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Introduction of a Virtual Reality Laboratory in a Tissue Engineering Course

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Conference

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Division (BED) Technical Session 3: Technology in Biomedical Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering Division (BED)

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--43861

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/43861

Download Count

202

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Paper Authors

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Deborah Moyaki University of Georgia Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0009-0005-7441-0306

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Deborah Moyaki is a doctoral student in the Engineering Education and Transformative Practice program at the University of Georgia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Educational Technology and is excited about the possibilities technology offers to the learning experience beyond the formal classroom setting. Her research focuses on improving the educational experience of engineering students using virtual reality labs and other emerging technologies.

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Dominik May University of Wuppertal Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9860-1864

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Dr. May is a Professor at the University of Wuppertal. He researches online and intercultural engineering education. His primary research focuses on the development, introduction, practical use, and educational value of online laboratories (remote, virtual, and cross-reality) and online experimentation in engineering and technical education. In his work, he focuses on developing broader educational strategies for designing and using online engineering equipment, putting these into practice, and providing the evidence base for further development efforts. Moreover, Dr. May is developing instructional concepts to bring students into international study contexts to experience intercultural collaboration and develop respective competencies.

Dr. May is President of the International Association of Online Engineering (IAOE), which is an international nonprofit organization to encourage the wider development, distribution, and application of Online Engineering (OE) technologies and their influence on society. Furthermore, he serves as Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) intending to promote the interdisciplinary discussion of engineers, educators, and engineering education researchers around technology, instruction, and research. Dr. May has organized several international conferences in the Engineering Education Research field.

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Nathaniel Hunsu University of Georgia

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Nathaniel Hunsu is an assistant professor of Engineering Education. He is affiliated with the Engineering Education Transformational Institute and the school of electrical and computer engineering at the university. His interest is at the nexus of the res

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Pravalika Irukulla University of Georgia

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Pravalika Irukulla is a Masters student pursuing Biological Engineering at the University of Georgia. She obtained her Bachelors degree in Biological Engineering at the University of Georgia, where she started her research focus on breast cancer metastasis in a tissue engineering laboratory. As a project during graduate degree, she focused on the development of virtual laboratories in the tissue engineering class.

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Cheryl T. Gomillion University of Georgia Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1727-3801

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Dr. Cheryl Gomillion is Assistant Professor in the School of Chemical, Materials, & Biomedical Engineering, part of the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia (UGA). She received her B.S. in Biosystems Engineering with an emphasis in Applied Biotechnology from Clemson University, and she completed both her Master’s and Ph.D. in Bioengineering also at Clemson University. Dr. Gomillion’s long-standing research interests are in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Specifically, the work of her research group focuses on three general areas: (1) design and evaluation of biomaterials for therapeutic purposes; (2) application of materials for engineering tissue systems; and (3) advanced engineering strategies for developing in vitro models and culture systems. Dr. Gomillion is committed to the integration of her biomedical interests with education research endeavors, with a specific focus on evaluating classroom innovations for improving biomedical engineering student learning and exploring factors that facilitate success for diverse graduate students.

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Abstract

A major barrier to the acceleration of cell therapies into products has been identified by stakeholders to be a shortage of skilled cell manufacturing workforce. To address this shortage, it is imperative that engineering students undergo robust and extensive lab training to garner quality educational experience that is dynamic, efficient, and scalable. However, efficiently scaling existing physical cell manufacturing labs for the latest equipment requires significant capital investment. This paper leverages the affordances of Virtual Reality (VR) to create a scalable and cost-efficient curriculum while enabling a quality cell manufacturing education experience.

The purpose of this submission is to describe the integration and evaluation of a series of selected virtual lab modules into a Tissue Engineering course at a public Southeastern R1 university in the United States in Fall semester 2022. The submission will report initial educational research results based on the students’ feedback on the VR labs to facilitate quality and authentic learning experiences. Ultimately, the discussed research aims at exploring the use of VR laboratories in bio- and chemical engineering higher education and use those results as a proxy for workforce development efforts.

Participants for the study were students at the College of Engineering at (anonymized) who enrolled in the Tissue Engineering course. The labs were assigned to students after classroom sessions as a take-home activity, they were also provided with links to surveys that assessed their perceptions of the usability, utility value, learning effectiveness, as well as satisfaction level with the VR activity. The survey items included a mix of open-ended and Likert scale items. Quantitative data using the 5-point Likert scale and qualitative data using open-ended questions were collected for analysis.

The following research questions were examined to address the study objective: (1) To what extent did the usability, tool efficacy, and utility of VR lab modules predict users’ satisfaction with the learning experience? (2) How effective are these VR lab modules to teach the key concepts represented by these modules? (3) How did learners’ perceptions of VR lab modules differ across lab topics and student groups? Within-study analysis to examine how students' perceptions of the VR labs differ from content to content and between-group analysis to examine demographic differences in students’ perceptions was conducted based on the quantitative data. An inductive analysis approach was used to discover themes within the open-ended responses to understand students’ perceptions of the VR labs.

These findings serve to inform further research on validated success factors for integrating VR lab-based instructional activities into cell manufacturing instruction.

Moyaki, D., & May, D., & Hunsu, N., & Irukulla, P., & Gomillion, C. T. (2023, June), Introduction of a Virtual Reality Laboratory in a Tissue Engineering Course Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--43861

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