1) Engineering professors and lecturers are very strong in their fields and disciplines, but often do not have any background or training in pedagogic theories, methods or results. They teach the way they had been taught and are unaware of the research in teaching and learning, and of the effectiveness of newer teaching methods such as active learning.
Most engineering professors and lecturers have a clear idea of how to teach a course or deliver a lecture, but they do not necessarily think in pedagogic terms. The evidence from the project, and elsewhere, is that the students respond quickly and effectively to active learning processes, but too many teachers ignore the advantages of these methods. The project team is challenged to find better ways to impact the behavior of all the teachers, and they have demonstrated some techniques, such as team teaching, but much more needs to be done to reach the larger community of teachers.
2) Lack of time for preparation of active learning techniques for courses
3) Reluctance to reduce amount of material covered, which is perceived as necessary in order to use active learning methods or integrated learning experiences. Sequential courses depend on full amount of coverage in previous courses.
4) Deeply-rooted culture of traditionally-taught lecture courses
5) Resistance to change, from faculty, and from students who expect to be taught and learn in a certain way
6) A perceived conflict by some faculty and students between technical content and the learning of personal, interpersonal, and product and system building skills.
Addressing Challenges #1 though #5
All of the resources linked in the Benchmarking Help, and Design and Implementation Help parts of this section provide inspiration, information and tools to assist in overcoming these challenges. Specific materials that are related to specific challenges are listed below.
Information and tools related to:
- Active learning techniques, integrated learning experiences, and their effectiveness
- Preparation of active learning techniques for courses
- Deep and surface learning of material
- Successful implementation of active learning and integrated learning experiences
Addressing Challenge #6
Recommendations, tools, and templates for planning and running project based courses which integrate technical content and professional skills.
- Recommendations to Address Barriers in CDIO Project-based Courses Download (.doc 264K)