Integrating Biomedical Engineering Research with Undergraduate Teaching – A Research-Teaching Nexus Approach
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The integration of research with undergraduate teaching can further enhance the third-level learning experience, by improving learners’ problem solving, critical inquiry and design thinking skills. Unfortunately, research and teaching are perceived as two diverse activities that rarely meet. The new Atlantic Technological University (ATU) launched in April 2022 in the west and northwest of Ireland will increase its research capacity and further serve the regional needs. This provides an opportunity to bridge the gap between research and teaching. Four modules within the biomedical engineering degree and two modules from mechanical engineering are shown as examples of integrating biomedical engineering research and infrastructure with undergraduate programme modules. The research-teaching nexus model was applied to aide in this interaction. The feedback from the students was very positive with comments towards the learning environment stating, “new learning experience on biomed engineering, a good change from the usual” and “there was a great atmosphere in class, yet we still were able to learn”. Other student comments on interacting with the research facility was “tour of medical imaging suite assisting in my understanding of the topic” and “the actual physical interactions in the MET centre was the best part”. The integration of research with undergraduate learning is a key learning resource which motivates undergraduate students for further learning and allows teachers to be facilitators of learning. We must therefore think actively about how to bring teaching and research together to enhance the scholarship of learning.
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