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The need for effective biomedical imaging education

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1 Author(s)
Paschal, C.B. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN, USA

There are several challenges to producing high-quality BMI education programs. These include limited opportunities for hands-on education; a dearth of textbooks targeted toward engineers, especially undergraduate engineers; and, like many fields, advancements so rapid that textbooks and other educational resources become out of date quickly, often before being released. Although there are many challenges to BMI education, there are many resources available that support its success. Many of these resources are Web based, including textbooks, tutorials, simulators, and teaching files. One online tutorial for ultrasound was shown to be as effective and more efficient than lectures in helping BME students learn the basics of ultrasound. Logical organization of imaging knowledge can be another learning resource by drawing out the parallels and hierarchy of concepts. Research on human learning and its implications for instruction, indicates that instruction designed around "anchored inquiry" of interesting challenges is particularly effective. Students' inquiry processes can be guided by an instructional sequence around a learning cycle called the "legacy cycle". Looking toward the future the trends indicate that demand for persons trained in BMI is increasing and can be expected to continue to increase in the foreseeable future. With increased demand for personnel and growing complexity of the field, the need for effective and efficient educational techniques will become more and more important. Online educational resources, allowing anytime/anywhere learning with the potential for educational interaction, will continue to grow in importance for BMI education. However, without a clear revenue model and with the volatility of the medium, it is uncertain that such online educational resources will ever attain the stature, prevalence, and continued utility of printed textbooks. Whatever the medium, hands-on learning exercises, simulators, and challenge-based learning should be included wherever possible to improve the effectiveness of BMI education.

Published in:

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