Introduction – How to formulate the goals of an academic educational program in such a way that they reflect the identity of the profession, but at the same time allow the flexibility required for self-responsible and self-directed individual study paths that can initiate lifelong learning and successful interdisciplinary collaboration after graduation? Here, we present a novel competency framework that (1) reflects the identity and academic level of the interdisciplinary Biomedical Engineering (BME) profession, (2) permits the alignment of program intended learning outcomes that accommodate the content of the different specialisation tracks of the BME program and (3) guides students and staff by improved curriculum mapping and optimization. Methods – We collected input from teaching staff members who are actively practicing their BME profession in the interdisciplinary ecosystem around our university. Using their feedback, we iteratively formulated a set of core competencies that characterize the work and role of the BME professional. We obtained preliminary face-validity by performing curriculum mappings from several courses from BME-tracks and by asking feedback from students. Results – The iterations resulted in the FIRIS-P competency framework including five successive core professional competencies of which specified subcompetencies carry the BME identity: (1) Fundamental competencies, (2) Instrumental competencies, (3) Reasoning competencies, (4) Interventional competencies, and (5) Societal competencies. These core professional competencies are completed and supported by transferable Personal competencies. Discussion: Preliminary validation indicates that the FIRIS-P framework carries all three characteristics mentioned above, warranting future evaluation of its merits for education of lifelong learning BME professionals.
Buitenweg, J. R. (2023). Formulation Of The FIRIS-P Professional Core-Competency Framework For Flexible Academic Curricula: The Biomedical Engineering Program. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI). DOI: 10.21427/EBPD-4X50
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