Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference



Publisher Name

American Society for Engineering Education

Publisher Location

Washington, DC


At Loyola University Chicago (LUC), all engineering courses are taught using a mandatory minimal lecture style, where the majority of course meeting time is devoted to group activities. Each activity may take place during that course meeting only, over the entire semester, or over multiple semesters. Curricular contextual threads take place over multiple semesters. One such contextual thread is the cardiograph project, whereby students build a functional cardiograph that estimates heart rate (HR) and respiration rate (RR) over four semesters (first, third, fifth, and sixth semesters). In Part III, students acquire their own electrocardiogram (ECG) using a custom motherboard, with which they had programmed a Texas microcontroller to acquire and display an ECG in Part II of the project. They then estimate personal HR and RR from their ECGs in both the time and frequency domains using MATLAB. In Part III of this study, we tested if student engagement in engineering design increased student proficiency with MATLAB. We assessed student engagement using the validated Student Response to Instructional Practices (StRIP) instrument. As these students completed the Assessing Women and Men in Engineering (AWE) annual survey during their first, third, and fifth semesters, we also considered how across participation in the cardiograph project through consecutive years may be one curricular element that contributes to students’ persistence in engineering, development of engineering identity, and sense of belonging.


Author Posting © American Society for Engineering Education, 2021. This conference proceeding is posted here by permission of American Society for Engineering Education for personal use and redistribution. This article was published in 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, (July 26, 2021),

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.