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Incorporating Peer Assisted Learning Into A Biomedical Engineering Instrumentation And Measurement Laboratory

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovative Laboratories in BME

Tagged Division

Biomedical

Page Count

5

Page Numbers

11.741.1 - 11.741.5

DOI

10.18260/1-2--726

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/726

Download Count

73

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Paper Authors

biography

Jennifer Kang-Mieler

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Jennifer J. Kang Derwent is an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Dr. Kang Derwent received a B.S. degree in Mathematics, a M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. Dr. Kang Derwent was a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her professional research interest includes retinal electrophysiology, blood flow and neural engineering. Email: derwent@iit.edu

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

Incorporating Peer Assisted Learning into a Biomedical Engineering Instrumentation and Measurement Laboratory

Abstract

The Biomedical Engineering (BME) 315 Instrumentation and Measurement Laboratory class was created to expose BME students to biological instrumentation and measurement laboratory modules. This is a time intensive laboratory class where both the instructor and teaching assistant are required in the laboratory at all times. Often times, having one teaching assistant is insufficient to interact with the more than 30 students (in multiple sections). In order to enhance the student experience, we introduced the principle of Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) into our laboratory class. The main objective of the PAL system is to provide a student-to-student support system. We invited six senior students who had completed the class to act as “BME mentors”. The BME mentors’ main responsibility was to interact with the students. They did not “teach” the subject and they were not to provide the students with “quick answers” but provide guidance. The mentors also played a key role in assisting the instructor in evaluating the effectiveness of the lab module. They enhanced the interactions with the students and promoted an effective cooperative and collaborative laboratory learning environment.

Introduction

Biomedical Engineering (BME) is a diverse area of study for which a student needs to be familiar with various engineering principles as well as biology and medicine. To deliver the knowledge and skills necessary, the BME 315 Instrumentation and Measurement Laboratory class was developed. Traditionally, an instrumentation laboratory class focuses on transducers and electrical instruments, similar to an Electrical Engineering Laboratory class. While this traditional instrumentation class is important for all engineers, BME students need to be exposed to biological-based measurements. According to the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), a bioengineering laboratory experience must include an emphasis on solving “the problems at the interface of engineering and biology”1. The main focus of this laboratory class was to introduce and apply basic engineering principles and tools to biological systems.

This class is the first time that our students are exposed to various engineering concepts and their hands-on application to biological systems. In this class, the students performed six experimental modules each of which involved at least three hours of laboratory time. The students wrote technical papers and gave a 20- minute oral presentation after each module. Hence, this is a time intensive laboratory class where both the instructor and teaching assistant are required in the laboratory at all times. It is inadequate to have one teaching assistant to interact with the more than 30 students.

Another challenge with graduate students as teaching assistants at our institute is that they often have a limited background in the many areas of BME. Most BME departments in the US have

Kang-Mieler, J. (2006, June), Incorporating Peer Assisted Learning Into A Biomedical Engineering Instrumentation And Measurement Laboratory Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--726

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