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Work in progress: Using clinical advisory boards and an online system to provide feedback for client-based senior design projects

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1387.1 - 23.1387.6



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Paper Authors


Richard L. Goldberg University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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Richard Goldberg is a research associate professor and director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He teaches several instrumentation courses. He also teaches a senior design class in a collaborative effort at UNC and Duke University. His primary interest is in rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology for people with disabilities.

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Kevin Caves Duke University

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Works in progress: Using clinical advisory boards and an online system to provide feedback for client-based senior design projectsWe teach a class at University A and B in which students develop custom technology forindividuals with disabilities. At the end of the semester, students give the completeddevices to the clients, free of charge. To be successful, the devices must be safe,functional, durable, and correctly address the clients’ identified needs, as the clients willbe using these devices as part of their daily lives. However, in order to achieve thissuccess, the students need feedback from a variety of experts to ensure that their design isappropriate. In previous years, we would invite clinicians from the local community toattend the students’ oral presentations and provide them with feedback. However, wefound that it was difficult for clinicians to take time out of their clinical schedules tocome to campus and help the students, so the feedback was limited.We addressed this issue by creating a clinical advisory board for each project, and wemade it easier for them to interact with the students using an online system. The boardconsists of: two clinicians (one who works with the client and one who does not); one ortwo current students in the Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy graduate program;an individual with a disability in the community; and two alumni from the class. Each ofthese individuals can provide valuable feedback to the students from their position ofexpertise, whether it is clinical, personal, or having already experienced this class.When possible, students met with members of their advisory board directly to solicitfeedback. However, this can be challenging because these advisory board members arebusy, as well as physically scattered across the community or even more distant.Therefore, we also had students prepare materials electronically, such as videos andnarrated PowerPoint presentations, and post this on a Wordpress blog. Through thismedium, the advisory board received periodic updates and provided feedback through thebuilt-in “comment” capabilities of Wordpress.We found that by implementing these changes, there was a higher level of interactionbetween the students and their advisory boards, and this resulted in helpful feedback tothe students on their designs. The students valued this feedback and addressed it in theirsubsequent designs. In addition, we found that the advisory board members werecomfortable using the Wordpress blog, including those individuals who were nottechnically savvy. In future years, we plan to include an assessment that evaluates theeffectiveness of the method and a rubric to assist the advisory board in the evaluation ofthe projects.

Goldberg, R. L., & Caves, K. (2013, June), Work in progress: Using clinical advisory boards and an online system to provide feedback for client-based senior design projects Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22772

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