An important outcome of the VaNTH ERC for Bioengineering Education Technologies is direct evidence of the effectiveness of challenge-based learning. This is a form of active learning that is based on the principle that the most effective learning environment is not only knowledge-centered, but is also learner-centered, assessment-centered and community-centered. Challenges presented in such a learning environment are most effective when they are based on real life applications that are of interest to the learner, but require the learner to extend his/her knowledge base before the challenge can be solved. By design, some of the necessary knowledge is gained outside the classroom and some is gleaned by student activities conducted inside the classroom. An objection to the use of active learning raised by some instructors is that less material can be covered in the classroom than in a traditional lecture-based course. Although this is true, it is not true that less material can be covered in an active learning course than in a lecture-only course. Instead, concepts that are easy to grasp can be moved to out-of-class activities, allowing more in-class time for the more difficult concepts. We have developed resources that can assist instructors of biotransport to begin adopting the challenge-based approach.

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