Interdisciplinary education - The case of biomedical signal processing

Koby Mike, Shira Nemirovsky-Rotman, Orit Hazzan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Interdisciplinary perspective on real-life problems is an important skill for 21st century engineers and should be a part of their education. Project-based learning (PBL) is a well-known pedagogical tool for interdisciplinary education. In order to successfully accomplish interdisciplinary learning, students must have sufficient knowledge in each of the separate disciplines. Use of cross-disciplinary teams, for example, is one way to make sure a project team includes specialists in all required disciplines. This, however, is not always the case. In many cases, there are significant knowledge gaps within the project team in one or more of the project domains. Specifically, in our case, fourth-year electrical engineering students are working in pairs on biomedical signal processing projects, which are evidently interdisciplinary in nature. The teams, however, are homogeneous and the students lack the essential medical expertise required to achieve solutions applicable by physicians. Furthermore, students tend to acknowledge this gap only in the advanced phases of the project, and so critical phases, such as goal setting and planning, are performed without the required knowledge. In this article, we present (a) data that supports the existence of this knowledge gap and its effect on students; (b) an intervention program that exposes students to both the required domain knowledge and its importance to their work; and (c) initial data that supports the success of this intervention program in bridging these gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020
EditorsAlberto Cardoso, Gustavo R. Alves, Teresa Restivo
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781728109305
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event11th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020 - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 27 Apr 202030 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON
ISSN (Print)2165-9559
ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


Conference11th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE.


  • Biomedical signal processing
  • Data science education
  • Interdisciplinary education
  • Project-based learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • Education
  • General Engineering


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