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Research Papers

A New Approach to Teaching Biomechanics Through Active, Adaptive, and Experiential Learning

[+] Author and Article Information
Anita Singh

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Widener University,
17 and Walnut Street, KH269 C,
Chester, PA 19013
e-mail: asingh2@mail.widener.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received February 16, 2017; final manuscript received April 25, 2017; published online June 6, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Kristen Billiar.

J Biomech Eng 139(7), 071001 (Jun 06, 2017) (7 pages) Paper No: BIO-17-1065; doi: 10.1115/1.4036604 History: Received February 16, 2017; Revised April 25, 2017

Demand of biomedical engineers continues to rise to meet the needs of healthcare industry. Current training of bioengineers follows the traditional and dominant model of theory-focused curricula. However, the unmet needs of the healthcare industry warrant newer skill sets in these engineers. Translational training strategies such as solving real world problems through active, adaptive, and experiential learning hold promise. In this paper, we report our findings of adding a real-world 4-week problem-based learning unit into a biomechanics capstone course for engineering students. Surveys assessed student perceptions of the activity and learning experience. While students, across three cohorts, felt challenged to solve a real-world problem identified during the simulation lab visit, they felt more confident in utilizing knowledge learned in the biomechanics course and self-directed research. Instructor evaluations indicated that the active and experiential learning approach fostered their technical knowledge and life-long learning skills while exposing them to the components of adaptive learning and innovation.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Project-based learning approach to integrate clinical immersion (adaptability) and problem identification and solution phase (innovation) to meet the course objectives and outcomes

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Fig. 2

Clinical immersion at Center for Simulation and Computerized Testing for problem identification

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Fig. 3

Student Survey data from the three cohorts of the biomechanics course that utilized project-based learning approach

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Fig. 4

External reviewer and course instructor’s average scores for all students from the three cohorts. A target value of above 80 for at least 75% of the students enrolled in each cohort was set as success rate.

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Fig. 5

Course instructor’s scores based on the technical report submitted by each student from the three cohorts. A target value of above 7.5 for at least 75% of students enrolled in each cohort was set as success rate.

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Fig. 6

Peer evaluation scores of each student from the three cohorts obtained from team members perception of student contribution to the project

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