Newsletter Issue no.2, 2020

14th December 2020

Newsletter Issue no.2, 2020


Editors' Column

By Teresa Restivo and José Marques

When the COVID pandemic has been increasing in many countries, with confinement and emergency state being imposed in many of them, it is important to remember that, for the IGIP Community and with the Newsletter, we find the comfort of being allowed to get together. This is fundamental for continuing to practice cooperation and to be near to each other, sharing our experiences and perspectives. At the end of this most special year, we wish a very safe Holiday Season to all of you.

President's Column

By Hanno Hortsch, IGIP President

Dear IGIP community,

I hope you get the messages from our IGIP newsletter in good health. Many of our research and teaching activities are still limited. Nevertheless, life has to go on even if we are constantly looking for new forms of scientific cooperation.

The 23rd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL2021) and the 49th IGIP International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy was successfully held in Tallinn, Estonia at the Tallinn University of Technology (TALTECH) as a virtual event.

In the past few weeks the IGIP Executive Committee has received a lot of positive feedback from the virtual participants at the conference.

It was a very good decision to focus the conference on the topic of "Educating Engineers for Future Industrial Revolutions".

The Executive Committee would like to thank the organizer, TALTECH, and in particular Prof. Dr. Tiia Rütmann and the many employees who contributed to the success of the conference. In these times, which were not easy for us scientists either, the organizers of the conference succeeded in initiating a lively and creative discussion in the workshops, which was mastered in an excellent technical manner. The well-chosen keynotes of the conference also made this conference a success.

The IGIP Executive Committee wishes you all good health and would like to express our thanks again for holding the 23rd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL2021) and the 49th IGIP International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy.

At the conference the invitation for the 50th IGIP Conference on Engineering Pedagogy and the 24th International Conference on Collaborative Learning at the Technische Universität Dresden and the University of Applied Sciences Dresden was issued. You will find the call of papers for these conferences in the next few days on the IGIP website (www.igip.org)

 

Another important item on the agenda of the IGIP Executive Committee was the adoption of a new IGIP Prototype Curriculum, which aims to qualify engineering educators for modern teaching closely related to research and the job market. This previously successful IGIP offer should reach a further level of quality through the new Prototype Curriculum. It follows the traditions of modern engineering education as developed and practiced by Prof. Carl Hans Lohmann, founding professor for the 1st chair with the denomination "Engineering Education" at the Dresden University of Technology in 1951, and Prof. Adolf Melezinek, founder of the Klagenfurt School of Engineering Education have been.

The changes in the new prototype curriculum are characterized by the following main features:

1. Extension of the target groups of the prototype curriculum:

i. Engineering Educators - Staff at Higher Education Institutions

ii. Future Staff in Engineering Education - PhD, ....

iii. Students in Engineering and Sciences Courses at Higher Education Institutions

iv. Deans and Heads of Faculties, Schools or Departments

v. Management Staff at Higher Education Institutions

vi. Technical Vocational Teacher at Higher Vocational Colleges

2. The new prototype curriculum is divided into

a) Module Areas and

b) Units

3. The module areas and units are not disciplinary but discipline-spanning.

4. Module areas and inter-unit (cross-curricular) emphases (such as ethics and psychology) can be presented with reference fields.

5. Thus, the following reference fields can be defined for all module areas and units:

A) The profession "engineer" (contains ethics of the engineer)

B) Engineering (with its factual-logical structures)

C) Social and engineering pedagogical approaches

D) The student as an acting subject (psychology of action, in particular Act Theory)

E) Structures of work organization in modern companies

6. The methodological concept of curriculum implementation should be related to knowledge construction, reconstruction and transfer (PIAGET).

7. The Prototype Curriculum should be open to country-specific adjustments.

8. The methodology or methods as well as the media should not be required. The assessment of modules or units should be defined by country specific conditions. For the realization of the curriculum a compulsory engineering-didactic approach should be prescribed, which does not prescribe any methodical regulations.

