IGIP Newsletter - Issue 01 - 2019

11th April 2019

IGIP Newsletter - Issue 01 - 2019

Editor Column

By José Marques and Teresa Restivo

The edition of a newsletter like this one is always based on a long process of dialogue and interaction between our generous contributors and the co-editor Teresa Restivo. The following and final phase, language revision and electronic publishing, is sometimes a concentrated and somewhat lengthy process that has to be made compatible with our university workload. So we have managed to conclude another number of the IGIP Newsletter. Now is the time for you to read it and, hopefully, enjoy, while we keep looking forward to your input for the next issue.

President's Column

By Hanno Hortsch, President of IGIP

Dear IGIP community,

In the last newsletter of 2018 I formulated some thoughts on the further tasks and duties of our Society and also expressed some wishes. In this newsletter, I would like to add something to it.

Of course, it will always be the case that a society with its goals and vision can succeed only through the activity of its members. IGIP has many active, well, I would say, unusually active members who guarantee the success of IGIP work and its reputation in the scientific community of engineering education.

I think our entire community should ponder about how to better reach our common goals and vision.

In my oppinion, our work is successful on several levels. In particular, this applies to the active participation of our members in major international conferences. It is certainly no exaggeration to note that IGIP members contribute to the success of these conferences through important scientific contributions at every major international engineering education conference.

Another important level is regional activities of the National Sections (formerly the National Monitoring Committee). There are also excellent activities here, where I would particularly like to highlight the Russian regional conferences. The National Sections of IGIP should try even more to disseminate their goals and vision through regional conferences. In particular, the regional characteristics of engineering education can be clearly expressed and discussed in these conferences. This will certainly make it possible to attract more active members to work in our society.

I see similar potential in the existing IGIP training centers. Overall, we know too little abou the certainly existing national activities. I would therefore like to address two issues that of course still require discussion in the Executive Committee. First are reports of the IGIP training centers about their activities in our newsletter. Such best practice examples can stimulate the work of the other training centers and possibly lead to cooperation between the national IGIP training centers on an international level. Second, we should think about a short annual report from the training centers. This is not meant to be overtime, but to inform us all about what activities we have to identify in this field as a society for engineering education. Finally, IGIP is still the only one engineering pedagogy society that has its own prototype curriculum for the training of Engineering Education and is able to award the prestigious title of International Engineering Educator with as many as 20 credit points. We should use this as an advantage, which we have over other similar societies, even more nationally and internationally.

Overall, we know too little about the active work of our Sections, Training Centers and Working Groups. We should give them a firm place in our newsletters.

I look forward to many discussions in the coming months at our conferences. Due to current circumstances, I would like to draw your attention to the next IGIP/ICL Conference 2019 at King Mongut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, and hope that you will attend our annual conference in large numbers. Our Thai colleagues have prepared the conference well and will definitely make the days in bangkok a scientific and cuktural highlight for all of us.

48th IGIP International Conference, Bangkok, 25-28 September 2019

ICL 2019, the 22nd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning and 48th IGIP International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy with the theme "The Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Engineering Education", will be held at the Intercontinental Bangkok, Thailand, 25-28 September 2019. This interdisciplinary conference aims to focus on the exchange of relevant trends and research results as well as the presentation of practical experiences in Interactive Collaborative Learning and Engineering Pedagogy.

The Conference will also host the the IGIP 'Games in Engineering Education Award' (GinEE Award), as well as the Special Sessions Talking about Teaching 2019 (TaT’19) and Entrepreneurship in Engineering Education 2019 (EiEE´19).

Executive Board Column

By Teresa Restivo, Past President of IGIP

I imagine that some of you are expecting I would be writing a few lines explaining that the Newsletter task is a “near impossible mission”. Instead, I simply want to express all my gratefulness to all who are still finding time to collaborate with this project.

Our President Hanno is providing each Newsletter issue with some different contents, just in time! Thank you Hanno. In my perspective, and considering the huge diversity of communication tools currently available, it is vital the frequent proximity of an Organization President with its Society members.

Tiia is a constant active IGIP Executive Committee member. One of her latest cooperations made me create what it is starting today: the “University Corner”. I expect to encourage all of us to bring to this corner novel University practices and their results within the real outside world. With some pride, the first content of this new column involves my colleague Jorge Lino, an Associate Professor at FEUP.

Nevertheless, this time our Executive Committee is doubling its cooperation with another contribution from James Wolfer of Indiana University. My deep thanks, James. I know the effort you put in helping even in this moment of hard work in which you are involved.

Susan Zvacek is offering us since the very beginning a periodic content on her column “Talking about Teaching”. I do not know how to say thank you Susan. Please carry on! All of us are looking at your contribution as something inherent to our Newsletter.

Sophia Shwartz and Julia Ziyatdinova are cooperating with an article looking at the teaching of English language to engineering students in Kazan National Research Technological University. I visited some of those classes in September 2018 and I saw how relevant it is for students to improve their language skills. Therefore, you are welcome!

