Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Entrepreneurial-Minded Learning (EML) is an emerging pedagogy progressively gaining popularity in the engineering education community. Coincided with project-based learning (PBL), EML illustrates an essential dimension to the instruction of next-generation engineers, equipping them with various perspectives and approaches to relate societal challenges with technical concepts. Nationwide initiatives, such as the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), have developed a learning framework specifically designed to create engineers such as these. The implementation of EML aims to stimulate connections, create value, and ignite curiosity. This study introduced a semester-long project based on these EML skillsets in a sophomore-level biomechanical engineering course. To evaluate the effectiveness of the project design, students were equally distributed randomly to different versions of the project. Version 1, or the experimental group, contained students participating in the project embedded with the target EML concepts - such as identifying an opportunity, investigating the market, communicating an engineering solution in economic terms, developing partnerships, and building a team. Version 2, or the control group, contained students who participated in the project without the embedded EML concepts.
At the completion of the project, an end-of-semester survey was administered to the students. The survey consisted of open-ended and 5-point Likert scale questions targeting students' development of curiosity, connections, and value creation. Analysis indicated, with statistical significance, an overall increase in students' development of an entrepreneurial mindset for those participating in the EML version of the course project. For the Likert scale questions, students participating in the experimental group averaged a response value of 4.32, indicating a strongly agree (5) or agree (4) response for questions targeting a student's overall confidence in developing the specific EML skills targeted the project. Students who participated in the control version had an average overall response value of 3.93. Survey questions were further divided into EML target skills - curiosity, connections, and creating value. Across all three target skills, students participating in version 1 of the project demonstrated statistically significant increases in developing curiosity about the surrounding world, creating value, and establishing connections - thus generating an entrepreneurial mindset. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is crucial to the next-generation engineers' long-term success in the workforce, with a potentially more significant impact on the national economy and societal benefits. With guidance from the study results, semester-long projects that employ the EML concepts will be incorporated into our institution's core curriculum of Biomedical Engineering.
EML, Biomechanical Engineering, EM, Entrepreneurial Mindset, KEEN
Hedgecock, L. (2022). Developing a Semester-Long Project in a Biomechanical Engineering Course to Instill the Entrepreneurial Mindset in the Next-Generation Biomedical Engineering Students. Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Honors Theses Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/bmeguht/116