9. Mandatory in the new Prototype Curriculum are:

a) The minimum number of 20 credit points (in the understanding of the Bologna process)

b) The module area designations

c) The description of qualifications

10. Recommendation for the implementation of the module areas:

An appropriate relationship between contact hours and independent working hours by the participants should be found in the region.

For further education in engineering education, the possibility of using ICT should be used.

Detailed statements on the module areas and the content of the units were formulated at the conference in Tallinn in a keynote by Prof. Hortsch. An IGIP webinar on the new structures and content of the IGIP prototype curriculum is planned for the first quarter of 2021.

 

For the year 2021 I wish you good health and strength to cope well with the unpredictable events. Stay true to our visions and goals and the IGIP Executive Committee looks forward to continuing to work with you.

 

 

Executive Board Column

By Teresa Restivo, IGIP Past President

Suddenly, as the COVID pandemic situation developed, the traditional teaching structure has been drastically shaken, particularly at a time that is also being so harmful to the youngest. Vulnerable students became even more absent minded.

In addition, data protection has not been a great help for teachers interested in trying to build bridges with their students, and therefore to be able to understand difficulties, to feel how students catch each piece of knowledge, how should the discussion be speeded up or slowed down, where did he/she got stuck. In normal conditions this type of feedback helps to reorient the activities. In fact, and due to the rules in many organizations, it was not possible to press students to have their voice and image during distant sessions. How can a teacher understand the reaction of his/her students while talking to a monitor without any facial or voice expression from the other side? Especially, if dealing with large numbers …

The use of platforms can imply more or less work depending on the teacher skills in the digital world. Nevertheless, the pedagogy behind those tools also has specific aspects for which most teachers are not prepared.

Unfortunately, the bad news is that we need to continue with distance approaches, if not totally at present, in many types of lectures. This means we need the teachers updated to a completely new context of teaching and assessing. They need to carry on in a digital world where they should discover the new pedagogical issues at the same time that they are dealing with new aspects by themselves, while trying to make good use of all the practice they were used to in the millenary face-to-face human communication.

Teachers are the pillars of the society’s education. Everyone knows that there is a huge disparity between the reward of teaching and the reward of researching. The present situation is demanding a gigantic effort from the teachers. Teachers need to get closer together more than ever, in order to discuss and to bring new insights for each one of us.

The Newsletter will be, certainly, a platform that can be used for keeping us collaborating with each other.

Lueny, a person as unique as her name

By Uriel Cukierman, UTN.BA, Argentina

IGIP USA Section has lost its President Lueny Morell.

When her parents joined their own names to form hers, they were, without knowing it, marking the character and personality of a person who would leave a mark on all who knew her and, even more, on those who were able to enjoy her friendship, her confidence and her teachings. It was enough that a nun from her school told her that engineering was not suitable for women, so she strengthened her vocation and ended up being the only woman in her class of chemical engineers at the University of Puerto Rico.

And it was in Puerto Rico, her beloved country, where she met Waldy, her loving husband and partner, and where she raised her beautiful family. But her passion for engineering education took her to every corner of the planet. Her name is well known and recognized without borders, from Argentina to Canada, from Korea to India, from Spain to Russia; there has not been a corner of the world that has not received her wise lessons, that has not been motivated by her example of life.

It is not necessary to make a description of her professional background here; she has reached so many positions and honours that several pages would not be enough to list them. But the most important achievement in her long and fruitful career is the countless number of people around the world for whom she has been, and will continue to be, inspiration and motivation. Inspiration to try to realize what we dream of, and motivation to improve what we do.

Her character and personality, and most of all her faith, allowed her to successfully face many challenges, always with courage and integrity. And so it was, until her last breath. She chose her way of life and how to face the disease that took her from this earthly world. It is often said that when one learns to die, one learns to live. Lueny, with her attitude and courage, not only confirmed that she learned to live, but she continues to teach those of us who love her, admire her and will not forget her.

Rest in peace, dear Lueny.

ICL / IGIP 2020 Tallinn Conference

By Tiia Rüütmann, Conference Chair

The ICL/IGIP 2020 International Conference ”Educating Engineers for Future Industrial Revolutions“ was held on September 23-25 at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia.