A new contribution comes from an important school of Engineering in Portugal, the Instituto Superior Técnico, from University of Lisbon. Sofia suggests in a short article “Solutions for effective problem solving”. I hope Sofia will enjoy to be with us!

Harshita Choradia, a student I am pleased to have met and been in touch during REV’19, and after, served as the representative of a huge group of Students from B.M.S. College of Engineering in Bengaluru. They impressed all of us by their efficiency, helping availability and kindness. So, I asked them for this testimony. The pictures show their happiness which was offered to all of us during those 3 days.

Tiago Andrade is now an engineering entrepreneur giving continuity to many of the works started in my group and lab and this is always a reason to feel personally proud. He got an IGIP Young Scientist Award in 2012 and today he let us know a little of what happened after it. He is the first on a follow up process that we, at IGIP, would like to carry on through our IGIP Young Scientist Awards.

Finally, and I do this intentionally, I want to write a special thanks to a special woman who wrote a beautiful article entitled “Rather an ordinary person”. Samita Maitra is Professor and Dean (Academics) in the B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bengaluru, India. She left us an example of how “the way is made by walking”, in such a simple and open description that I invite all of you to read her article. I do not want to spoil it with personal comments: “Tying a piece of long cloth around my head and allowing it to dangle as a long hair I used to imagine myself a teacher teaching imaginary disciples. The early memory I have about my wish to become a teacher was only this. I come from the eastern region of India …”

Thank you all! I think that, with all of you, we have the Newsletter project happening once again and we are contributing to offer something different to the world. Isn’t it great?!

IGIP IMC Workshop on the Design of a New IGIP Basic Curriculum in Prague

By Tiia Rüütmann (ING.PAED.IGIP), President of IGIP IMC

On March 13, 2019 the IGIP IMC workshop on the redesign of a new IGIP Basic Curriculum was held at Czech Technical University in Prague. The following IGIP IMC members participated in the workshop: Pavel Andres (the leader of the workshop), Roman Hrmo, Ivana Šimonova, Tiia Rüütmann and Dana Dobrovska.

Proposals for IGIP curriculum development and modernisation by IGIP members were discussed and relevant suggestions made. It was decided that there will be two modules in the new curriculum: compulsory and elective modules. Also different subjects of didactics will be united. The design of the new curriculum to the amount of 20 ECTS will continue. All the participants of the workshop will continue with individual work on curriculum design. Online discussions will follow. The first draft of the new curriculum will be discussed within the EC in autumn.

Erasmus+ Programme ENTER Exports the Ideas of IGIP Basic Curriculum to Technical Universities of Russia and Kazakhstan

By Tiia Rüütmann

Programme ENTER aims at creating a novel multicultural and international approach for formal post-graduate professional and pedagogical education for engineering educators. Furthermore, it is focused on low cost and convenience, thus strongly based on e-learning technologies, whenever feasible, and designed with the objective of being internationally recognized and accredited. In order to design the ENTER iPET programme, a thorough market and requirements analysis of HEIs and educators needs will be conducted, focused on the EU and partner countries, but also considering opportunities in other markets like North Africa, South America and Asia. The ENTER iPET programme, accredited internationally by Estonian Centre for Engineering Pedagogy at TTU, proposes a hierarchy of 3 structured educational programs for engineering educators, in the context of the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning. The actual design is to be one of the outputs of the project, but we foresee 3 educational programs with different content and duration (names are tentative): iPET-1 Short-focused (e.g. 2 ECTS) – “Qualification Development” Certificate; iPET-2 Professional Retraining (e.g. 8 ECTS) – Diploma ‘’Higher Education Teacher”; iPET-3 Internationally recognized (e.g. 20 ECTS) – a full programme leading to international accreditation as “Engineering Educator”. Programmes have modular structure, i.e. modules of iPET-1 are included in iPET-2, and both are included in iPET-3. This provides a sustainable improvement path that educators can walk at their own pace. It will also be possible for the educators to combine modules from different ENTER network members. Whenever possible, ENTER will avoid duplicating existing offers. For example, the International Engineering Educator Certificate ING-PAED provided by IGIP will certainly be a reference in the iPET programme design.

The programme partners from Europe are: Instituto Politécnico do Porto (Portugal), Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), and Dubnicky Technologicky Institut v Dubnicki nad Vahom (Slovakia). Partners implementing the designed iPET programmes are: Agency of Educational Strategies and Initiatives Bologna Club (Russia), Russian Association for Engineering Education, Don State Technical University (Russia), Tambov State Technical University (Russia), Tomsk Polytechnic University (Russia), Vyatka State University (Russia), Academician Ya Buketov Karaganda State University (Kazakhstan), Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Kazakhstan), Kazakhstan Association of Engineering Education (Kazakhstan), Kazan National Research Technological University (Kazakhstan).

On May 29-31, 2019 the next ENTER programme meeting will be held at Tambov State Technical University (Russia), where the consortium of Russian and Kazakhstan technical universities will be created, who will implement the results of the programme.

