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IGIP Co-Plenary - Present and Future Challenges in Engineering Education and the Strategies of IGIP

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2013 ASEE International Forum


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 22, 2013

Start Date

June 22, 2013

End Date

June 22, 2013

Conference Session

Partner Organization Plenary II

Tagged Topic

Partner Society Plenary

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Page Numbers

21.30.1 - 21.30.8



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Paper Authors


Michael E. Auer International Society for Engineering Education (IGIP)

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Since 1995 Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Michael E. Auer is Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Systems Engineering Dept. of the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences Villach, Austria and has also teaching positions at the Universities of Klagenfurt (Austria), Amman (Jordan), Brasov (Romania) and Patras (Greece).
He is a senior member of IEEE, author or co-author of more than 170 publications and leading member of numerous national and international organizations in the field of online technologies. He is editor-in-chief of the International Journals of "Online Engineering", "Emerging Technologies in Learning" and "Interactive Mobile Technolgies".
Michael Auer is Founding-President and CEO of the "International Association of Online Engineering" (IAOE) since 2006, a non-governmental organization that promotes the vision of new engineering working environments worldwide.
In September 2010 he was elected as President of the "International Society of Engineering Education" (IGIP).
Furthermore he is one of the founders and Secretary General of the "Global Online Laboratory Consortium" (GOLC), which is the result of an initiative started in 2009 at MIT to coordinate the work on educational online laboratories worldwide.
Furthermore he is a member of the Advisory Board of the "European Learning Industry Group" (ELIG).

