IGIP Newsletter - Issue 02 - 2018

17th September 2018

IGIP Newsletter - Issue 02 - 2018

Editor Column

By José Marques

This new issue of the IGIP Newsletter is being timely published a few days ahead of ICL 2018, the 21th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, jointly with the 47th IGIP International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy, which will soon take place in the Greek island of Kos, in the blue waters of the Aegean Sea, off the Anatolian coast of Turkey.

Kos will provide the perfect background for exploring the main Conference theme, “The Challenges of the Digital Transformation in Education”, in what will surely be a very successful scientific and social event, in a fantastic setting full of landmarks from ancient times.

I hope you enjoy reading the Newsletter and I wish we all be meeting in Kos very soon.

President's Column

By Hanno Hortsch, IGIP President

At present, enormous changes can be observed in the organization of the engineer's work, tasks and duties. These changes go far beyond the commonly known terms such as "Industry 4.0" or "digitization". Changes in the labour organization from classical hierarchical structures to lean management or lean production oriented labour organization also change the character of the work of engineers.

Changes can be observed both in the merging of work tasks by highly qualified skilled workers or technicians with those of engineers. On the other hand, in the middle management of companies there are takeovers of work tasks by the engineer as well as increased responsibility in the area of management such as budget or project responsibility. Personnel deployment and qualification are also increasingly the subject of an engineer's job. Something similar can be said for the economic, ecological and ethical responsibility for technical and technological solutions.

However, these changes, which are not specifically mentioned here, should give us reason to think about our IGIP Prototype Curriculum. On the one hand, our curriculum should clarify the specifics of the activities (duties and tasks) of engineers in their various workplaces. On the other hand, we should very clearly differentiate our curriculum from the curricula offered in the many newly established institutes for higher pedagogy or didactics. Of course, these curricula have their legitimacy and a high value for a good development especially of the teaching quality of higher education institutions. Often, however, they are too general for engineers and not related to their activities. At this point, our organization should take responsibility and rethink the existing curriculum. This should be done both in terms of content (more focused on engineering activities) and organizational (flexible and more on the individual work process related forms of learning).

At the same time, we should rethink the target group for our curriculum. In addition to the Engineering Educators, especially the management in teaching and research at the higher education institutions with the peculiarities of the engineering education as well as the career paths of future engineers seem to have an information and thus further training need.

Possible future target groups of our curriculum could be:

·         Engineering Educators - Staff at Higher Education Institutions

·         Future Staff in Engineering Education – PhD, ...

·         Students in Engineering and Sciences Courses at Higher Education Institutions

·         Deans and Heads of Engineering Faculties, Schools or Departments

·         Management at Higher Education Institutions

·         Technical Vocational Teacher at Vocational Colleges (?)

These statements, however, require a profound discussion.

I hope to have opened a very exciting discussion field. At the same time, I see our accredited IGIP training centers as responsible and expect them to participate in this discussion with their diverse, valuable experience.

Executive Board Column

By Teresa Restivo, IGIP Past President

The IGIP Newsletter has been an additional opportunity to show to its community the active engagement of members of IGIP executive board. Different profiles of dynamic executive board members, aligned with the focus and needs of IGIP, may have positive effects on the Society performance.

For the IGIP Newsletter, we strongly need the board members ability to collaborate and work together and with us. We also need this ability from all IGIP members. And, last but not the least, the same from all IGIP friends.

This specific Newsletter issue is one good example! With all of them, board members, IGIP members and IGIP friends, the forum is open once again! Susan Zvacek continues her column “Talking about Teaching”. Thanks Susan! You know, I totally agree with your words!

Teresa Larkin in “Teaching Large Classes: Have We Figured It Out Yet?” and James Wolfer in “A Collaborative Classroom”, accepted my provocative discussion where I was looking at so many present huge classes equipped with technology but, nevertheless, dealing with very old and well known problems. So, they brought their personal views and experience, which we hope will have a snowball effect for this and many other possible topics. Who, among all of you, will launch the next discussion?

So, and going back to what I already said in one past Newsletter “Thank you for working with me and for supporting my hope in introducing a difference by connecting IGIP people, so as to make this Community more alive, tuned and active by receiving a new set of articles, announcements and news”.

Dear IGIP Community and IGIP friends, we have to carry on!

