June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.799.1 - 11.799.10
Integration of Diverse Laboratory Experiences throughout the Biomedical Engineering Curriculum Abstract
Laboratory instruction is crucial in bioengineering curricula to introduce biological and physiological measurements as well as to foster an understanding of the complex nature of biological systems. Traditionally, stand-alone bioengineering laboratory courses provided students an opportunity to learn the function and operation of instrumentation as well as to analyze data by applying theories learned in lecture courses. More recently, studio environments have brought the lecture and laboratory together in a single course, emphasizing the relationship between theory and reality. This paper describes the use of stand-alone laboratories, studio-like environments, and a hybrid type of homework assignment, called physical homework, to provide hands-on learning experiences that are integrated throughout the biomedical engineering curriculum.
Bioengineering laboratory courses are as diverse as the programs that offer them. Traditionally, laboratory experiences occurred within stand-alone laboratory courses that supported material learned previously or concurrently in lecture-based courses. More recently, many institutions have integrated problem-based learning into these courses.1 Another recent development in bioengineering is the use of studio learning which involves the integration of lecture and laboratory in the same course and promotes active learning.2,3
The Biomedical Engineering program at Western New England College uses a variety of methods to deliver hands-on opportunities, integrating these experiences throughout the curriculum. These methods include stand-alone laboratory courses as well as studio-like learning, where laboratories and lectures are integrated, and a hybrid type of homework assignment called physical homework. Physical homework is similar to traditional homework, but includes an experimental component that can be performed individually by each student outside of a designated laboratory period or class. Specifics of the application of these types of hands-on experiences are described in this paper.
The term “physical homework” has been used previously to describe a laboratory portion of a freshman engineering course that complements lectures on mechanics with real-life examples of these principles.4 Our definition of physical homework is an assignment that is similar to traditional homework, but includes an experimental component that can be performed individually by each student outside of a designated laboratory period or class. In general, the data analyzed in the physical homework can be directly compared to that predicted using theory. Physical homework is especially useful in relating abstract mathematical concepts to real-world examples. Ideally, physical homework utilizes inexpensive equipment that is easy to duplicate or equipment that is readily available in undergraduate laboratories that can be used with minimal supervision.
Cezeaux, J., & Schreiner, S., & Testa, D. (2006, June), Integration Of Diverse Laboratory Experiences Throughout The Biomedical Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1227
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