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Challenge-based learning for Biomedical Engineering students at TU Delft

Monday, 22 March 2021

Several progressive paradigms have recently emerged in engineering education. From challenge-based learning to multidisciplinary education, reflective engineering, and peer assessment, these paradigms enrich studentsā€™ learning experience and prepare them for the grand challenges they face in our increasingly sophisticated, connected, and fast-evolving societies. Given our shared vision for continuously innovatingĀ our educational programme, a team headed by professor Amir Zadpoor, director of Biomedical Engineering Studies and Linette Bossen, education advisor, both from TU Delft has devised a plan for the implementation of challenge-based learning in the biomedical engineering programme at TU Delft.

Role-play assignment

Following the motto ā€œstart small, think bigā€, we have decided to kick-start this plan with a course tentatively titled ā€œFundamentals of Biomedical Engineeringā€ to start from September 2021. This course will feature a ā€˜role-play assignmentā€™ where students will be asked to play the role of different stake-holders within the healthcare system. Teams of students will be presented with certain challenges, such as ā€˜Restructure the payment system for medical proceduresā€™ or ā€˜Develop a guideline for the inclusion of expensive treatments in basic insuranceā€™. The challenges will be chosen such that 1. they have no simple solutions and, 2. require the application of more disciplines than just engineering and medicine, including ethics, finance, and politics. Another important aspect is the improvement of studentā€™s transferable skills through writing proposals/regulations, conducting negotiations, and holding presentations. Implementing some other concepts, such as reflective engineering and peer assessment will be achieved through assays that provide the students with opportunities to reflect on their goals, expectations, learning process, learning outcomes, and are evaluated by the students themselves.

First step

This compulsory course for all Biomedical Engineering students is only the first step towards the implementation of a plethora of progressive educational paradigms in our programme. Together with 4TU.CEE and Reframing Studio, we intend to expand the implementation of these elements in the programme in the coming years.

For more information contact professor Amir Zadpoor.