Already in spring, IGIP EC decided that there would be an online annual conference because of the corona pandemic. This was the first time to organise an online conference of ICL/IGIP.

One hundred and forty-eight scientific articles were accepted for the conference, researchers from all over the world were representing 142 technical universities. Authors and co-authors from 41 countries participated at the conference: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Austria, Greece, United Kingdom, Israel, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Iran, Ecuador, India, South-Africa, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Rumania, Ireland, Poland, Chile, Australia, Hungary, Belgium, USA, Japan, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, New-Zealand, Switzerland, Netherlands, Qatar, Columbia, Mexico, Kuwait and Italy.

We invited three keynote speakers to the plenary sessions:

·    Professor Tarmo Soomere (President of the Estonian Academy of Science, Professor at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia) gave a keynote "Connecting Science, Training, Society and Policy"

·     IGIP President Professor Hanno Horsch (Dresden Technical University, Germany) gave a keynote "New Prototype Curriculum of IGIP"

·     Professor Ruth Graham (UK) gave a keynote "Reward and Recognition of University Teaching".

There were three parallel sessions and one keynote speech held on each conference day.

The Round Table discussion IGIP COVID-19atENG.EDU for ICL 2020, was chaired and organised by Maria Teresa Restivo and Luis Mendes Gomes (Portugal).

There were five workshops held in the framework of the Conference:

·     Workshop 1: Decentralising Education Using Blockchain Technology. Organizer: Dr Alexander Mikroyannidis, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University (UK)

·    Workshop 2: Teaching Environmentally and Sustainability-Conscious Design Projects in Higher Education, using GRANTA EduPack. Organizer: Dr Vakhitova Tatiana Vadimovna, ANSYS Granta / Academic Relations Team (UK)

·     Workshop 3: Idea Generation Board Game for Product Development "Create Products". Organizers: Erich Scheffl (Mag.Ing) and Jürgen Jantschgi, DI. (Austria)

·     Workshop 4: IGIP Workshop on methodologies to build conceptual questions for assessing important misconceptions in engineering related areas. Organizers: Dr Teresa Restivo and Dr Diana Urbano (Portugal)

·     Workshop 5: Reward and recognition of university teaching. Organizers: Dr Ruth Graham, Dr Roland Tormey, Dr Gunter Bombaerts, Dr Gunnar Piho (USA, EuroTech Universities)

All presentations of the online conference were recorded and are available on the following links:

Direct link to 23.09 conference: https://worksup.com/app#id=ICL2309

Direct link to 24.09 conference: https://worksup.com/app#id=ICL2409

Direct link to 25.09 conference: https://worksup.com/app#id=ICL2509 

Conference photos are available on the conference website.

Tiia Rüütmann recipient of Adolf Melezinek Meritorious Award

By Michael Auer, General Chair

The ICL/IGIP 2020 General Chair, Michael Auer, presented the 'Adolf Melezinek Meritorious Award' to Tiia Rüütmann, the ICL2020 Conference Chair and President of the IGIP International Monitoring Committee .

Tiia Rüütmann is Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, School of Engineering, Tallinn University of Technology and Head of the Estonian Centre for Engineering Pedagogy. She got her Doctor's Degree, in 2007, under the supervision of Professor Adolf Melezinek.

Tiia Rüütmann is holder of the Certificate as 'International Engineering Educator Ing.Paed.IGIP' and member of the IGIP Executive Committee since 2010.

IGIP Austria Hub @ HTL Wolfsberg at ICL / IGIP 2020 Tallinn Conference

By Axel Zafoschnig, IGIP Vice President

As the annual IGIP Conference with the title "Educating Engineers for Future Industrial Revolutions" was held in virtual format, from 23 to 25 September 2020, in Tallinn, Estonia, the IGIP Section Austria organized a special hub at the Technical College in Wolfsberg, which offers engineering education strands in Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics, Business Informatics and Industrial Engineering.