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Present and Future Challenges in Engineering Education and the Strategies of IGIPAbstractNever has the speed of development in the area of engineering been as accelerated as it istoday, as we observe the enormous and driven growth of the area of engineering as well as ashortening of innovation cycles. On the other hand a mayor shift happens in educationalprocesses in general. Both tendencies require concerted new efforts in engineering education -or in other words, the importance of pedagogy in the field of engineering is growingenormously. These changes strongly demand new didactic and pedagogic paradigms. TheInternational Society of Engineering Education (IGIP) offers to contribute to the relevance andpedagogical aspects related to developing educational concepts in engineering education.IGIP and Engineering EducationIGIP has a more than 40-year tradition of contributing to engineering education and itsmembers and many activists have contributed to making IGIP a leading global engineeringassociation. IGIP presently has a worldwide membership of about 1.750 members (individual,affiliate, institutional). More than 1.200 professionals all over the globe at this moment bear thetitle of "IGIP International Engineering Educator - Ing.Paed.IGIP ". IGIP also works in goodpartnerships with international associations as IFEES, ASEE, IEEE Education Society, SEFI,and IELA, to name just a few.The aims of the International Society for Engineering Education - IGIP are:  To improve teaching methods in technical subjects  To develop practice-oriented curricula that correspond to the needs of students and employers  To encourage the use of new media in technical teaching  To integrating languages and the humanities in engineering education  To foster management training for engineers  To promote environmental awareness  To support the development of engineering education in developing countriesIt is important to consider that humankind has never faced such a rapidly changing anddynamic global environment which demands so much of engineers as we are witnessing today.And as our environment changes, it is imperative we better learn to adapt, which requires us toquestion and, when necessary, be open to changes regarding our:  Educational systems  Pedagogy  Methods and processesNever before have the challenges in education and pedagogy been as challenging as today.Never has so much been demanded of engineers. The work of ASEE, IGIP, IEEE ES, and otherassociations focuses on improving the quality of Engineering Education. But what is exactly isengineering?In the literature we can find different definitions of the term Engineering. In Wikipedia we canfind:„Engineering is the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge, inorder to design, build, and maintain structures, machines, devices, systems, materials andprocesses. It may encompass using insights to conceive, model and scale an appropriatesolution to a problem or objective." 1ABET has defined engineering as:“The creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines,apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination; or toconstruct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behaviorunder specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics ofoperation or safety to life and property”.In sum a short definition of engineering might be: “Exploiting basic principles of science todevelop useful tools, objects and processes for society.” This means that engineering is the linkbetween science and society, which can include almost anything that people come into contactwith or experience in real life. The concept of engineering existed long before recorded historyand has evolved from fundamental inventions such as the lever, wheel, and pulley, to thecomplex examples of engineering today.The new millennium opened simultaneously a new phase in the history of engineering. Thisphase is characterized by the following facts: - We observe the enormous and driven growth of the area of engineering. Besides the traditional fields of civil engineering, construction engineering, electrical engineering, etc. many new engineering disciplines occur. - And new tasks requiring new competencies within traditional engineering disciplines have grown in number and complexity. - Never has the speed of development in the area of engineering been as accelerated as it is today. We can observe a terrific acceleration of the life cycles of technical (or engineering) products Competition in the field of technology is now measured in month and weeks. - Furthermore the focus of the engineering disciplines is shifting from pure technical subjects to subjects directed to Information Technologies and the daily life of mankind. - Engineering issues, either in industrial products or in engineering projects, are quickly becoming increasingly complicated and most of these issues cross disciplinary lines. - The size of the systems developed or designed by engineers grows continually. A good example for this is the concept of the “Smart City”, which includes two assets – the social and the environmental capital. The smart cities concept is based on regional competitiveness, transport and ICT economics, natural resources, human and social capital, quality of life, and participation of citizens in the governance of cities. - The working environment of engineers is becoming more and more internationalized due to the globalization of the world economy. Products are fabricated by worldwide cooperation and manufacturing resources are linked by international supply chains. Nowadays, engineers have to know how to work in multi-cultural environments with people from different countries.On the other hand a mayor shift happens in educational processes in general. Some of thesetendencies for the future of learning are: - The future of learning will require the conceptualization and implementation of a new learning model. We need to be focusing more 21st century competencies and expertise such as critical thinking, complex problem solving, interactive collaboration, etc. - The future of learning will be a balanced approach between E-Learning and Face-to-Face Learning; between Formal and Informal Learning. A modern approach of teaching and learning is a blended one. This is my deep belief. We have to better exploit synergies from traditional and non-traditional education. - The future of learning will revolve more around context than content. Our age is the Information Age. We live in the Knowledge Society where data, information, knowledge are easy to access 24/7. We need a radical change from teaching facts and knowledge to convey skills and creativity (to find necessary data, facts, and knowledge) in a global context. Therefore, learning is presently undergoing great transitions. - The Future of Learning will be a global one, characterized by open content, open knowledge, open technology for all. Global education is the next distance-learning leap. Especially from this the necessity of a new business model in education arises. - The future of learning is characterized by serious changes in the social position of learning. According to some estimates, more than 80% of all learning occurs on the job rather than in tertiary and post-tertiary education. Learning in the future has to be an integrated part of the job! People of all ages have to renew their knowledge in decreasing cycles. This is what we understand as "Life Long Learning".New Questions of Today’s and Future Engineering EducationAll these realities require a concerted effort to evolve engineering education into what today’sreality is demanding of practicing engineers. In other words, many traditional educationalmodels and practices are no longer functional. For this reason, the importance of pedagogy isgrowing at an enormous pace. The need to innovate and apply new paradigms to the teaching-learning process is an absolute necessity.Some of these important questions to consider include:  What learning approaches have to be used to effectively response to these changes?  What are the pedagogies that provide the most effective learning experiences for engineering students of the 21st Century?  What learning skills in engineering education need to be developed and how can engineering teachers succeed in guiding their students to achieve them?  What pedagogical approaches have been found to support the different phases of the present life-long learning continuum, or is more research necessary?  What are the approaches that enable competence in leadership skills in a multi-cultural working environment, and what is the best way for these competencies to be delivered?  Ambient technology is becoming a reality. What does ambient learning in Engineering Education look like? How can it be designed, delivered and assessed?  