Implementing Engineering Education for Environmental Sustainability into CDIO Programs

Implementing Engineering Education for Environmental Sustainability into CDIO Programs

M. Wedel, J. Malmqvist, M. Arehag, M. Svanström (2008).  Implementing Engineering Education for Environmental Sustainability into CDIO Programs . 11.

This paper aims to bridge education for sustainable development (ESD) and integrated learning of generic competencies applying the CDIO model, by describing how ESD can be implemented into an existing CDIO-based program. It was found that the CDIO syllabus is exhaustive regarding sustainability though not under a separate headline; this would be beneficial to be clarified for adopters of the approach.

A process developed for integrating learning for sustainable development is described. The process model is a bottom-up and top-down approach involving stating program-level goals and curriculum design but also support given to faculty such as a program workshop, followed by individual dialogue between resource group and lecturers. In the application of this model to the CDIO-based Mechanical Engineering program at Chalmers it was found that the previous adoption to CDIO facilitated the process in several aspects.

First, there exists experience in adopting program-level goals and turn it into course learning objectives integrated in a successive manner into the program design matrix. Second, the programs’ teachers have become more used to and prone to appreciate generic skills, have become experienced in formulating learning objectives and accepting a partly top-down approach. Finally, there exists already learning modules centred around the product/system/process realization process, where sustainability issues are ideal to incorporate.

Authors (New): 
Maria Knutson Wedel
Johan Malmqvist
Marie Arehag
Magdalena Svanström
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Education for sustainable development
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