Implementing a challenge-based learning experience in a bioinstrumentation blended course

Alejandro Santos-Díaz*, Luis Montesinos*, María Barrera-Esparza, Maria del Mar Perez-Desentis, David E. Salinas-Navarro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Bioinstrumentation is essential to biomedical engineering (BME) undergraduate education and professional practice. Several strategies have been suggested to provide BME students with hands-on experiences throughout the curriculum, promoting their preparedness to pursue careers in industry and academia while increasing their learning and engagement. This paper describes the implementation of challenge-based learning (CBL) in an undergraduate bioinstrumentation blended course over the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: The CBL experience was implemented in a third-year bioinstrumentation course from the BME program at Tecnologico de Monterrey. Thirty-nine students enrolled in two sections formed fourteen teams that tackled blended learning activities, including online communication, lab experiments, and in-person CBL activities. Regarding the latter, students were challenged to design, prototype, and test a respiratory or cardiac gating device for radiotherapy. An institutional student opinion survey was used to assess the success of our CBL implementation. Results: Student responses to the end-of-term survey showed that they strongly agreed that this course challenged them to learn new concepts and develop new skills. Furthermore, they rated the student-lecturer interaction very positively despite the blended format. Overall, students assessed their learning experience positively. However, implementing this CBL experience required a substantial time increase in planning, student tutoring, and constant communication between lecturers and the industry partner. Conclusion: This work provides an effective instance of CBL for BME education to improve students’ learning experience despite decreased resource efficiency. Our claim is supported by the student’s performance and the positive feedback from our industrial partner.
Original languageEnglish
Article number510
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Early online date8 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • Educational innovation
  • Bioinstrumentation
  • Challenge-based learning
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Higher education


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