In the academia, it is common that curriculums of engineering design programs are outlined so that courses that covers different disciplines are given in parallel. Authors of this paper are active on the board of studies representing the Mechanical Engineering program at Linköping University. Based on experience from the work of this board, several problems can be identified on the Mechanical Engineering Bachelor program, for instance there is a tendency of lack of communication between examiners of courses that are given in parallel. Also, among the examiners there is a general lack of awareness of their courses' position in the curriculum, respectively. This may in turn result in insufficient understanding from the examiner regarding the student perspective, e.g in terms of workload etc. From a learning theory perspective, lack of course integration and curriculum progression is problematic. For instance, the rationale of constructivism is telling us that new knowledge are mostly based on and created from previous knowledge. Thus it is necessary that courses "talk" with each other in a sense that students are able to use newly achieved knowledge from one course, directly in another. CDIO implementation is yet another aspect where issues of insufficient course integration and progression adds to the problem. CDIO is basically about bridging the gap between theory and practice. And since heavily theory oriented traditional courses are hard to align with the CDIO syllabus, an implementation process may benefit from solutions that fosters course integration. This contribution present and discusses a CDIO enabling platform used within courses at the department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden. The platform consists of a physical setup manifesting several potential real RnD situations, including production aspects. When present in courses, it is combined with scenario technique based on a fictitious business case. The physical hardware of this teaching platform is a modular multi-utility bicycle, sometimes referred to as a cargo-bike, together with assembly and welding fixtures. The platform allows for and facilitates the implementation of the CDIO standard, in several ways. Furthermore, from the curriculum perspective, the platform may serve as a catalyst for course integration. This paper discusses and exemplifies both these issues, CDIO implementation and course integration, using an intermediate computer aided engineering course during the third semester of the program, where the learning outcomes also includes innovative thinking and oral presentation techniques.
Proceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku, Finland, June 12-16 2016