University Corner - Project Based Learning

By Lígia Lopes, FBAUP, and Jorge Lino, FEUP

The Master Degree in Product and Industrial Design of UPorto (a partnership between the Faculty of Engineering - FEUP and the Faculty of Fine Arts - FBAUP) offers its students the opportunity to have a direct contact with companies in the context of project. This approach has been beneficial from both the pedagogical point of view and by opening the design communication channels between Academe and Industry.

In the Curricular Unit of Industrial Design Project, taught at FEUP, we seek that this approach responds to challenges launched by the companies, or we design project opportunities after an analysis of the products, technologies or even the conceptual approach of the products that the companies can offer.

From the recent experiences, we can refer the design of footwear proposals, for which we have "brought" to FEUP people with cerebral palsy, therapists, an orthopaedist, and a Norwegian company with production in Portugal that manufactures orthopaedic and adapted footwear; or for example the design of urban furniture where we collaborated until the production phase; or the case of the last academic year, with a partnership with Ikea Industry Paços de Ferreira that produces wooden furniture.

In the Tribute to Life project, designed specifically for Ikea Industry Paços de Ferreira, a design opportunity appeared after a first visit to the factory. After verifying the quantity and type of waste, as well as the company's concern to create a strategy for its reduction in the short term, it was found that this would be an opportunity to design and submit low cost products, in which students could only propose the addition of at most 10% of materials "external" to the company, like accessories or connectors.

For the project, students had to consider the Five R's policy (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle) by reflecting on the product life cycle, relating it to the cycle of human life - delaying its end and dignifying its death as a product, granting it a new end, a new product. Some design constraints were imposed, such as object sizing and packaging design, which also had to be projected using wastes.

The design contributions of the class exceeded the expectations of the company, with twenty-one proposals that managed to embrace the concept outlined for the project. The students used cardboard boxes, pine slats that are used as wooden board separators in transportation to the factory, and small MDF squares and rectangles that are leftovers from CNC cutting of kitchen doors in which later glass is incorporated in these cuts.

The results for its formal simplicity - children's toys, objects for home decoration, vertical garden stands, rulers, modular objects, desk lamps, etc., show that a material that is already of no commercial value can be converted back into a product and again achieve utilitarian and emotional appreciation in buyers if their story can be told.

The impact of the projects has been a great source of student and companies’ recruitment for the course. We believe that we are in the right path.

From Assembly Language to Neural Networks: A Tribute to Kathleen Booth

By James Wolfer, Indiana University, South Bend

As I write this, it is March, Women’s History Month, a good time to reflect on the contribution of women to computing. So, I would like to introduce a relatively unknown pioneer. While most know Ada Lovelace who pioneered algorithms and the Analytical Engine, and many are aware of the contributions of Grace Hopper and the invention of early compiler tools, fewer have heard of Kathleen Booth who pioneered hardware and software, with research ranging from instruction sets to neural networks.

Kathleen Britten, while obtaining her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, worked at Birkbeck College, London, from 1946 to 1962. Working as a research assistant to Andrew Booth on the design and construction of “calculators” to support the study of crystallography, she accompanied him to Princeton University where they were able to meet with John von Neumann. This contact led them to redesign their circuitry into a “von Neumann” architecture, ultimately resulting in the APE(X)C (All Purpose Electronic Computer – X-Ray) in 1952 [1].

In addition to their technical collaboration, Kathleen Britten and Andrew Booth married in 1950, and ultimately had two children. Kathleen Booth remained active, inventing what is known today as Assembly Language, co-authoring a book with Andrew Booth, “Automatic Digital Calculators,” in 1955 [2] and authoring “Programming for an Automatic Digital Calculator” in 1958 [3].

It is instructive to read her 1958 book to see how serious the material was for such an early time in computing. While terminology has changed, for example what we would call an instruction today was known as an “order code” then, amazingly the approaches and applications have not.

For example, the APE(X)C was a 32-bit, binary, computer, with an Accumulator and shift register, along with instruction store. Input was via a 5-hole paper tape, output was also on punched tape, which could be subsequently run through a teleprinter. “Memory” was a rotating magnetic cylinder (also invented by Andrew Booth) which could store 8192 32-bit words, for a total of 32K bytes in today’s terms. The instruction set contained 15 instructions, including some repeating “vector order” operations.

With only fifteen instructions, little memory, and only assembly language, what would you expect to use as programming applications for your textbook? Maybe a counter? Perhaps guessing game, prime numbers? Not Dr. Booth! Here are some of the applications with chapters in her book: fast division, and square root by several methods, with discussion of speed and accuracy tradeoff, polynomial evaluation, sine/cosine computation, and, of course, integration. All in assembly language – which, by the way, she had to invent! But there is still more. She also covers matrix multiplication and simultaneous linear equations, floating point arithmetic, and, of course, debugging. All with detailed programs to illustrate.