Executive Board Column

By Axel Zafoschnig, Vice President of IGIP

Under the title “The Challenges for Professional Engineering Education in Training Master Students towards Industry 4.0 and Made in China 2015”, the International Centre for Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO (ICEE) and the International Institute for Developing Engineering Academics (IIDEA) have once again organised a fantastic workshop in the field of capacity building and training activities for the engineering education community in China at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Leading experts, like IFEES President Michael Auer, who spoke about topics like “The Need of a New Paradigm in Engineering Education on Graduate Level”, “The Requirements of a Shared Global Engineering Education Ecosystem”, and “The Role of Universities of Applied Sciences in Professional Engineering Education on Master Level”, or Siva Chandrasekaran from Swinburne University of Technology, who focussed on “21st century skills and competences for engineering students”, as well as Yacob Astatke from Morgan State University, who introduced his ”Experimental Lab Pedagogy” to the interested audience, worked as facilitators for the implementation of new growth mechanisms for the community of faculty developers in engineering education. I myself had the chance to talk about VET initiatives in Austria and about ”Professional Master Degree Programs in Engineering from a European Perspective” and the Chinese host expert Kang Jincheng emphasised China′s efforts in the field of strategy building for the nationwide campaign “Improving Manufacturing in China by 2025”.

This successful 2-day workshop for Chinese professors, administrators and graduate students was characterised by the enormous interest, full engagement and lively discussions contributed by the participants from different universities and resulted in a lot of fruitful talks on how to modernise engineering education and to meet future challenges.

In addition, all four guest lecturers and workshop leaders were also asked to give keynote talks in the “2nd International Forum for Online Engineering Education 2018”, which was organised by ICEE in cooperation with the renowned MOOC provider “XuetangX”, a top Chinese enterprise that uses online education to solve current problems and show how modern teaching technology can be used to promote innovative teaching models and to share resources.

Summarising, it may be said that this series of workshops and the forum have once again strengthened the ties between the Chinese hosts and the global engineering education expert community. All four IIDEA speakers could share their expertise with officers from the Chinese Ministry of Education, with Deans and Administrators of engineering education, with Heads of engineering departments, as well as with professors, lecturers and researchers in engineering education and online education. In this way, the rewarding events have continued the valuable workshop tradition and have helped to deepen the discussions on important topics of engineering education, such as Industry 4.0, digitalisation, re-skilling and up-skilling, or online learning.

Once again, thank you to the organisers, the workshop leaders and the interested Chinese engineering education community – the Tsinghua experience has once again shown that, although the technological and pedagogical challenges are becoming bigger, they can be mastered with united forces, innovation and creativity in the world of engineering education!

Message from the IGIP International Monitoring Committee

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

During the period January-September 2018 IGIP IMC received 66 applications for ING.PAED.IGIP qualification. ING.PAED.IGIP applications came from Russia (22), Estonia (6), Czech Republic (15), Ukraine (10), and Slovakia (13). 3 applications have been rejected, all other accepted in the process of review. Members of IGIP IMC reviewed applications online, in Conftool environment. For every application at least 2-3 reviewers were assigned. I would like to thank the members of IGIP IMC:  Dr Dana Dobrovská (Czech Technical University Prague Masaryk Institute of Advanced Studies, Czech Republic), Dr Ivana Simonova (Univerzita J. E. Purkyně v Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic), Dr Alexander Soloviev (MADI, Russia), Msc Hants Kipper (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia), and Dr José Couto Marques (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal) for their entire commitment, fruitful cooperation and thorough contribution to the work of IGIP IMC.

Talking about Teaching: The Relationship Between Knowledge and Skills

By Susan M. Zvacek, Speaker and Consultant, SMZteaching.com

I’m pretty sure that educators agree on a core set of ideas about teaching and learning, and one of those is that our students should acquire both knowledge and skills. With an emphasis on performance-based objectives (which is a good thing, in general) it might seem, however, that we’ve downplayed the importance of knowledge acquisition as a valuable end result. A balance of skill-building and content addresses the need to link theory and practice, but it’s helpful to consider more purposefully how knowledge and performance are related.

For several years I’ve advocated the use of objectives specifying higher-order thinking outcomes – skills such as analysis, problem-solving, or design.  Objectives using lower-order “action verbs” such as describe, list, or define vanished from my syllabi. Recently, though, I realized that this obscures the underlying foundational knowledge – the facts, concepts, terminology, and overall understanding – that makes this higher-order thinking possible. My new-found approach recaptures that information but assigns it a new role in my instructional planning.

