Experience of interviewing stakeholders

Experience of interviewing stakeholders

Cooperation and communication with stakeholders is important for engineering educators as is emphasised in the CDIO standards. The School of Science and Engineering at Reykjavik University is implementing the CDIO standards and when reviewing and revising learning outcomes, i.e. CDIO standards 2 and 3, it was decided to contact stakeholders and find out their views regarding learning outcomes and recommended priorities in the program content. This work will be carried out until the spring of 2014. This paper will discuss the methodology used by the four different departments at the School of Science and Engineering at Reykjavik University: biomedical engineering, civil engineering, engineering management and financial engineering, and mechanical and electrical engineering. Although all departments used interviews to some extent, they used different approaches and some also used focus groups and surveys. The experience of each department will be introduced and discussed.

In the discipline of biomedical engineering it was decided to interview formally three groups of stakeholders, i.e. established biomedical engineers, medical doctors working closely with and may have certain expectations of biomedical engineers, and alumni. Semi structured interviews were conducted by two senior faculty members at the workplace of these individuals.

In the discipline of engineering management, two young engineers conducted interviews with 10 stakeholders, three of them being alumni. The results of the interviews were analysed and summarized. Also, a meeting was held with five present students.

In the department of mechanical and electrical engineering, an information package was sent to stakeholders in the industry and they asked to consider four main questions in preparation for an interview. Two persons conducted each interview, the department head and a faculty member whose area of expertise was closest to the stakeholders being interviewed. Selected alumina were also interviewed using similar process but current students attended a focus group to reflect on the curriculum.

The civil engineering department started their stakeholder enquiries by using a Delphi survey. The stakeholders chosen for the survey were from a broad aspect of the civil/structural engineering market, including representatives from both privet and public sectors, as well as representatives from the Associations of Chartered Engineers (ACE) and the Chartered Technical Professionals (CTP) in Iceland. Two faculty members interviewed also leading engineers from the construction sector, the consultancy sector and ACE and CTP.

This paper describes and compares the different procedures used by the four departments in choosing and approaching stakeholders and getting their views. Conclusions are drawn with regard to future methods for involving stakeholders in developing and validating learning outcomes for Reykjavik University´s engineering programs.

Proceedings of the 10th International CDIO Conference, Barcelona, Spain, June 15-19 2014

Authors (New): 
Ásrún Matthíasdóttir
Ingunn Sæmundsdóttir
Páll Jensson
Haraldur Audunsson
Jónas Þór Snæbjörnsson
Þórður Víkingur Friðgeirsson
Reykjavik University, Iceland
Interview procedures
Delphi survey
CDIO implementation
CDIO Standard 2
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