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The Use Of Concept Mapping As An Alternative Form Of Instruction In A Capstone Biomedical Engineering Design Course

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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

8.1180.1 - 8.1180.10



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Paper Authors

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Joan Walker

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

Session 2109

The use of concept mapping as an alternative form of instruction and assessment in a capstone biomedical engineering design course

Joan M.T. Walker1, Paul H. King2, & David S. Cordray1

Psychology and Human Development 1/ Biomedical Engineering2 Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN 37203


Grounded in interdisciplinary efforts to improve student learning and professional development in the domain of bioengineering, this paper describes the design, use, and evaluation of an alternative form of instruction and assessment in a yearlong senior biomedical engineering (BME) design course at Vanderbilt University. Specifically, members of the Vanderbilt-Northwestern-Texas-Harvard/MIT Engineering Research Center (VaNTH ERC) Assessment and Evaluation Team and the instructor of a yearlong capstone BME design course developed and implemented ways in which concept mapping would (1) promote active student engagement with course material and (2) serve as a framework for helping students integrate new knowledge into existing knowledge. Consistent with our previous work in this area, quantitative analyses of concept maps created by students (n = 51) at the beginning and end of the fall semester showed significant growth in students’ conceptual knowledge of the design process. However, early and late maps did not differ in terms of associations among concepts. These findings suggest that while students are acquiring knowledge about design, they do not have a deep understanding of relationships among elements of the design process. As an indication of the extent to which concept maps actively engage students with course material, we are comparing this year’s class (i.e., Innovative group) and the previous year’s class which received traditional instruction (i.e., Traditional group), in terms of student final exam scores, course evaluations, learning strategy use, intrinsic motivation to learn, and perceptions of the course experience. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theoretical understanding of the structure of knowledge, and instructor efforts to enhance students’ conceptual understanding of the design process.


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

Walker, J. (2003, June), The Use Of Concept Mapping As An Alternative Form Of Instruction In A Capstone Biomedical Engineering Design Course Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11986

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