My organizational structure is now built on a hierarchal framework with my overall goals for students (usually two or three of these) providing guidance for course development.  The course objectives/learning outcomes remain focused on higher-order skills that I hope students leave my class with and the successful accomplishment of those outcomes provides evidence that students have achieved the more expansive and broadly-described goals.

Next, I identify the knowledge that students need in order to perform the skills described in the objectives.  What are the key ideas they should know and understand? What is the body of knowledge supporting those higher-order skills?

I find it helpful to use a chart like the one below to organize my thinking and ensure that the goals, objectives, and knowledge components are aligned. This example is a small portion of the blueprint for the IGIP course, Theory and Practice of Engineering Education, that I taught for engineering instructors at the University of Porto.

Overall Course Goals

Objectives - Learners will be able to:

Knowledge -- Learners need to know/understand:

#2 (of 2): Design instruction using validated models and processes

#7 (of 9): Incorporate motivational elements in course design

ARCS-V model
Growth mindset/Grit
Self-efficacy and task challenge

Such information, based on your own course goals and outcomes, should be shared with students to clarify how the supporting concepts are related to higher-order objectives (i.e., skills), which lead to the achievement of broader, long-term goals. Objectives and supporting knowledge are interdependent; higher-order thinking relies on knowledge and knowledge fits into a meaningful cognitive structure for deep learning and retrieval. Explaining these relationships provides a level of transparency about why students are expected to learn what might otherwise seem like disconnected nuggets of information.

Try this out for yourself – it will make course planning more focused and manageable and can clarify your own thinking about what students should know and why.

Teaching Large Classes: Have We Figured It Out Yet?

By Teresa L. Larkin, American University, Washington, DC USA

In a recent newsletter, Teresa Restivo opened the door to a conversation about teaching large classes.  There she suggested that we think about strategies that could change the methodologies used at the institution, instructor, and student levels.  Teresa also encouraged IGIP to take the lead in this discussion to help bring about necessary changes pertaining to large classroom environments that would lead to the promotion of enhanced student learning.


I’d like to continue the discussion Teresa started and focus on factors that may influence teaching strategies in large classes.  To that end, I will begin with the question:  What are the best strategies for teaching large classes?   This question might seem fundamental, but it is one that I am not convinced we have found an answer to.  Full disclosure – I have been teaching at the university level for over 30 years and this is one of the first questions I asked as a young professor – largely because I had been assigned to teach some large-sized classes in the early years of my teaching.  Ironically, I recently heard one of my junior colleagues ask that very same question.   In some respects, the fact that this question is still being asked, seems a bit curious.  Hasn’t anyone figured out how to do it yet?   While I think all of us who have been assigned to teach large classes do our best to utilize strategies and techniques that have been proven effective in one way or the other.  Many of us borrow tips and strategies for teaching large classes from various STEM-education literature and research-based conferences and journals.  However, we still find ourselves asking the essential question – what works best in the large-classroom setting?  I personally don’t think there’s an easy, one-size-fits-all answer to this question.  There are many factors that must be considered.  For example, how do we define “large classroom”?  At some institutions, any class that has more than about 30 students in it is considered large.  For others, a large classroom is one with hundreds of students in it.  Can we use the same strategies for a class of 30 students as we can for a class of 300?    Perhaps there are other factors to consider besides effective teaching strategies.


I have recently been reading a book entitled “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World,” by Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen.  Gazzaley, a Neuroscience educator at the University of California, and Rosen, a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at California State University talk about how technological innovations, while enhancing our lives, may affect our brain’s “goal-directed functioning” with interference.  They argue that this interference can have a negative impact on cognition and behavior in daily activities.  Human beings tend to be very susceptible to interference (i.e. something that hinders or impedes another process).  As I read this book, I am wondering if distractions that seem to occur more often in large classrooms (simply because there are lots of people situated in a closed environment) in and of themselves may be hindering our progress in terms of finding effective strategies.  I’ll end this short article with a couple of questions. What effect might these distractions have on cognition and learning?  And, are there ways to reduce these distractions in a way that would promote student learning?  Let’s continue this discussion … 


A Collaborative Classroom

By James Wolfer, Indiana University South Bend

In the IGIP Newsletter of April, 2018, Teresa Restivo described some of the challenges for maintaining student engagement in the traditional classroom, especially given portable technology as a omnipresent distraction, and to foster collaboration [1].  It seems fitting, then, to profile a classroom custom-designed to support collaborative education for Computer Science and Informatics.  But first some background.

