Developing a Model for Integrating Professional Practice and Evidence-Based Teaching Practices into BME Curriculum

Abstract

Undergraduate biomedical engineering (BME) programs typically consist of courses from several different academic departments combined with BME-specific courses taught by faculty trained in a variety of disciplines. While some students embrace this diversity in courses and disciplinary perspectives, many students struggle with how to translate these experiences into career opportunities. BME students are often concerned that they are perceived as a “jack of all trades, master of none.” In 2016, our department sought to find new ways to integrate BME professional practice into our curriculum. Informed by organizational change theory, we asked: (1) is there potential for change; (2) what strategies facilitate change; and (3) how can these strategies be implemented? As a result, we developed an Instructional Design Sequence, a new approach to instruction in which students, post docs, and faculty create short Modules that use evidence-based teaching practices to expose BME students to BME professional practice. This paper describes how the Sequence was conceptualized and demonstrates how theory can be used to inform practice. The resultant Sequence is a transferrable model for transforming engineering education, offering a mechanism for integrating new career relevant curriculum into undergraduate curriculum, while training future educators in instructional evidence-based practices.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4

References

  1. 1.

    American Society for Engineering Education. Transforming Undergraduate Education in Engineering. Washington: American Society for Engineering Education, 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Anderson, W. A., U. Banerjee, C. L. Drennan, S. C. R. Elgin, I. R. Epstein, J. Handelsman, G. F. Hatfull, R. Losick, D. K. O’Dowd, B. M. Olivera, S. A. Strobel, G. C. Walker, and I. M. Warner. Changing the culture of science education at research universities. Science 331:152–153, 2011.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Anderson, R. S., and B. W. Speck. Oh what a difference a team makes. Teach. Teach. Educ. 14:671–686, 1998.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Aune, B. P. The human dimension of organizational change. Rev. High. Educ. 18:149–173, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Berglund, J. The real world: BME graduates reflect on whether universities are providing adequate preparation for a career in industry. IEEE Pulse 2015. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-386001-9.00004-0.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Biomedical Engineer. 2016. https://money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/2015/01/27/best-jobs-2015/37.html.

  7. 7.

    Biomedical Engineering Bachelor’s Program Search. 2018. https://www.abet.org.

  8. 8.

    Borrego, M., S. Cutler, M. Prince, C. Henderson, and J. E. Froyd. Fidelity of implementation of research-based instructional strategies (RBIS) in engineering science courses. J. Eng. Educ. 102:394–425, 2013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Borrego, M., J. Froyd, C. Henderson, S. Cutler, and M. Prince. Influence of engineering instructors’ teaching and learning beliefs on pedagogies in engineering science courses. Int. J. Eng. Educ. 29:34–58, 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Borrego, M., and C. Henderson. Increasing the use of evidence-based teaching in STEM higher education: a comparison of eight change strategies. J. Eng. Educ. 103:220–252, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Bouwma-Gearhart, J. Science faculty improving teaching practice: identifying needs and finding meaningful professional development. Int. J. Teach. Learn. High. Educ. 24:180–188, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Bovill, C., A. Cook-Sather, and P. Felten. Students as co-creators of teaching approaches, course design, and curricula: Implications for academic developers. Int. J. Acad. Dev. 16:133–145, 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Bureau of Labor and Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Biomedical Engineers. 2019. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/print/biomedical-engineers.htm.

  14. 14.

