BME 181 01: Biomedical Engineering Innovation-Based Learning II

BME 181 - Biomedical Engineering Innovation-Based Learning II

2023 Spring Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 19238

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

TR 9:30am-10:45am in Columbia Hall, 2300A

Instructor Information

Ryan Striker


Office: Students are encouraged to contact the faculty via MS Teams (or email) at any time

2023 Spring Office Hours:
by appointment

Office Phone: Students are encouraged to contact the faculty via MS Teams (or email) at any time

Enrique Alvarez Vazquez

Daniel Ewert

Course Description

The second course in the in the BME innovation-based learning series. This course is designed to develop the student in; 1) the practice of medical device and process innovation, 2) the engineering perspective of physiological concepts, 3) professionalism, and 4) ethical and regulatory issues.

The second course in the in the BME innovation-based learning series. This course is designed to develop the student in; 1) the practice of medical device and process innovation, 2) the engineering perspective of physiological concepts, 3) professionalism, and 4) ethical and regulatory issues.

The course is delivered via in-person, synchronous and asynchronous modes using an established experiential learning model termed Innovation-Based learning. In innovation-based learning, students select an innovation project, form teams, and throughout the semester, learn to integrate physiological knowledge with ethical and regulatory constraints to produce an innovation in the biomedical engineering space while gaining professional skills.

Student assessment of learning is accomplished through mastery of pillar concepts, generation of project tokens, and communicating the innovation to society.

BME 181 Typical Pillar Concepts:

Pillar #     Description
1               Na/K Action Potential
2               Ca Contribution
3               Electrical Circuit Model
4               Hodgkin-Huxley Model
5               Active Transport
6               Electrical Synapses
7               Chemical Synapses
8               Action Potential propagation
9              Temporal and Spatial summation
10            Excitatory and inhibitory Synapses
11            The brain
12            fMRI
13            fNIRS

Elements of Biomedical Engineering (typical): BME 181 Project-related Tokens

●        Current Ethical Considerations in Biomedical Engineering

●        Regulatory Aspects of Innovation product or process

●        Learning related to Project

After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

●     Analyze, model, design, and realize innovative bio/biomedical engineering devices, systems, components, or processes;

●     Apply principles of engineering, biology, human physiology, chemistry, and mathematics;

●     Solve bio/biomedical engineering problems, including those associated with the interaction between living and non-living systems;

●     Make measurements on and interpreting data from living systems;

●     Interact with others as a professional;

●     Understand aspects of regulatory considerations of biomedical engineering actions; and

●     Gain innovation skills

Apply ethical reasoning in a biomedical engineering context 

Course Materials

Required: Physiology for Engineers, Applying Engineering Methods to Physiological Systems

ISBN: 978-3-319-26197-3

Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

Insert minimum requirements expected and needed. In the bulleted example list below

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email
  • Use level-appropriate math, science, and engineering principles

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.

Course Overview

The course content is organized into 16 weeks per semester. Each week contains a purpose, learning outcomes, and a variety of links to articles, video/audio files, and other instructional resources selected to enhance the learning experience and support the various topics. Students will select an innovation project and teams will form to work on that innovation project. Some weeks, students will give learning and innovation updates to the class for peer-review.


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

Insert the course requirements/expectations. An example is posted below.

  1. The student will review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard.
  2. The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly area of the Blackboard course.
  3. The student will participate in any lecture or discussion sessions on campus or online as provided and as part of this course.
  4. The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. by the dated noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule. We will use Central Standard Time for due dates and times.
  5. The student will participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from instructor and/or peers.



Announcements will be posted on Microsoft Teams on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters.


You are encouraged to post your questions about the course on the class channels in Microsoft Teams. This is an open forum in which you and your classmates are encouraged to answer each other’s questions. Students are encouraged to contact the faculty via MS Teams (or email) at any time.

Course Etiquette

When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas.


This course is made up of a series of responsibilities and assessments to assist you in achieving the course learning objectives/outcomes.