How can engineering education support individualized and personalized learning to compensate for individual differences (learning styles, learning strategies, learning preferences, field dependency, etc.)These are some of the reasons why the relevance and importance of engineering pedagogy isgrowing so enormously.IGIP’s International Engineering Educator TitleThis paper, up to now, has attempted to show that dramatic changes are necessary inengineering education and that these changes strongly demand a new look at the didactic andpedagogic concepts that presently form the basis of engineering education. IGIP offers a spacefor professionals to look into, debate, and put into practice different concepts related toengineering education.IGIP has established a prototype curriculum for engineering pedagogy which is already used inseveral countries. In contrast to ABET, FEANI, or EUR-ACE, IGIP is not an accreditationbody for engineering curricula. By passing the curriculum as proposed by IGIP in anyaccredited or other institution worldwide, IGIP states that a given engineering educator with an“International Engineering Educator” title has all the competencies needed to teach to thehighest standards with the best available teaching technologies. Interested engineers cancontinue their education in accordance with the IGIP Curriculum and obtain a diploma that willprovide the knowledge and skills necessary for engineers to become better teachers. IGIP,worldwide, already has 46 approved educational centers and more than 1200 approved“International Engineering Educators” (Ing.Paed.IGIP).The IGIP model’s point of departure is that individual engineering lecturers initiate and areresponsible for teaching and learning concepts that train engineers and technicians. The qualityand success of engineering studies are decisively influenced by teacher competencies in thearea of pedagogy as pedagogical skills represent a network of knowledge and skills thattransmit knowledge and experience, much like Web 3.0. For this reason, technology andeducational practice must go hand in hand when we are dealing with the education ofengineers.Engineering educators expand their typical engineering subject competence by acquiringteaching and learning skills in theoretical and practical coursework corresponding to theobjectives of the Ing.Paed.IGIP model. Students taking engineering education training shouldacquire the necessary professional skills which technical teachers must have to be able toexercise their profession effectively and creatively.The proven IGIP engineering education prototype curriculum is based on the knowledge oftraditional pedagogy in philosophy and the liberal arts, but with respect to the particularcharacter of the technician and the analytical-methodological approach in the fields ofengineering science.After many years of experience in industry or research, engineers who are appointed asteachers at a technical school or university are influenced by their professional careers. Theirway of thinking is determined by the precision of the technology they work with, by their workwith quantifiable and measurable events and objects. The influence of their discipline and the"language" of engineers must be taken into account in engineering pedagogy education, andthey must penetrate the engineering education curriculum.The Ing.Paed.IGIP is a registered program which certifies a certain educational level forteachers, trainers or instructors. Any engineering educator who passes the curriculum at anyIGIP accredited training Centre for International Engineering Education, or whose education,training, and professional experience (documented by certificates) meet IGIP standards, mayapply to be registered as an "International Engineering Educator - Ing.Paed.IGIP ".The qualification profile of a specialized engineering pedagogue is based on two pillars:  Engineering qualifications which were earned through a recognized and/or accredited engineering study program plus relevant professional experience  Educational qualifications in engineering pedagogy acquired in the course of a comprehensive educational programThe engineering pedagogy program is generally an independent course of studies taken after anengineering program. However, it can also form an integral part of engineering degreeprograms. Already existing educational programs for engineering pedagogues can beaccredited by the IGIP. Importantly, to be accredited, they must meet the accreditation criteriadefined by IGIP.The goal of IGIP accreditation is to insure that graduates of the accredited engineeringpedagogical programs are well prepared to perform their teaching duties in engineeringsubjects and meet the criteria required to become International Engineering Educators.Another goal is to promote quality assurance, quality improvement, and modernization ofengineering pedagogy programs and to create public awareness of the high quality of the IGIPprogram for engineering pedagogues. Accreditation is a voluntary process which educationalinstitutions must apply for through the responsible IGIP national monitoring committees.The accreditation criteria defined by IGIP for a program for engineering educators are:  Organization of the program  Entrance requirements for the first year students  Skills/abilities of the graduates  Engineering pedagogical curriculum  Lecturers and professors  Institutional resources  Quality control and feedbackAn “ideal“ teacher with a technical background should acquire the necessary professionalcompetences of an engineering educator. These general professional competences consist oftwo main groups:  Technical expertise  Specific engineering pedagogical competencies.Educational theory offers different lists of competences7. The IGIP concept of engineeringeducational competences is to be summarized as follows:  Pedagogical, psychological and ethical competences  Didactical skills and evaluative competences  Organisational (managerial) competencies  Oral and written communication skills and social competences  Reflective and developmental competencesOther categorizations might operate with the terms “technical expertise”, “pedagogicalcompetences”, and “human competences”. Some authors substitute the term “competences” by“virtues” (Helus, Z.8).The IGIP Recommendations for Engineering Pedagogy Studies (in short IGIP Curriculum) aredescribed in detail in 10.Interested institutions and engineers, teachers, and students are welcome to contact one of the23 IGIP National Monitoring Committees or the IGIP headquarters in Austria.ConclusionsTechnical university teaching has often been perceived as a poor cousin to research. Fewtechnical universities require any specific technical teacher education for their academic staff.Interestingly, this is the only level of learning where academic staff receives no teachertraining. Yet teaching is an art that, at least to some degree, can be taught, if the institutions ofhigher learning support it as an important element. The International Society for EngineeringEducation (IGIP) is working to assure that graduates of accredited engineering pedagogicalprograms are well prepared to perform their teaching duties in engineering subjects and meetthe criteria for IGIP registration as International Engineering Educators, Ing.Paed.IGIP.IGIP’s ultimate goal, however, is to promote quality assurance, quality improvement andmodernize engineering pedagogy programs and educational practices. Its intention is also tocreate public awareness of the high quality of engineering pedagogue programs.Bibliography1. (last visited 06 April 2013)2. Toru Iiyoshi & M.S. Vijay Kumar, MIT3. Alexandrov, Vassil, „E-Learning and Web 3.0“, Proceedings of the ICL2009 Conference, 23-25 September 2009, Villach, Austria4. (last visited 06 April 2013)5. Albrecht, Dietmar, Koskinen, Tapio, (last visited 11 April 2011)6. Feifan Ye, Proceedings of the IEEE EDUCON2011 Conference, 04-06 April 2011, Amman, Jordan7. Turek, I., Hrmo, R., Kľúčové kompetencie I. Bratislava: Slovenská technická univerzita, 2003. ISBN 80-227- 1881-5.8. Dobrovska, D., Pedagogická a psychologická příprava učitelů odborných předmětů, Praha: ISV 2004, 196 pp., ISBN 80-86642-33-X.9. Vanecek, D. 2006, Progressive Education Methods. In.: New trends in engineering pedagogy. Workshop of the International Society of Engineering Education IGIP, Praha, ČVUT 2006. ISBN 80-01-03459-3.10. (last visited 09 April 2013)11. Harms, A.A.; Baetz, B.W.; Volti, R.R.: Engineering in Time, Imperial College Press, London, 2008

Auer, M. E. (2013, June), IGIP Co-Plenary - Present and Future Challenges in Engineering Education and the Strategies of IGIP Paper presented at 2013 ASEE International Forum, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--17235

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