In the commercial IT arena, development has migrated from the individual developer to teams of professionals focused on a common product.  Furthermore, recent educational literature suggests that a collaborative, active, approach to learning can be better than a traditional lecture course [ 2].  Unfortunately, the traditional classroom facility is not an optimal workspace for such collaboration.  For that reason three of my colleagues designed and implemented a custom-built, collaborative classroom for IT education [3].  The classroom consists of five group workstations, an instructor’s console with smart-board, dual projectors, and smart switching for audio/video.

The figure shows a single group workspace.  Each table can accommodate five to six group members comfortably for a total capacity of 25-30 students.  Each station includes a whiteboard, power connections, a wall-mounted flat monitor, video inputs for notebook computers, and an attached computer typically running Windows or OSX.

As a collaborative space this has worked amazingly well.  Close proximity encourages interaction.  Initially, the classroom was deployed to support CS0, a pre-programming class to help students without prior experience prepare for CS1, and therefore increase student retention.  As reported in [4] this has been an ongoing success.  Currently, the classroom is also used to support our Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) class.  This class has a moderate amount of lecture material, coupled with a major project in design, prototyping, and testing.  Students form teams, and each team is assigned a workstation.

From experience, there are limitations as well.  The primary limitation for courses having a significant lecture component is writing-board space for the instructor.  To mitigate this situation, I have often taken a hybrid approach, using a traditional classroom for lecture and using this interactive space for group work. This has worked very well for classes such as Operating Systems, where students have a sustained file-systems project in the context of a traditional lecture.

In addition to CS0, HCI, and Operating Systems, this classroom has been used to support our computer literacy course, allowing non-majors to experience haptics and robots. More recently it supported our new Deep Learning class.

Projects developed using this classroom include computer games, augmented reality, haptics, face recognition, computer vision, and file-systems.  From this instructor’s perspective, the collaborative classroom has been a real asset, and I would encourage others with similar needs to adapt the concept to your institution.

[1]     Teresa Restivo, “Executive Board Column”, IGIP Newsletter, 01, April, 2018.

[2]     O. Arbelaiz, L. I. Martin, and J. Muguerza, “Analysis of Introducing Active Learning Methodologies in a Basic Computer Architecture Course”, IEEE Transactions on Education, 58:2 110-116, 2015.

[3]     Hossein Hakimzadeh, Raman Adaikkalavan, and Robert Batzinger, “Successful Implementation of an Active Learning Laboratory in Computer Science”, ACM SIGUCCS, Nov. 12-17, 2011.

[4]     Hossein Hakimzadeh, Raman Adaikkalavan, and James Wolfer, “CS0: A Project Based, Active Learning Course”, Proceedings of The 2011 IAJC-ASEE International Conference, Paper 179, 2011.

Casa das Ciências, on the sharing of teaching experiences

By José Ferreira Gomes, Emeritus Professor, University of Porto, Portugal

Casa das Ciências (https://www.casadasciencias.org/) started some ten years ago with a repository of open educational resources (OER) and evolved following the needs expressed by teachers. It reaches now most Portuguese science teachers and many Portuguese speaking teachers around the world. The OER are submitted by teachers to a peer evaluation coordinated by Casa das Ciências prior to publication. Several instruments are currently active, with the site receiving around 300 thousand visits each month. All materials are in Portuguese and are available in Creative Commons:  Repository of OER; WikiCiências, an on-line encyclopaedia of scientific terms; Banco de Imagens, an education image bank;  Revista de Ciência Elementar, ISSN 2183-1270, an on-line quarterly journal now in its sixth year, with a printed version available to all Portuguese schools and interested teachers; a Conference series, now with the 5th national, in Guimarães, and the 1st regional, in Ponta Delgada, Azores.

The whole project Casa das Ciências is designed for the sharing of experiences and resources always mediated by an assessment of their didactical usefulness and scientific soundness. With intense contacts with member teachers, activities are designed to respond to their immediate needs, this explaining the very large participation. The annual conferences with around 1000 science teachers from primary to higher education are the largest in Portugal. All materials offered in Casa das Ciências are published after peer evaluation following standard international best practice. A grant from Fundação Belmiro de Azevedo supports a very small office that coordinates the interaction among teachers and researchers that produce, submit and evaluate materials that become then available freely to the whole community. This is a peer learning experience where each member shares his/her work and experience with the whole community. The extraordinary success of the project, as measured both in the millions of internet accesses each year and in the massive participation in meetings, is proof to the value of peer learning in a professional development environment.