The course is set up as a tokenized grading system. This means that a concept is represented by a token, and the student will provide compelling evidence of mastering the concept. In Bloom’s taxonomy, levels 1 and 2 (memorization and understanding) must be mastered. Next, Bloom’s taxonomy level 3 (apply) is earned by applying the concept to your innovation project. Higher order Bloom’s (analysis, evaluation, and synthesis) are achieved through the innovation project for earning those tokens and peer-review of other students’ tokens. Picture 1

In this course, your learning will be assessed in the following ways. First, a new concept is studied and discussed in class (or through online questions from asynchronous students). A student then submits the evidence of their Pillar mastery. Student peers review this work and either the token is passed on to instructor review or it is returned to the originating student to correct/improve the evidence. Once the instructor reviews the evidence, the token can be approved and entered in the final ledger or sent back to the originating student for improvement. The peer-reviewing student can submit evidence into Project tokens as evidence of their reviewing effort. Milestone tokens are identifying a need, creating a solution, and impact (sharing the knowledge outside the classroom). The impact can include, but is not limited to, conferences, manuscripts, scholarship/fellowship applications, grant applications, invention disclosures, business pitch competitions, etc.) Picture 2

Pillar Tokens

Pillar concepts are the foundational ideas in engineering applied to physiological concepts. Mastery of the pillar concepts will be evidenced by 1) defining/describing the concept, and 2) ability to relate/apply the pillar concept to your innovation. Peer review of your Pillar is the first assessment. Based on peer assessment, the concept either is forwarded to instructor review or sent back for improvement before entering peer review again. Once the student’s mastery of the pillar concept is confirmed through peer and instructor review, the student is awarded the token.

Project Tokens

Project concepts are elements learned while developing an innovation. These are documented through different modes such as video description, oral presentations, written documents, etc. Project concepts are the “breadcrumbs” of the progress made during the development of an of innovation and are used to verify and validate the individual effort of the student on the project. No student review is needed here. Instructors review the work during the course to verify that the student has individual effort, and during regular student presentations, students also discuss their learning progress.

Milestone Tokens

Milestone concepts include defining the gap (innovation need), the solution (the innovation), and impact (externalizing the innovation to society). Tokens are individual; students must demonstrate their personal contribution to the gap, solution, or impact, and project tokens serve as supporting evidence. Milestone tokens are student peer-reviewed and instructor reviewed.

Assessment Summary

Student grades are based on Pillar, Project, and Milestone Tokens

Grading Scale*

A = All Pillar Tokens** + 3 Milestone Tokens

B = All Pillar Tokens** + 2 Milestone Tokens

C = All Pillar Tokens** + 1 Milestone Token

D = Incomplete Pillar Tokens, Some Project/Milestone tokens

F = Few Pillar, Project, and Milestone Tokens

* Students receive regular feedback on their progress throughout the semester through peer and instructor reviews. This grading approach is adapted from the book, “Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead)”, Susan Blum, ISBN 9781949199833. This assessment approach more closely mimics performance reviews in industry.

** Students are strongly encouraged to earn Pillar Tokens through the mastery model of token creation, feedback, and revision. Alternatively, students may demonstrate pillar knowledge via a single end-of-semester oral examination. The oral examination is pass/fail and may not be repeated.

Course Evaluation

Around the middle of the semester, we will complete a formative assessment to see how the course is going. Near the end of the semester, you will be asked to complete an online course evaluation form (SELFI). Your feedback on the course is extremely valuable to me. I read my students’ comments carefully and use them to improve the course the next time I teach it.

  • When the time comes, please let me know which aspects of the course helped you learn—and which aspects might be modified to help future students learn more effectively.
  • Please note that the course evaluations are anonymous and that I won’t see the results until after the grades for the course are submitted, allowing you to provide honest and constructive feedback.
  • And if you have feedback to offer before the end of the semester, please let me know.