But wait, there is still more! After all, it is an “Automatic Digital Calculator,” it should be able to do arithmetic. Let’s step it up. The introductory paragraph for chapter 9: “The use of an electronic computer to translate text from one language to another is one of the more exotic application of these machines and much of the pioneering work in this field has been done at Birkbeck College, London, using the APEXC”, then “The programme given below is one of several which have been constructed for translating from French into English, and it illustrates most of the features of M.T. programmes,” followed by programs to illustrate.

So, Google Translate may not be a new invention after all, except the techniques have advanced and we are transitioning from imperative programming to machine learning paradigms, such as Deep Learning (a re-emergence of artificial neural networks), to augment our systems. Such paradigms didn’t exist back then, right? Wrong! Her annual report for 1958/1959 lists Dr. Booth’s work simulating a neural network to investigate animal pattern recognition, and a neural network for character recognition [1]!

So there you have it. With connections from Assembly Language to modern Deep Learning, Kathleen Booth played a substantial role in the development of computing as we know it today.

[1] Birkbeck University of London, “School of Computer Science and Information Systems: A short History”, http://www.dcs.bbk.ac.uk/site/assets/files/1029/50yearsofcomputing.pdf

[2] Andrew D. Booth and Kathleen H. V. Booth, “Automatic Digital Calculators”, Butterworths, London, 1955.

[3] Kathleen H. V. Booth, “Programming for an Automatic Digital Calculator”, Butterworths, London, 1958.

Talking about Teaching: Does Technology Add Value to Your Classes?

By Susan M. Zvacek, Teaching and Learning Consultant, Castle Rock, Colorado

When do students learn more: When they take a course taught by a teacher in a traditional classroom or when they take that same course offered online? Would you be surprised to hear that there’s no difference? (Yeah, it was a trick question.) If we compare two courses in which the only variable is the use of technology, there’s no significant difference in student achievement. In fact, so many studies have shown this to be the case that it’s come to be known as the NSD Phenomenon.

If that’s true, then why bother with expensive and time-consuming technology at all? Because although the machines don’t make a difference, they enable the things that do. Translation? We do know that certain instructional strategies can lead to increased learning and many of these strategies work best in technology-enhanced environments. We also know that learning is retained longer when students are actively engaged with course content, and technology can facilitate this engagement in ways that are difficult to do (if not impossible) in the traditional classroom.

For example, learning is reinforced when students have an opportunity to practice newly-acquired skills and get feedback on how well they’re progressing. Sure, you could assign dozens of homework problems every day, but do you really have time to grade all of them? What if, instead, you created an online practice quiz that presented questions drawn randomly from a pool? Feedback could be provided automatically, and students have the option to take the quiz multiple times.

We also know that some content requires reflection and the chance to frame ideas within the context of the assigned readings. An in-class discussion may be great for this, but is everyone going to have an opportunity to participate? What about students who understand the ideas but don’t articulate them well at a moment’s notice or because English is not their first language? Online discussions could be ideal for this by allowing every student to take the floor and giving everyone a chance to think about what they want to say before answering.

Another example could be that of students learning to work as part of a collaborative team. Group work has a (mostly well-deserved) bad reputation among students due to unequal participation of group members and logistical problems of convening the group outside of class time. With a group wiki site, students can share the work without being in the same place at the same time, and you can not only track the group’s progress but also see who contributed what to the resulting product.

So, does technology enhance student learning? Sure, when it’s used to implement strategies that we know result in learning and when it’s used to engage students with course content. “Otherwise,” as Edward R. Murrow said, “It’s nothing but wires and lights in a box.”

The Rise of English Club in a STEM centered university: Let’s Not Get Too Technical

By Sophia Shwartz and Julia Ziyatdinova, KNRTU

Kazan National Research Technological University (KNRTU) is one of the top-rated institutions in Russia, dedicated to training future professionals in STEM-related fields. However, until recently, there has been little focus on languages, apart from the basics and technical English. Due to the academic nature of the university, it offers languages only as an additional education degree or minor (U.S. equivalent). Understandably, this limits exposure and practice of languages to the students leading to a deficiency in their knowledge. The overall language curriculum in Russia is well adept in terms of grammar and vocabulary but, unfortunately, severely lacks speech practice. This is reflected on student’s lack of participation due to insufficient confidence in activities which require speaking skills.

Fortunately, at KNRTU this past year, an opportunity was presented to begin an English Club, as the university was assigned a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant from the United States, Sophia Shwartz. She, along with Professor Gulnaz Fakhretdinova, act as moderators. Students were proposed to discuss topics which interested them or, at least, to notify the moderators of a topic, which they wanted to gain vocabulary and phrases in. In the first semester, particularly at the beginning, there continued to be a lack of participation, but with increased encouragement and reassurance, even students with lower level English skills began to try and formulate sentences with other students assisting to fill the gaps or correct mistakes. Some students came to “just listen” and although they rarely spoke, they always attended. The second semester of English Club began a few weeks ago and with great joy, attendance was overwhelming. The same students who, in the first semester, were quiet and “just listened”, were now leading the conversations. Another wonderful observation was that the students were not afraid to speak about what they actually did or their actual feelings, in other words, they did not censor themselves to textbook English. Despite slight mistakes and occasional pauses, this new atmosphere was extremely inspiring.