    Burke, W. W. Organization change: theory and practice. Found. Organ. Sci. 2:335, 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    By, T. R. Organisational change management: A critical review. J. Chang. Manag. 5:369–380, 2005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Finelli, C. J., S. R. Daly, and K. M. Richardson. Bridging the research-to-practice gap: designing an institutional change plan using local evidence. J. Eng. Educ. 103:331–361, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Goodwin, E. C., J. N. Cao, M. Fletcher, J. L. Flaiban, and E. E. Shortlidge. Catching the wave: are biology graduate students on board with evidence-based teaching? CBE Life Sci. Educ. 17:1–13, 2018.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Handelsman, J., D. Ebert-may, R. Beichner, P. Bruns, A. Chang, R. Dehaan, J. Gentile, S. Lauffer, J. Stewart, S. M. Tilghman, B. William, J. Handelsman, D. Ebert-may, R. Beichner, P. Bruns, A. Chang, R. Dehaan, J. Gentile, S. Lauffer, J. Stewart, S. M. Tilghman, and W. B. Wood. Scientific teaching. Science 304:521–522, 2010.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Harris, T. R. Recent advances and directions in biomedical engineering education. IEEE Eng. Med. Bio. 22:30–31, 2003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Henderson, C., A. Beach, and N. Finkelstein. Facilitating change in undergraduate STEM instructional practices: an analytic review of the literature. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 48:952–984, 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Henderson, C., and M. H. Dancy. Increasing the impact and diffusion of STEM education innovations. New Orleans: Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education Forum, Impact and Diffusion of Transformative Engineering Education Innovations, 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Huang-Saad, A., and E. Springer. Transforming biomedical engineering education through instructional design. Int. J. Eng. Educ. 24:17–24, 1976.

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Jendrucko, R. J. The evolution of undergraduate biomedical engineering education and the professional opportunities for program graduates. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 24:17–24, 1976.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Katona, P. G. Biomedical engineering and the whitaker foundation: a thirty-year partnership. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 34:904–916, 2006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Kezar, A. J., and P. D. Eckel. The effect of institutional culture on change strategies in higher education: Universal principles or culturally responsive concepts? J. Higher Educ. 73:435–460, 2002.

    Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Kotter, J. P. Leading change. Cambridge: Harvard Bus. Sch. Press, 1996.

    Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Lattuca, L. R., and P. T. Terenzini. Center for the Study of Higher Education Preparing the Engineer of 2020 Faculty Survey. 2014. https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/107459/E2020FacultySurvey.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y.

  28. 28.

    Leavitt, M. Team-teaching: the benefits and challenges. Speak. Teach. 16:1–4, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Lewin, K. Force field analysis. Annu. Handb. Gr. Facil. 7:111–113, 1946.

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    National Academy of Engineering. Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2005.

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    National Academy of Engineering. Infusing Real World Experiences into Engineering Education. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, pp. 1–26, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    National Academy of Engineering. Educating Engineers: Preparing 21st Century Leaders in the Context of New Modes of Learning. Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2013. https://doi.org/10.17226/18254.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    OECD. Teaching Practices, Teachers’ Beliefs and Attitudes. In: Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments: First Results from TALIS. Paris: Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, pp. 87–135, 2009.

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Reid, A., L. O. Dahlgren, P. Petocz, and M. A. Dahlgren. Identity and engagement for professional formation. Stud. Higher Educ. 2008. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070802457108.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Stain, M., et al. Anatomy of STEM teaching in North American universities. Science 359:1468–1470, 2018.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Tanner, K., and D. Allen. Approaches to biology teaching and learning: on integrating pedagogical training into the graduate experiences of future science faculty. CBE Life Sci. Educ. 5:1–6, 2006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    The Royal Academy of Engineering. Educating Engineers for the 21st Century. London: The Royal Academy of Engineering, 2007.

    Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Uhl-Bien, M., R. Marion, and B. McKelvey. Complexity leadership theory: shifting leadership from the industrial age to the knowledge era. Leadersh. Q. 18:298–318, 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Charles Henderson and Julie Libarkin for their thoughtful feedback in the process of strategizing how to approach instructional change. The authors would also like to thank Jaqueline Handley for her contributions to the initial implementation of the Incubator. The Instructional Design Sequence is now funded by NSF-EEC-1825669. Finally, the authors would like to thank the BME community, students, faculty, alumni and advisors for engaging in the process of identifying a change strategy.

Accessing Materials

The BME Incubator course materials are available on the TEEL website: teel.bme.umich.edu.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Aileen Huang-Saad.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Associate Editor Stefan M. Duma oversaw the review of this article.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1369 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Huang-Saad, A., Stegemann, J. & Shea, L. Developing a Model for Integrating Professional Practice and Evidence-Based Teaching Practices into BME Curriculum. Ann Biomed Eng 48, 881–892 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-019-02427-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Undergraduate education
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Organizational change
  • Professional formation