. These skills are particularly important for studentduring their senior project. Table 1. Entrepreneurship Skills coverage in course modules. Program BME BME BME BME BME ME Biology Robotics Level Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Freshman Sophomore Sophomore Junior BME Best Medical Device Fund. of Physiology Unified Course Intro. to BME Practices Design Orthopedics Biomedical Eng. Statics Laboratory Robotics III Opportunity Recognition X X X X X X Market Investigation X X X X X X Create a Preliminary Model X X X X X Communicate solutions in terms of X X X economic benefits Communicate solutions in terms of X X X X X societal benefits Examine technical feasibility, X X X X X economic drivers, societal and Intellectual Property Protection X Regulatory Issues X X X Collaborate in a team setting X X X X X X[1] Kriewall T, Mekemson K. Instilling the entrepreneurial mindset into engineering undergraduates, J Engineering Entrepreneurship, 2010, 1, 5-19.[2] Gerhart AL, Carpenter DD. Campus-wide Course Modification Program to Implement Active & Collaborative Learning and Problem-based Learning to Address the Entrepreneurial Mindset. Proc. ASEE Annual Conference, 2013, Atlanta, GA.

Meyer, E. G., & Nasir, M. (2015, June), Fostering the Entrepreneurial Mindset Through the Development of Multidisciplinary Learning Modules Based on the "Quantified Self" Social Movement Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24131

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