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Orienting Students To Important Features Of Ecg Cycle And Measurement

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Teaching Strategies in BME

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.904.1 - 8.904.11



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Paper Authors

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Paul King

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Sean Brophy

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Stacy Klein-Gardner

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

Session 1778

Orienting Students to Important Features of ECG Cycle and Measurement

Paul King, Stacy Klein, Sean Brophy Department of Biomedical Engineering Vanderbilt University


A one-credit freshmen level biomedical engineering course is offered each fall semester to new students to teach them how the ECG is measured and what biological factors influence the characteristics of these signals. Several of the primary learning objectives included evaluating anomalies in ECG traces, computationally evaluating the normal ECG, and defining and explaining various anatomical and medical terms. The popularity of the course has grown requiring the formation of two sections taught by two different instructors in the Fall of 2002. The seminars were taught using two different instruction models: ‘traditional’ and ‘challenge-based’ instruction. The same instructor as prior years taught the first section using the same ‘traditional’ approach to instruction and course notes used in prior years. The instructional model focused primarily on class demonstrations, lectures and short follow-up homework assignments. A new instructor reorganized the course outline around a series of challenge-based modules originally designed for a high school senior physics course. This series of challenges is designed to engage students in a process of inquiry that helps them notice and differentiate various aspects of the ECG cycle. In the fall semester of 2002, students in these two sections completed a pretest and posttest measuring their ability to define various terms and explain various aspects of ECG traces. Classroom observations were made to identify differences in classroom dynamics and students motivation. A final exit survey was used to measure students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of each instructional method. This paper will present the results from the students’ responses to these two instructional approaches.


Bioengineering is a rapidly growing field which is attracting more and more undergraduates [1]. Preparing students for their educational experience is an important goal of this freshman seminar. One of the major goals for the course is to raise students’ awareness of the field and to excite them about their academic major choice. At Vanderbilt University, a 1-credit optional seminar is the only exposure freshmen currently get to bioengineering domain knowledge. The remainder of the curriculum consists of basic math, science, and computer requirements common to all freshman engineers. It is

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

King, P., & Brophy, S., & Klein-Gardner, S. (2003, June), Orienting Students To Important Features Of Ecg Cycle And Measurement Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11843

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