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Introducing Active Learning Strategies into an Undergraduate Engineering Physiology Course

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Active Learning in BME, Session I

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Judy L. Cezeaux Western New England University

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Judy Cezeaux is Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Arkansas Tech University. She received her B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and her Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to her appointment at Arkansas Tech, she was Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts. She has also served as a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, West Virginia as well as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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Thomas K. Keyser Western New England University

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Dr. Keyser is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management at Western New England University. He received his BSME in 1988 from New Mexico State University his BSIE in 1991 from Colorado State University – Pueblo and his PhD in IE from Clemson University in 1995. His teaching and research interested include, production scheduling and optimization, entrepreneurial engineering, quality engineering and discrete event system simulation. He is a member of ASEE and a senior member of IIE.
Address: Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Rd., Springfield, MA 01119; Phone: 413-782-1210; Email:

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Biomedical engineering students at xxxx find that engineering physiology is one of the hardest courses to master. Student difficulties stem from the volume of material covered in the course as well as potential mismatch of instructional versus student learning style.

In previous years, learning objectives (10 -15 per lecture) were provided to students prior to the lecture. Students were required to read specified pages in the text and complete an online quiz prior to class. Lectures would then focus on the material from the reading, with equal emphasis across the lecture topics. This coverage of the material was unsatisfactory for the instructor and students as class time was spent reviewing material that students found easy while more challenging topics may not have received enough class time. Lectures were recorded for student review outside of class.

This year, an active learning component was added to the course to provide the instructor feedback on which material students find the most challenging. As with previous years, students are provided learning objectives and assigned reading and an online quiz prior to the lecture. The active learning experience takes place at the beginning of the lecture where groups of four students each discuss the learning objectives for 10-15 minutes. After this active learning exercise, feedback from each group is provided to the instructor and classmates via the Poll Everywhere response system. The remaining class time is spent discussing those learning objectives students identified as more difficult. Lectures are again recorded. In the event that all topics are not covered in class, students are also provided with videos of lectures from the previous year. Students are periodically evaluated by their teammates on their contributions to the team discussions. This evaluation is used to assign a teaming score at the end of the semester.

Assessment of the active learning activities will occur at the end of the fall 2017 semester. Students will be asked to evaluate the effects of the activities on their preparation for the lectures as well as their impressions on the effect of the activities on their learning of the material.

Cezeaux, J. L., & Keyser, T. K. (2018, June), Introducing Active Learning Strategies into an Undergraduate Engineering Physiology Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30714

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