Seniors in the mechanical engineering department at university A and junior biomedical engineering majors at institute B were given two common assignments in their respective biomaterials courses. The first assignment asked them to act as respective clients and materials consultants for a biomaterials problem. Groups of student “clients” presented their problem to groups of student “consultants” who were required to pose a materials based solution or answer related questions. Students then summarized their professional interactions and findings in memo style reports addressed to their respective instructors.
The second assignment addressed the learning objective that students "demonstrate an understanding of laboratory techniques used in biomaterials and biomechanical engineering". This assignment asked groups of students at institute B to execute an experimental protocol related to materials tensile testing and then write up their findings in the style of an academic journal article. Students at university A received these written reports and were instructed to use them to generate a step by step protocol that they could use to replicate the original results. These students were then asked to reflect on the how well the information was communicated and where gaps occurred in their understanding of how to replicate the original experiment. Students from both groups were assessed based their clarity and ability to reproduce results.
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