Chris Bouwmeester

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering

Title: BME-in-Your-Hand: Active Learning in Biomedical Engineering

Research Focus: I am interested in creating hands-on design modules that are suitable for small and large-scale classes in biomedical engineering (BME) and studying the effect that these experiences have on student interest in BME. One of my current challenges is integrating these modules within a mandatory 2nd year engineering class (of ~ 200 students), in which only 10% would likely have an intention of choosing BME as a major.

Study Design: My strategy for tackling this challenge is to personalize student learning by having each individual record their own physiological signals and use their data to understand how it could be applied to solve problems in health care. To study my efforts, I feel compelled ask: “How can I produce a positive attitude shift towards BME?” To answer this question, I will provide each student with physiologic monitoring equipment. BME-in-your-hand design modules will be created with hardware and software to connect individuals to their own vital signs and analyze them with engineering tools. The amount of interest each module engenders in students will be measured with surveys designed to measure their attitudes towards BME and what BME-related activities students choose to pursue eventually.

Impact: I anticipate that this study will allow me to gain insight towards altering student attitudes and help me to maximize the impact of the BME-in-your-hand modules. With iterative development and student feedback, I intend to share these modules widely on open-source platforms. Students should care about this research effort because it will help them take initial steps toward solving health care problems and understand how connecting principles of engineering with human health can make a meaningful impact on people’s lives.

SoTL Cohort Poster presented at the 2019 Teaching and Learning Symposium