IGIP EC Election during the IGIP Conference in Kos

By Hanno Hortsch, President of IGIP

The annual IGIP conference in Kos, Greece, will take place from 25th to 28th of September 2018. As part of the conference, IGIP members will elect the new Executive Committee.

We look forward to the participation of a large number of IGIP members and to their active involvement both in the annual conference and in the election. In addition, the members of the International Monitoring Committee are to be appointed by the Executive Committee.

On the IGIP homepage (www.igip.org) and also in the next Newsletter, we will inform you of the results of the election, as well as about the composition of the new Executive Committee.

All-Ukrainian Olympiad on "Professional Education"

By Aleksandr Kupriyanov, Director of UEPA Engineering Pedagogics Centre

On April 10-12, 2018, the final stage of the All-Ukrainian Olympiad on "Professional Education" was held at the Ukrainian Engineering Pedagogics Academy (UEPA).

A total of 138 students from 30 higher educational establishments from different cities of Ukraine competed for the right to be recognized as the most talented future teacher of professional education.

The winners of the All-Ukrainian Olympiad were those participants who are comfortable with theoretical knowledge and which proved to be the most convincing, active and skillfully interested in teaching.

RT on “Addressing the Gender Gap in Engineering and Technology”

By Rebecca Strachan, Professor, Northumbria University, UK

During the IEEE Education 2018 conference in Santa Cruz, Tenerife in April 2018, a round table was held on Women in Engineering: Addressing the Gender Gap, Exploring Trust and our Unconscious Bias. The gender gap in technology and engineering is well recognised and needs addressing in order to establish a more diverse sector.

The authors presented their personal ‘lived’ experiences. This was followed by a set of lively group discussions. Key points raised included: the gender gap starts early; diversity leads to more innovation and better problem solving; one size does not fit all; and solutions need to be embedded within the organisational culture. The results from this have informed a briefing paper and set of recommendations for consideration by the IEEE Education Society.

Workshop on “Evaluation of Experimental Activities” @ EDUCON 2018

By Teresa Restivo, IGIP Past President

Diana Urbano and Teresa Restivo, from University of Porto, have organised the Workshop on the Evaluation of Experimental Activities during IEEE EDUCON 2018, April 17-20, in Tenerife, Spain.

By means of the active involvement of the workshop participants in various types of hands-on activity as well as online experimentation, a typical pedagogical strategy was implemented with the attendees introducing themselves to the same processes as students.

This Approach has created an interesting atmosphere and motivated a well participated discussion on the activities and on the selected strategy.

25th World Mining Congress – WMC 2018

By Dr. Khaini Kamal Kassymkanova, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

The 25th World Mining Congress, held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in July 19-22, was attended by 2586 delegates and 1047 companies from 50 countries. This major mining industry event has been organized every 3 years since 1958. Specialists and scientists took an active part in the work of the congress.

Within the framework of WMC 2018, a number of thematic sessions were held, which covered the whole chain of mining and metallurgical works: from exploration and extraction to enrichment.

In parallel with the conference, there was an international Exhibition of specialized equipment and technologies for the mining industry, as well as a number of industrial excursions to familiarize participants with scientific institutions and industrial enterprises of Kazakhstan.

IGIP Cooperation with Synergy 2018, Russia

By Julia Ziyatdinova, KNRTU, Russia

On September 5-6, 2018, Kazan National Research Technological University, Russia, hosted the plenary session of the International Networking Conference Synergy-2018.

The Conference unites engineering educators from the Russian leading universities. It is sponsored by GAZPROM, the largest Russian supplier of natural gas to Europe, and it is supported by a number of national and international organizations, including the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the International Society for Engineering Pedagogy, whose representatives traditionally participate.

This year, IGIP Past President, Executive Committee member, Professor of Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Teresa Restivo, attended the conference. Her invited speech Experimental Activity, Engineering Students’ Skills, Innovation, Industry and Society gave an insight into the engineering education challenges in the globalization era, and the workshop Motivating STEM for Science and Technology gathered a large audience of professionals keen on experimenting with the augmented and virtual reality devices that were used.