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Impacts Of Assessment On A Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

BME Assessment

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.687.1 - 9.687.5



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Harris

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David Cordray

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Impact of Assessment on a BME Undergraduate Program

Thomas R. Harris, David Cordray Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235


Learning theory suggests that effective instruction should be “student centered, knowledge centered, assessment centered, and community centered”1. We have been engaged in a large study aimed at exploring and testing these concepts for biomedical engineering education—the NSF Vanderbilt-Northwestern-Texas-Harvard/MIT (VaNTH) Engineering Research Center on Bioengineering Educational Technologies. The set of concepts that have been applied to improve learning have been labeled the “How People Learn (HPL) Framework”2. This paper is an overview of our observations on the effects of creating and applying “assessment centered” learning methods in biomedical engineering (BME)—especially the BME undergraduate program.

Assessment and Evaluation

The fundamental ideas of formative assessment (assessment which is aimed at directly improving learning) and summative assessment (which measures accomplishment) are well established in learning theory and practice. A further assessment of interest to the VaNTH project was the assessment and evaluation of the overall impact of learning innovations stemming from VaNTH research3. Here summative evaluations of faculty change and student learning were needed to assess the improvements caused by new methods of instruction when compared to appropriate controls. Assessments can be considered to have the following psychological constructs:

• Affective, in which the attitudes, feelings and views of the subjects are measured; • Behavioral, in which the actions of the subjects are observed; • Cognitive, in which the concepts, problem-solving abilities and knowledge of the subjects are measured.

We sought and developed methods that would help us evaluate changes resulting from applying the HPL Framework to instruction in biomedical engineering. A diagram of the relationships among these methods is shown in Figure1 and discussed below.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Harris, T., & Cordray, D. (2004, June), Impacts Of Assessment On A Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Program Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13239

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