Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.1206.1 - 9.1206.12
Team-Based Written Communication Exercises for Biomedical Engineering Juniors: Where To Do It and What Works John Troy, Penny Hirsch, H. David Smith, Bugrahan Yalvac Northwestern University
Abstract: ABET EC2000 challenged engineering educators to structure learning so that (1) competency is built progressively throughout a curriculum and (2) the notion of “competency” includes not only bioengineering knowledge, but other important professional skills, such as teamwork and communication. Meeting this challenge is difficult in an over-crowded biomedical engineering curriculum, where mastery of domain content is generally emphasized. Nonetheless, at Northwestern University, with support from the Vanderbilt-Northwestern-Texas- Harvard/MIT (VaNTH) Engineering Research Center, we have piloted a way to integrate team-based writing instruction into a junior course on neural systems physiology, targeting specific aspects of writing with which juniors seem to have difficulty. This article describes how writing was added to the course without diminishing the emphasis on content, plus the theory that underlies this instructional intervention. Also discussed are the results of a formal assessment to measure student gains in collaborative writing and implications for future interventions in this and other engineering courses.
ABET EC2000 challenges engineering educators to structure learning so that competency is built progressively throughout a curriculum. The engineering community well understands the need for proficiency in all modes of communication, with written communication considered of high importance. For example, a panel of ten representatives from biomedical companies, assembled at Northwestern University in the summer of 2001, stressed the importance of communication skills for entry-level biomedical engineers. Representatives from Abbott Laboratories, Datex- Ohmeda, and Nova Bionics said that entry-level engineers in biomedical engineering specifically need to be able to detail all project subtasks in project design, find and evaluate research relevant to a project, write succinct reports for management on a project’s progress, assemble proposals for internal funding of a project, generate simple, to-the-point presentations, and publish the results of project research.1 Industry practitioners similarly emphasize the need for entry level engineers to work effectively in teams. Both competencies—communication and teamwork—are specified in EC2000.
Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education
Smith, D., & Troy, J., & Hirsch, P. (2004, June), Team Based Written Communication Exercises For Biomedical Engineering Juniors: Where To Do It And What Works Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13247
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