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WIP: Conversion of a Biotransport Course From Face-to-Face to Online

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Division Poster Session (Works in Progress)

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Charles W. Patrick Jr Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Charles Patrick Jr. is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University (TAMU). He is also a teaching and research fellow at the Institute for Engineering Education Innovation, TAMU and a member of the Engineering Education Faculty, TAMU. He has worked in higher education for more than 30 years at state and private universities and a NCI comprehensive cancer hospital.

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Seniors at Texas A&M University enroll in BMEN 462: Mass and Energy Transport in Biosystems that traditionally is taught face-to-face using a blended approach of lectures and collaborative problem-based learning sessions. The three learning objectives are (1) mathematically define and describe general biotransport problems, including deriving governing equations and defining appropriate boundary and initial conditions, (2) solve a variety of basic biotransport problems; and (3) apply transport models and approaches to biomedical problems and to interpret the solutions or results. Class activities span lower to higher order levels of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.

The response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic disrupted this teaching plan, resulting in the math intensive course moving to online delivery. To ensure teaching continuity in the curriculum and to address the intended learning outcomes, the course was converted to a blended online course consisting of asynchronous mini-lectures, synchronous “muddiest points” forums, and synchronous collaborative problem-based learning sessions. The extent learning outcomes were met will be assessed.

Two semesters of face-to-face classes (fall 2019, spring 2020) and two semesters of online classes (summer 2020, fall 2020) will be assessed, resulting in ~140 face-to-face students vs. ~120 online students. A 15-question survey is used to evaluate problem-based learning through a five-level Likert scale: 1–not at all, 2–a little, 3–somewhat, 4–significantly, 5–a lot. This survey has been employed in the two semesters prior to COVID-19. In problem-based learning, students are assigned to teams of 4-5 students and work on mass and energy transport problems collaboratively. It will be interesting to determine if there are differences between face-to-face collaboration and online “breakout room” collaboration. In addition, the four summative exams from each semester will be compared. Instructor reflections on course conversion, student engagement, and professor-student communication will be included in the final analysis comparing face-to-face and online classes. Appropriate statistical analyses will be used for all comparisons.

Students enrolled in online classes are expected to perform equal to if not better than face-to-face students. The pedagogical shift from “sage on the stage” lectures in face-to-face classes to “guide on the side” muddiest points forums is expected to enhance learning.

Patrick, C. W. (2021, July), WIP: Conversion of a Biotransport Course From Face-to-Face to Online Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38074

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