It can be argued that this kind of English language skills is not necessary for STEM students. However, as active participants in an increasingly globalized society, these skills open up possibilities for truer communication, communication which is not based on memorized phrases. It also allows students to speak more confidently because they are not constantly trying to recall what grammatical rule was noted in some book or what phrase was better to use in what situation. The fluidity of their speech increases and it is more natural, allowing them to build relationships with people and companies.

In summary, English Club has proven to be a vital resource for STEM students, as a way to enhance their skills and provide a stress-free, active environment for language learning.

Solutions for effective problem solving

By Sofia S.M. Pereira, IST, Lisbon

Consider the following scenario – you’ve been making a series of exercises in problem-solving classes intended to prepare the group for the upcoming test. In the test, you use a similar problem to those showed in classes with only a little shift. Result? Most students fail.

Only last week, a colleague was shocked to find that most students failed the first exercise of a test because they considered velocity equal to zero when the exercise formulation specifically indicated that it was a jet aircraft flying. When I asked what happened he replied: “In class, we solved a similar problem but where the jet was waiting for departure and, in that case, velocity did equal zero. The formula and the calculus were similar, just with a number instead of zero, they just had to understand that!”

They just had to understand that… In a typical problem-solving class students have to look at the board, try to understand the teacher´s handwriting, write and crosscheck what they are writing. On top of this, they have to be really fast or the board is deleted before they are finished. And finally, really excelling at multitasking, they will actually be listening to the teacher and process some useful information out of it. Has the student understood the problem´s reasoning in such a depth that he will be able to reproduce it in another situation? Probably not.

Let´s then consider the best case scenario. An experienced teacher was lecturing, he stopped, asked questions, really focused on why the velocity was zero, and the student was able to understand, at that moment, clearly the reason why. However, he only listened to the explanation. The teacher, like the vast majority of its peers, used the board to write the how and stopped to explain the why, but the why remained unwritten. Students value what the professor values – if the why is not on the board, students won’t write it either. Later, when studying from their notes, they will see the how, but how many will actually remember the why? When going through their notes, they can actually become very good at recognizing that specific type of resolution and develop the illusion that they understood it completely, when actually the why is missing.

Recognizing is different than recalling. Recognizing is seeing something and having the illusion that we know it. Recalling is remembering the steps and being able to reproduce them autonomously. When problem-solving is at stake, recalling is needed, so it is that process that should be trained in order to maximize the student´s learning.

Additionally, students have been in passive learning mode every step of the way. They were not actively participating when listening or copying the board contents. Their chances at actually retaining the key concepts and reasonings are again diminished, as passive learning leads to low cognitive processing [1].

As an exercise, look for a one-minute “How to do an origami” video on Youtube. Watch it very carefully, take all the notes you can. At the end of it, actually try to do the origami by yourself, taking your notes as reference. You have just watched the video, it’s one minute of instruction, it seems easy and it is not advanced calculus, right? However, unless you are previously versed in the arts of origami, you will most certainly fail. You were only watching. When you try to recall, challenges emerge.

So the problems with problem-solving on the board are mainly that we ask our students to do a multiplicity of different processes simultaneously; the learning is passive; there is little focus on the why, much focus on the how. Several authors have addressed this situation. Eric Mazur, in his famous video “Confessions of a converted lecturer” [2], explains that “you don’t derive benefit from seeing a physicist solve problems, (…) like if you want to train for a marathon you don’t sit on the couch eating popcorn watching DVD tapes of marathon runners, you have to do the running. If you want to run problem-solving, you have to do the problem solving, you don’t learn by watching somebody else doing it”.

So, how can we overcome the problems with problem-solving? There are several solutions, proposed by several authors [3].

One solution is – let them do the running, dividing the running into small steps. How can we divide a problem-solving in steps? Like we would in any other engineering problem: 1 – Collect relevant data and define the problem; 2 - Come up with possible solutions; 3 - Evaluate and choose one solution; 4 – Implement the solution. The first three steps are the why, the most challenging part of problem-solving. Only the fourth is the how.

Then, decide a time for phase 1, and transmit that time to students. Ideally, make the time visible . So the group will have, for example, 2 minutes for collecting relevant data and defining the problem by themselves.

After this individual work, make it cooperative – have students work in pairs to share what they have thought (2 minutes again). Springer, Stanne, and Donovan (2002, quoted by Felder [5]) found, in their meta-analysis [6] that cooperative learning has a significant effect not only in achievement but also on persistence. According to Felder and Brent (2004)[5] because, besides other advantages, they “see and learn alternative problem-solving strategies”.

