Development of concept-based physiology lessons for biomedical engineering undergraduate students

Adv Physiol Educ. 2013 Jun;37(2):176-83. doi: 10.1152/advan.00038.2012.


Physiology is a core requirement in the undergraduate biomedical engineering curriculum. In one or two introductory physiology courses, engineering students must learn physiology sufficiently to support learning in their subsequent engineering courses and careers. As preparation for future learning, physiology instruction centered on concepts may help engineering students to further develop their physiology and biomedical engineering knowledge. Following the Backward Design instructional model, a series of seven concept-based lessons was developed for undergraduate engineering students. These online lessons were created as prerequisite physiology training to prepare students to engage in a collaborative engineering challenge activity. This work is presented as an example of how to convert standard, organ system-based physiology content into concept-based content lessons.

Keywords: backward design; course design; physiology instruction; preparation for future learning; vanderbilt-northwestern-texas-harvard/massachusetts institute of technology engineering research center in bioengineering educational technologies.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Engineering / education*
  • Comprehension
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Professional / methods*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Models, Educational
  • Physiology / education*
  • Program Development
  • Teaching / methods*