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Week of Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
1/10 In class: Pillar 1
Outside class:
1/17 In class: Pillar 2
Outside class:
Pillar Token #1 Due
1/24 In class: Pillar 3
Outside class:
Pillar Token #2 Due
1/31 In class: Pillar 4
Outside class:
Pillar Token #3 Due
2/7 In class: Pillar 5
Outside class:
Pillar Token #4 Due
2/14 In class: Pillar 6
Outside class:
Pillar Token #5 Due
2/21 In class: Pillar 7
Outside class:
Pillar Token #6 Due
Gap Milestone Token Due
2/28 In class: Pillar 8
Outside class:
Pillar Token #7 Due
3/7 In class: Pillar 9
Outside class:
Pillar Token #8 Due
3/14 Spring Break
3/21 In class: Pillar 10
Outside class:
Pillar Token #9 Due
3/28 In class: Pillar 11
Outside class:
Pillar Token #10 Due
4/4 In class: Pillar 12
Outside class:
Pillar Token #11 Due
4/11 In class: Pillar 13
Outside class:
Pillar Token #12 Due
4/18 Final Project Presentations Pillar Token #13 Due
4/25 Final Project Presentations Solution Milestone Token Due
No new pillar token submissions; revision & resubmission ARE allowed.
5/2 Final Project Presentations Impact Milestone Token Due
5/9 Finals Week **oral exam if necessary

Course Policies

Assignment Policy

Due dates for each assignment or activity will be posted in Blackboard.

Late Work

All assignments must be submitted by the due dates posted in the course. The acceptance of late assignments is at the discretion of the instructor, if you contact the instructor before the due date and ask for an extension. All requirements for this course must be completed during the course dates.

Class Participation

Students will be involved in the review of innovation updates given by teams. Questions and constructive critiques will be the mode of review.


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.

Resolution of Problems

Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair, and next to the college dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the provost next, and then to the president.


When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online. Here are a few basic points to remember when communicating in this course:

Be scholarly. Use proper language, grammar, and spelling. Explain your thoughts, justify opinions, and credit the ideas of others by citing scholarly resources. Avoid misinforming others when you are unsure of the answer.  When discussing something and supplying a guess, clearly state that.

Be respectful. Respect the privacy of others. Do not share personal or professional information about others unless permission has been granted. Respect diversity and opinions that differ from their own. Be tactful when you communicate.

Be professional. Everyone should strive to give their best impression online. Truthfulness, accuracy, and running a final spell check are appropriate expectations for university students. Writing in a legible font and limiting the use of emoticons is considered professional behavior. Profanity and participation in hostile interactions, known as flaming, is unprofessional as well as disruptive.

Be polite. Students should address professors and instructors by the appropriate title or requested name. Students should interact online politely, just as they would be expected to do in a physical environment. Sarcasm, rudeness, and writing in all capital letters (shouting) should be avoided.

Instructor Responsibilities and Feedback

  • The instructor will provide feedback on all assignments and group activities within one week.
  • The instructor will be available during appointed Office Hours to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer advice.


Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and personal pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example: they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc.

I recognize that preferred names and pronouns may change during the quarter, if at any point during the quarter you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.

As part of our commitment to inclusion in this course, it is important that all students in this class respect the preferred names and pronouns of their peers. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen. If you make a mistake or are corrected, please briefly apologize and correct yourself.

Technology Statement

In this class we will have a technology policy that is designed to support your attention to one another and to the course material.  We will spend the majority of our time engaged in activities that depend upon you being present and attentive to one another, and course content we will study. We are all challenged these days by the ways in which our digital devices—including laptops, tablets, phones, and watches—can steal our attention away from our immediate surroundings. Technology should be used for educational purposes only during scheduled class times.

Collaboration and Recording (For Online, Hybrid, Hyflex courses)

Sharing personal experiences and opinions is an important part of the learning process. In the (hybrid, hyflex, synchronous, etc.) environment of this course, all of our interactions are recorded (via Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Yuja, etc) and made available to students in the course. The purpose of these recordings is to enhance learning for all students. If your peers make personal statements in this course, consider those comments in the context of our learning goals and do not share them with people outside the course. If you have questions or concerns about any recordings, please contact me.

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171;; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).