Comparing Two Approaches For Engineering Education Development: PBL And CDIO

Comparing Two Approaches For Engineering Education Development: PBL And CDIO

K. Edström, A. Kolmos (2012).  Comparing Two Approaches For Engineering Education Development: PBL And CDIO. 15.


During the last decade there have been two dominating models for reforming engineering education: Problem/Project Based Learning (PBL) and the CDIO Initiative. The aim of this paper is to compare the PBL and CDIO approaches to engineering education reform, to identify and explain similarities and differences.

CDIO and PBL will each be defined and compared in terms of the original need analysis, underlying educational philosophy and the essentials of the respective approaches to engineering education. In these respects we see many similarities. Circumstances that explain differences in history and experiences will be identified and discussed. The comparison gives an overview of history and experiences, organization of community, curriculum implementation principles, model of change, variation in implementation, body of research, and extent of dissemination (world map). It is suggested that the two approaches have much in common and can be combined, and especially that the practitioners have much to learn from each other’s experiences through a dialogue between the communities.

This structured comparison will potentially indicate specifically what an institution experienced in one of the communities can learn from the other, as well as provide a chart for anyone who wishes to learn about any of these models. As a conclusion, some observations on common lessons learned will be made. 


Authors (New): 
Kristina Edström
Anette Kolmos
KTH Royal Institute of Technology,Sweden
Aalborg University, Denmark
Problem-based learning
Project-Based Learning
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