June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1347.1 - 12.1347.14
Teaching Bioengineering to Freshmen at UCSD
Several courses are now offered at UCSD in order to introduce freshmen students to Bioengineering. BENG 1, Introduction to Bioengineering, is designed to introduce students to bioengineering as a discipline and also to introduce them to the research activities in the department in a large lecture-style course format. Bioengineering faculty members speak about their research during the class sessions and teams of students explore a design project of their choice. BENG 87, Freshmen Seminars in Bioengineering, is offered to introduce students to aspects of bioengineering in a small interactive group setting with faculty. Faculty members offer seminars each quarter on topics of their choice, usually related to their research interests. Students select seminars on a topic of interest and are encouraged to share their ideas with faculty and other students during discussions. Both courses have proven to be successful in format and content. Students enjoyed the variety of topics that were presented, met the department faculty at an early stage, and were assisted in picking an area of focus within bioengineering. Since these courses were pass/fail, the students did not feel pressured at a vulnerable time in their college career, when they are transitioning to the demands of college courses. Group design project gave the students some experience with working on teams and performing background research necessary for research, and prepared them for other courses.
The bioengineering program at UCSD was founded in 1966 with an emphasis on biomechanics and microcirculation. It was established as a joint effort between the Department of Applied Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering and the School of Medicine. Initially, there were no specific courses offered in bioengineering, and undergraduate students took courses in math, physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, fluid mechanics and continuum mechanics to fulfill the major requirements. The formal Department of Bioengineering was established in 1994 with a growing undergraduate enrollment which is now ~1,000 students. Students can choose amongst four majors, Bioengineering, Bioengineering: Biotechnology, Bioengineering: Premedical, and Bioengineering: Bioinformatics. The Bioengineering and Bioengineering: Biotechnology majors are accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). Because of the rapid growth in student entry into the Department as well as the breadth of career pathways, it was recognized that there was a need for students to be introduced to the Bioengineering faculty and research early in their academic career.
This need is well-established, and arises out of the need to satisfy student curiosity about the bioengineering discipline, to provide students with information about the department, and to instill in students the beginnings of much-needed technical survival skills. These first year courses can improve academic performance, stimulate interest and improve retention, and better prepare students for future coursework1-3. It is important that students acquire the qualities that prepare them to be successful engineers in the changing workplace, including the ability to work on and communicate with members of a multidisciplinary and professional team4-7. Developing familiarity with the profession enables students to decide whether their chosen major is well-
Temple, M., & Chen, P., & Sah, R. (2007, June), Teaching Bioengineering To Freshmen At Ucsd Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2866
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