A CDIO Approach to Curriculum Design of Five Engineering Programs at UCSC

A CDIO Approach to Curriculum Design of Five Engineering Programs at UCSC

S. Loyer, M. Muñoz, C. Cárdenas, C. Martínez, M. Cepeda, V. Faúndez (2011).  A CDIO Approach to Curriculum Design of Five Engineering Programs at UCSC. 16.


This paper describes the process followed by the UCSC School of Engineering in order to redesign its five engineering programs using a CDIO-based approach. The redesigned programs were the Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Civil Engineering, Logistics Engineering and Aquacultural Biotechnology Engineering programs.

First, we present the motivations behind this work, namely, the desire to update the curricula so as to incorporate novel teaching and learning methodologies, and to improve our performance indicators. Next, we explain the UCSC ethos, its pedagogical model and the CDIO approach that together frame our curriculum design process. Then, the different stages of this process are presented and described at length. We then present several results from the Conceive and Design phases of the CDIO approach. These results also include reports from pilot Active Learning experiences and Service Learning experiences. Our curriculum design process started in 2008, and to date we have completed the Conceive and Design phases of the CDIO approach, with the Implementation phase starting this year.

This has been a slow and laborious, but ultimately very rewarding, process. The main working team members had no previous experience with curriculum design, nor were they familiarized with currently engineering education trends. A Chilean MECESUP government grant allowed team members to visit leading innovative engineering schools, and also financed workshops for local faculty by well-known international experts.

Our experiences to date and the growing involvement of early adopters and other faculty members show promise, and lead us to hope for a sea change in institutional mores by instilling the culture of continuous improvement in the educational process. 


Authors (New): 
Solange Loyer
Marcia Muñoz
Cristian Cárdenas
Claudia Martínez
Manuel Cepeda
Víctor Faúndez
Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Chile
Curriculum Design
CDIO Syllabus
mapping CDIO skills
Poblete, P., et al., “Curriculum renewal at two universities in Chile using CDIO syllabus”, Proceedings of the 3rd. Intl. CDIO Conference, Cambridge, MA, USA, June 11-14, 2007.: 
Crawley, E., et al., “Rethinking Engineering Education: The CDIO Approach”. Springer Sciences + Business Media LLC. New York, 2007.: 
Johns, K., “An Integrative First Year Civil Engineering Course: Initiation à la pratique professionnelle”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education (EE2006), pages 399-404, Liverpool, UK, July 24-26, 2006. : 
Craig, J., “Writing across the Curriculum: A Brief Summary of the Pedagogy and Practices”, http://www.laspau.harvard.edu/idia/library/Craig_Writing_Across_Curriculum.pdf. : 
García, F., Musitu, G., AF5: Autoconcepto Forma 5, Ed. Tea, Madrid, 2001. : 
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