After this, collect some responses and give your vision of one of the possible approaches. Now, you can move to phase 2, coming up with solutions (most of the times, you can join this one with phase 3 – evaluate and choose the solution to implement). Let´s give 3 minutes to students to think individually, have them collaborate after that and at the end, collect and discuss the alternatives that appeared. Now, repeat the process for phase 4.

You will find challenges in applying this method, because, as our students do, we reproduce what our professors did. Once you change your classes, be prepared to be amazed. You will listen to distinct approaches from yours, but actually valid ones. That is the magic of active learning – students truly think for themselves, while training for the marathon... and become amazing runners, just like we want them to.

[1]  Prince, M. (2004). Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research. J. Engineering Educ., 93(3), 223–231.

[2]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvw68sLlfF8&t=83s

[3]  Felder, R. M., & Brent, R. (2009). Active learning: An introduction. ASQ higher education brief, 2(4), 1-5.


[4]  For countdown timers to insert on slides, visit https://timertopia.wordpress.com/new-timers/

[5]  R. M. Felder & R. Brent, National Effective Teaching Institute, 2004.


[6]  Springer, L., Stanne, M. E., & Donovan, S. (2002). Measuring the success of small-group learning in college-level SMET teaching: A meta-analysis. policy and practice, 4, 5. http://archive.wceruw.org/cl1/cl/resource/scismet.pdf


IGIP President is honoured at King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok

On 15th March 2019, IGIP President visited King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB).

The IGIP President received a royal token and a royal plaque of appreciation as the honorable guest from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at a momentous event “KMUTNB Techno Exhibition: 60 Years of Invention Challenges to Innovation”.

In this day, Prof. Dr. habil. Dr. H.C. Hanno Hortsch was also invited to attend a private lunch with HRH at Navamindra Rajini Building.

IGIP Young Scientist Award Corner – Tiago Andrade 2012 (interview)

Q. - When you prepared your application to the IGIP Young Scientist award in 2012, you were forced to look at your activities, even while a student, possibly in a different way than you would have done before. Do you remember any specific detail from that exercise?

A. - The revisitation of the various activities and projects carried out during and after my degree as mechanical engineer has been done from a definitely different perspective never before analysed or perceived by me. This exercise allowed me to reflect about diverse items, but, in my opinion, the one which had most relevance for me was the importance of engaging in extra-curricular activities. The degree that I have chosen, Mechanical Engineering, has undoubtedly been the best option that I could have made. Anyhow, the course structure, regardless of its flexibility, never covers all the student preferences, and this makes sense because there must be a standard. Therefore, this reflexive exercise has led me to the conclusion that my involvement in extra-curricular activities has been fundamental to complement my engineering education background and perceive my future professional career. I had the opportunity to actively participate in many discussions related to various patent processes within the research team at FEUP, which I  integrated as a research engineer for nearly 9 years.

Q. - What kind of sensation do you recall from that moment when you received the news about your nomination?

A. - My nomination left me very happy by seeing that the learning path of my choice has been recognized by a jury with high international standard in the professional area. Anyhow, what made me really happier was the opportunity it provided for a retrospective assessment of both my university life and my career as a novice engineer. Without the incentive to participate, most likely I would not had performed a profound and rewarding meditation.

Q. - Do you still remember the Conference where the Award was delivered?

A. - I do indeed remember! Of the many conferences I attended, this has been one of the most relevant, and which left both good and bad memories. One scary moment was when I realized the size of the crowded room for my presentation, which was frightening for someone not used to speak even for small audiences and, moreover, in a “foreign” language. As to the good moments, there is, for instance, my presentation, which went very well, mostly due to the videos that I had prepared for illustrating the work developed. I also encountered there a good friend, with whom some collaborative work was later done. And I still recall a wonderful ice cream cup with a paper Mozart stuck on top, at the end of a long Conference day.

Q. - Was the participation in that Conference valuable?

A. - It has been definitely a very valuable Conference for me, not just by having received an award and encountered a new friend, but because it opened my eyes technically speaking. It made me reflect on the experience I had collected during the years on software and hardware development and look at it from a new perspective.

Q. - What is your present field of activity?

A. - At the moment I work at Wisify Tech Solutions, a startup created jointly with a friend in August 2018. The company, as a result of its applied research and development activity, has two products already licensed by University of Porto. The first is Lipowise, a digital skinfold caliper for body fat assessment. The second is Gripwise, a digital device to measure the strength profile of different muscular groups. Both are integrated in a platform that provides several tools for professionals in the areas of sport, nutrition and medicine.

Q. - What has been the influence of the Award in your professional path towards your current activity?

A. - The Award essentially helped me to advance in the professional trajectory that I was already pursuing, with a strong focus on a hands-on combination between theory and practice. This has been the strategy that I selected to consolidate knowledge, to study and to progress professionally. The Award has therefore shown me that this was the right direction.

