June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
The biomedical engineering (BME) program at Arizona State University includes a 14-week freshman hands-on design experience addressing global health needs. Core objectives of this course include (i) introducing students to key concepts and processes in biomedical device design and development, (ii) providing an early freshman experience of team-based learning, and (iii) encouraging the development of communication and presentation skills. Additional teaching goals include priming students for subsequent ‘design spine’ courses and their final-year BME capstone experience, and developing interactive project-based teaching at scale.
Our semester-long course focuses on global healthcare markets and device design for low-resource settings. Over 14 weeks, students work in teams of 4-5 to run through a cycle of biomedical device design, including needs assessment, problem definition, concept generation and iteration, CAD prototyping, and design iteration based on peer, student instructor, and faculty feedback. They also examine case studies of (successful and unsuccessful) biomedical device design, learn about the healthcare innovation system, and reflect on key challenges and best practices for successful biomedical engineering design. With class sizes of 60-100 students, scale is a key factor in course design and implementation. During 2.5-hour lab sessions, our instructor approach is to engage with each student team for at least 5-10 min per class, providing real-time feedback on their research and design practices. Trained graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants are also on hand to work with teams and encourage critical engagement with the design process.
This is our second year of piloting this large-scale, project-based course, and thus far assessment of learning outcomes has relied on both formal and informal methods. Weekly instructor engagement with individual teams provides informal, real-time indications of how well students are mastering project management and core design tasks. During the semester, students complete muddiest points exercises, and perform self-evaluations of their ability to work as a team. End-of-semester written reflections in response to a series of prompts have helped us to capture the key points students are taking away from the course, as well as their self-identification of how well they are mastering different aspects of the design process. In this paper, we present an overview of the course structure, together with a summary of assessment data, lessons learned, and best practice tips for designing introductory design courses for large class sizes.
Frow, E. K., & Smith, B. S., & Ankeny, C. J. (2017, June), Freshman Design Course: Device Design for Low-Resource Settings Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28387
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