June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Biomedical Engineering (BME) students at our University participate in a unique design curriculum consisting of team-based design courses for seven semesters. Starting freshman year where students work in interdisciplinary teams to solve community-based design challenges to sophomore through senior year where they design, build and test their innovative solutions for clients in the healthcare profession, local industry, community and university. Within our design curriculum sophomores work on teams with juniors forming mentored relationships and seniors participate in outreach as well as prepare their work for publication. Historically, students would develop technical skills as needed based on their project as well as through workshops offered through the department. Through engagement with our advisory board, alumni and our BME Student Advisory Committee (BSAC), it became evident that more formal and direct training on essential engineering tools was needed early in the curriculum. As a result, in 2012, we transformed our required second semester sophomore opened ended design course into a two-credit lecture and laboratory course with a guided design project: BME 201, “Biomedical Engineering Fundamentals and Design.”
Over the last five offerings of BME 201 since 2012, the course has evolved to cohesively combine all three components (lecture, lab, and a design project) into modulus throughout the course that represent the field of BME both from a curricular and industry standpoint. The modules include: electronics, programing (LabVIEW and Arduino), mechanics (SOLIDWORKS, machine shop use and mechanical testing), biomaterials and tissue engineering (literature research, biosafety, aseptic technique, optics and material interactions). To effectively reach the students in the course and update course content, we utilize a three tiered instructional approach: instructors, three teaching assistants, and 20 undergraduate student assistants, all bringing their educational and industry experiences to the course. The student instructors rotate throughout the course depending on their expertise. We have assessed the effectiveness of this course with pre- and post- course surveys showing the influence of the course on their curriculum and career choices and the influence of the peer learning model. Additionally, our department’s Assessment Committee has noted an improvement in student outcome performance of both the sophomore student population as well as our seniors pre- and post- BME 201. Finally, employer surveys have shown that our students are well prepared for industry in a variety of positions.
Wille, C. M., & Hess, D. J., & Levin, J. M., & Nimunkar, A. J., & Puccinelli, J. P. (2017, June), Impact of a Sophomore BME Design Fundamentals Course on Student Outcome Performance and Professional Development Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28457
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