Rather an ordinary person

By Samita Maitra, Professor and Dean (Academics), B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bangalore

Tying a piece of long cloth around my head and allowing it to dangle as a long hair, I used to imagine myself a teacher when I was a little girl. I come from the eastern region of India. The region took maximum pressure when the country was involved in freedom struggle in 1947. My father’s family had to relocate to Calcutta during that time. As a small kid, I used to listen to stories from my grandmother about the lush green fields they had for growing paddy and the country houses they used to live was big enough for a large family. During the struggling period for independence, India had to forgo two most fertile portions of the country: Punjab to the west and Bengal to the east. My grandfather had to leave all his belongings in Bangladesh and relocated to independent India. Since then my father had a big struggle for livelihood. The popular profession, then and now too, remains engineering and business. Academics was never considered a rewarding profession financially. Hence the prospect of me becoming a teacher never appealed to my family, who thought professional education is the only means for alleviating the maladies of life. My parents used to dream big for me.

I used to enjoy science in my school days and my math and science teacher were always a big favorite for me. At home my father used to teach me regularly and during summer vacation I still remember the homework my father gave were largely on math and English. Due to our struggling past, it was not possible for us to take any chance with studies and becoming a topper was considered as a matter of pride. Unlike the recent days, when I see that a student performing well is considered as unfashionable nerd. In our time, we used to look-up-to the topper of the class and always tried internally hard to achieve the top position in academics. This helped me to perform reasonably well in the school leaving examination. My teachers played a role and they were kind and never humiliated us for any mistakes we did.

Time came then to decide on my future course of action in studies. Here I must mention that my parents always gave importance to my academics, but never even suggested any direction on the stream to be chosen by me. Being a girl from lower middle class background, my schooling was in vernacular medium. That was one point of concern of me and my parents. I consider myself as one of the privileged ones. Here I wish to indicate that in order to encourage more enrolment of students to schools, India Government provides mid-day meal in the schools. This had been a successful move from the government, which increased the literacy rate. According to 2016 data, 564K boys and 428K girls appeared in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examination. The pass percentage of girls is higher with 88% with respect to that 78% boys clear the same examination. This is an encouraging trend. Even the enrollment for higher education for boys is 179K and girls 153 K.

While in undergraduate education, it became clear to me that Chemistry is my interest and the way my interest shaped the whole credit goes to my college teachers. They taught with care and concern. We read books written by international authors and the subject matter was made interesting by explanation. All these books were in English and I was so surprised that I never had any difficulty in understanding those books, in spite of my background of learning in vernacular medium. The credit mainly goes to my summer vacation studies on English. Those were not the days of the modern teaching methodologies and the ability of a teacher was very important. Maybe this was the time I understood the importance of a teacher in shaping the future of a student. I studied in all ladies college and in a class of 15 we all were a determined lot. My success was gradual and I did well in college, so that I got free seat in the university. In university I studied Chemical Engineering. I must admit, the engineering course appeared very uninteresting as compared to science and it was rather difficult to start with. The major block was Engineering Drawing and Mechanics. Even though the teacher took care, but the process of drawing a line of length 1.15 cm for engineering drawing was not a nice challenge to put up with. For me, failure was never an option. After securing first class (more than 60 %) in aggregate, I was a happy confident individual. The job market was in developing stage and the first job that I got was in a design firm involved in preparing a know-how on scaling up operation. I started getting confused and was wondering the future course of my action as the job was not paying me well and I was finding it monotonous. Here it is interesting to share an observation that the enrolment of girls in higher education increased from 39% to 46% from 2007 to 2014, but female participation in India’s labor force declined to a low of 27% in 2014 from 34% in 1999, according to a 2015 survey. The reason is socioeconomical.

At home we were nurtured in a progressive environment, but society was not considerate. Marriage was one duty that a father needs to complete well within the time a daughter is in her early twenties. It is customary for the family to look for a suitable match for the daughter and I came to an entirely different part of the country, that is south. From struggling east, I came to affluent south. I was by then sure to continue my higher studies for which one has to appear for national level selection examination. It needed a lot of preparation and the success rate was low. But the wish to become successful is a combination of one’s own determination and the expectations from the immediate family. For me, both were considerably high.

The experience as a researcher was quite fulfilling, as I was a graduate student in the premier institute of the country. We had to experiment and validate the reason behind selective separation of surface active proteins from a mixture based on their surface activity. Protein molecules have large molecular weight and we could establish that protein transfers comparatively faster than the rate of its adsorption from the bulk of the solution to the interface.

The generation I belong to has seen India grow from a poor country to a developing one. Teaching in an engineering college had thus been a fulfilling experience, where the engineering education for the country is considered as the stepping stone towards betterment of the life of an average citizen. The changing population of students in each class motivates a teacher who is a lifelong learner.

Talking about Teaching (TaT’19)

Dear Colleague,

We kindly invite you to visit the announcement of the Special Session TaT’19, to be hosted by ICL 2019 - the 22nd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning and the 48th IGIP International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy, 25-28 September 2019, Bangkok, Thailand. The due date for the submission of complete papers (short papers and works in progress) will be 03 Jun 2019. Please feel free to contact us.

