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Constructing shareable learning materials in bioengineering education

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Innovations in learning sciences and technology are opening new opportunities for designing and implementing effective learning materials that can be shared between bioengineering instructors. The successful reuse of instructional materials depends on how easy it is for an instructor to adapt the materials with a similar intent of the original author. Many resource libraries are emerging that provide a searchable database of sharable, Web-based instructional materials. The materials range from lesson plans and teaching techniques to text, video, and interactive simulation resources. These digital libraries are valuable services for teachers and students to access information and participate in a community of science, mathematics, and technology. The VaNTH (Vanderbilt University; Northwestern University; University of Texas at Austin; and Health, Science and Technology at Harvard/MIT) Engineering Research Center (ERC) is exploring a similar goal to design and test learning materials for bioengineering education and construct a technology infrastructure that supports the reuse of these materials in pedagogically appropriate ways. For VaNTH, using a consistent framework that describes the instructional intent of the materials is a critical factor in helping instructors envision how to adapt the materials to their own instruction. Therefore, VaNTH has defined a design process that capitalizes on the insight of learning sciences and best practices in engineering education to construct learning materials that follow a consistent but flexible instructional model.

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IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 4 )