San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1140.1 - 25.1140.20
Scaffolding and Assessing Professional Design Skills using an Active-Learning Studio Style ClassroomIntroduction: Upon graduation, engineers are expected to have not only technical expertise butalso professional skills which will help secure their success as practicing engineers.2 A studio-style course was designed to teach biomedical engineering professional skills that complementsand supplements a traditional laboratory capstone design experience. This course scaffoldsstudent’s practice4 and enables demonstration of professional skills proficiency in this class andsupports the associated senior design laboratory assignments. Herein, we describe thepedagogical approach, course content and design, plus direct and indirect assessment results.Materials and Methods: Fifty-four senior biomedical engineering undergraduate students wereenrolled in this course which addressed biomedical engineering professional skills including:ethics, technical writing, regulatory issues, human and animal subjects, economic considerations,and entrepreneurship considerations. The class met once a week for 90 minutes with a briefintroductory lecture (< 20 minutes) followed by time dedicated for students to work on in-classassignments, both individually and in their design teams with instructor interactions. To ensurestudents demonstrated proficiency in each topic, students revised their assignments based uponconstructive feedback until it was satisfactory. Scaffolding was provided through assignmentdesign, instructor feedback during the studio session, and in written feedback on assignments.The students would subsequently complete related assignments for their associated lab courseemploying a fading strategy.4 Student assessment was achieved through graded weeklyassignments, while course assessment and effectiveness was determined through Internal ReviewBoard-approved analysis of student grades and student surveys. Student written feedback wasanalyzed using inductive analysis and the constant comparative method by an expert inqualitative data analysis who was external to the course.3 Assignments were evaluated accordingto Bloom’s Taxonomy and mapped to Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology(ABET) criteria1.Results and Discussion: The course format ensured that students had the opportunity to practiceand demonstrate proficiency in the professional skills measured prior to independent applicationwithin the associated senior design laboratory assignments. On average, students were requiredto revise 3-4 assignments (14 total) to demonstrate skill/concept proficiency. Assignmentevaluation according to Bloom’s Taxonomy required students to perform at the level ofevaluation and synthesis. Through assignment assessment, we discovered that our seniorsstruggled with design of experiments and statistical analysis; this prompted a revision of a pre-requisite course. Overall, students had a positive response to the course format and valued theskills that were being taught. There was an increase in the percentage of students who believedthat they had in-depth knowledge of course topics by the conclusion of the course (Figure 1).Conclusion: In summary, course objectives were achieved and students demonstratedproficiency of the professional design skills. This pedagogical approach towards teaching theseprofessional skills was found to be engaging and effective; it may be broadly applicable to otherbiomedical engineering programs and engineering disciplines. 45 Pre ∗ 40 Post ∗ ∗ ∗ 35 30 Percentage (%) of Class ∗ 25 20 15 10 5 0 Project Mgmt & Scheduling Thorough Due Diligence Hazard Assessment Role of Testing in Design Ethics Engineering Specifications Human & Animal Studies Regulatory Affairs Course TopicFigure 1. Change in student opinion regarding their in-depth knowledge of course topics atthe start (pre) and the conclusion (post) of the course. Percent was determined from n=54 forthe pre-course survey and n=52 for the post-course survey. Statistical significance (p<0.05) asdetermined from a Chi-square test between pre- and post-surveys is indicated by the asterisk.References:1 Accreditation Board for Enginering and Technology (ABET), Engineering Criteria 2000, Baltimore, MD, 1998.2 Newport, C., and D. Elms, “Effective engineers,” International Journal of Engineering Education, 13(5):325-332, 1997.3 Patton, M. Q., Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd Ed), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2002.4 Sheppard, S., and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching., Educating engineers : designing for the future of the field, 1st ed., San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009.
Brugnano, J. L., & Richards, K. A., & Pool, M. A., & Sieving, A. L., & Velasquez, J. D., & Voytik-Harbin, S. L., & Rundell, A. E. (2012, June), Scaffolding and Assessing Professional Design Skills Using an Active-learning Studio-style Classroom Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21897
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