See you in Bangkok!

Teresa Restivo, Susan Zvacek, Alberto Cardoso, José Marques

6th International PBL Symposium 2020 – IPBLS2020

By Dr. Martin Jaeger, Senior Manager PBL Center, Associate Professor, Australian College of Kuwait

Under the theme “Embrace Disruption, Rethink Learning”, the Republic Polytechnic in Singapore is organizing the 6th international Problem-Based Learning Symposium from 25-27 March 2020.

The symposium critically examines the notion of ‘disruption’ and what that means for ‘learning’, and it is a meeting of a community of professionals, including teachers, academics, trainers, practitioners, industry partners and policy makers to network and exchange ideas.

The call for papers is open and the organizer welcomes contributions on research, development and practices relating to Problem-based Learning, Project-based Learning, and other active learning methodologies based on the Symposium theme.

ICTIEE 2019, India

The 6th International Conference on Transformations in Engineering Education (ICTIEE 2019) took place in Hyderabad on the 6th and 7th of January and Chandigarh on the 10th and 11th of January. The focal points of the conference were:

Teaching and Learning Centers

IIEECP Certification

Engineering Projects in Community Service

Outcomes Based Education

Virtual and Remote Labs

First Year Engineering Experiences


Engineering Education Research

Global Challenges Scholar Program

Industry 4.0

At the same time, the participants were offered to take part in a certificate program. The Indian engineering organization has been successfully offering a certificate program for Engineering Educator since 2015. This Indo Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education program, IUCEE, is based on the IGIP Prototype Curriculum. In 2015, IUCEE with the assistance of IGIP has started IIEECP certification for engineering faculty. The objective of the certification is to provide engineering educators with the qualifications, competencies and tools for effective engineering education.

During the conference, Forward-Looking Talks tool place between the Executive Director of IUCEE, Vishna Vedula, and the President of IGIP. It was agreed to continue working together to develop a high-quality Prototype curriculum for Engineering Educators and, as far as possible, to exchange lecturers for the implementation of such programs. During the conference, the title “International Engineering Educator was awarded to 7 Indian colleagues.

Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation 2019, Bengaluru, India

By Harshita Choradia, B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bengaluru, India

The Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation Conference was held in B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bengaluru, on 3-5 February, 2019. The conference was one of the major events organised by the college. It hosted over 100 national and international delegates for the 3 day conference.

The conference had an active group of volunteers tirelessly working towards its success. It had on ground preparation for a month before the event. All student volunteers looked forward to REV 2019.

The conference brought along with it a whole lot of opportunities and a widespread network. We connected with delegates around the world, exchanging ideas and cultures. The experience was one of a kind. Along with the many opportunities that it brought, t also had a lot to teach us. We learnt how to deal with various situations dynamically, honing our management and communication skills.

It was a truly wonderful experience for all of us at Bengaluru and an absolute pleasure to host REV 2019.

Workshop “Evaluating Online Experimentation” in REV’19

By Teresa Restivo

The workshop was conducted by Diana Urbano and Teresa Restivo during the Annual IAOE Conference “Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation” (REV'19), hosted by the B.M.S. College of Engineering, Bengaluru, India, February 03, 2019.

The workshop was based on two online virtual experiments. The first tested the elastic force of different virtual springs being interacted by a haptic device for feeling the different magnitude of the force needed to compress them, according to their geometry and material; the second virtual experiment used an augmented reality puzzle to handle a number of simple DC circuit topologies using different elements (bulbs, switch, dc motor and one battery).

The participants were invited to use the experiments within the methodology of pre- and post-tests of conceptual questions, in order to demonstrate a procedure for evaluating student improvement after using the systems. A final discussion, based on results from other similar situations with a representative sample, closed the 1h30 min workshop.

This workshop was one of the activities of the WG Information Technologies in EE.

Engineering Pedagogy at Technical University of Kožice

By Ing. Daniela Petríková, PhD.

The Department of Engineering Education (KIP) at the Technical University of Košice has historically had the longest continuously educated academics of IGIP standard in Slovakia. As a result, KIP was invited to give a presentation at the workshop "Professional education of university teachers in Slovakia and the Czech Republic". This was organised by the University of Economics in Bratislava as a part of international cooperation, Erasmus+ strategic partnerships. Assistant professors Mária Benková and Daniela Petríková from KIP took a part in the workshop, as well as a number of universities and institutions in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. In addition, The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and the American Chamber of Commerce also were involved in the workshop.

There was presented KIP´s long-term experience in training teachers, according to the IGIP standard by Mária Benková. She provided information about the objectives of education at KIP, the structure of education in accordance with IGIP international standards, core data (numbers of participants and graduates for the past years and in the current run of IGIP). She gave an overview of Department implementation of the objectives and where she sees the areas that can be improved.

To find out more: click here