This renowned Upper Secondary College is famous for its sustainable cooperation with local companies, its technologically successful diploma-thesis projects, and its well-recognized wins in innovation contests and competitions. For several years now, full participation in European projects and a focus on entrepreneurship education have become important strategic elements in the school quality development programme. In 2016, the school became a certified Austrian “Competence Centre for Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering” and was awarded this title by the International Society for Engineering Pedagogy (IGIP) Austria and the University of Technology in Graz.

It is for the reasons stated that IGIP Vice President Axel Zafoschnig, Section Austria President Wolfgang Pachatz, and the leader of the Working Group for Entrepreneurship Jürgen Jantschgi, decided to set up a conference home base in Wolfsberg, especially since the first-day Workshop “Creativity Training with the Entrepreneurship Board Game”, hosted by colleagues of the school and the Alpen-Adria University in Klagenfurt, was delivered with students from Wolfsberg and in the “Nice Room” of the school. This room is a multi-media teaching lab for remote and online learning, built according to the latest technological standards.

In addition, the Austrian contribution for the Special Session on “Entrepreneurship in Engineering Education” on Friday, the last conference day, was also broadcast from there. In this connection, it must, however, be mentioned that there were other Austrian conference participants who joined the Tallinn conference from the engineering schools in Vienna (Gabi Schachinger, Gottfried Koppensteiner) and Linz (Andreas Probst).

All in all, it can be said that the hub has proved to be a good decision, because the exchange of ideas and the discussions about the conference presentations could thus efficiently be carried out. It was also refreshing to share the room – within the social distancing regulations, of course – with the students who could in this way also actively participate in the conference. On this occasion, congratulations and many thanks must be expressed to TALTECH as the organisers and hosts, in particular to our IGIP EC Member and IMC President Tiia Rüütmann – well done!

Best Paper Awards of ICL2020

By Tiia Rüütmann, Conference Chair

The Best Paper Awards of ICL2020 are:

     ·        Winner Best Full Paper Award:

     o Reinhard Bernsteiner, Christian Ploder, Thomas Dilger, Andreas Probst, Motivating Students to Acquire Digital Skills, (Austria)

     ·        Runner-up Best Full Paper Award:

     o Luciana Oliveira, Anabela Mesquita, Arminda Sequeira, Adriana Oliveira, Emergency Remote Learning during COVID-19: socio-educational impacts on Portuguese students, (Portugal)

     ·        Winner Best Short Paper Award:

     o Jaanus Pöial, Challenges of Teaching Programming in StackOverflow Era, (Estonia)

     ·        Runner-up Best Short Paper Award:

     o Olena Kovalenko, Nataliia Briukhanova, Tetiana Bondarenko, Tatjana Yaschun, Juergen Koeberlein-Kerler, Nataliia Bozhko, Optimization of Curricula of Engineering and Pedagogical Specialties Based on the Construction of a Model for Structuring Interdisciplinary Relations, (Ukraine and Germany)

Congratulations to all winners and runners-up!

IGIP Round Table “COVID-19@ENG.EDU”, IGIP / ICL 2020

By Teresa Restivo

Luis Mendes Gomes (Azores Univ.) and Teresa Restivo (Porto Univ.), Portugal, organized on September 24 the Round Table COVID-19@ENG.EDU, looking at discussing different aspects with colleagues from many distinct places and scientific areas, related with experiences and feelings from those who have been facing higher education tasks under the present pandemic situation.

A very large group of guests were together for more than two hours, with about 40 participants.

Isabel Estrela Rego (Department of Psychology, Azores Univ., PT and Research Institute for Volcanology and Risk Assessment) was invited to make a short communication for the first topic, COVID-19: Impact and changes in educational communities.

James Wolfer (Indiana University South Bend, US), Mario Bochicchio (Università del Salento, IT), Pablo Orduña (LabsLand, US), Paulo Menezes (University of Coimbra, PT) and Teresa Larkin (American University, US) presented short reports of their experiences under the topic COVID-19: Online teaching and learning: Experiences and results.

Andreas Pester (British University of Egypt, EG) and Tiia Rüütmann (Tallinn University of Technology, EE) covered the third topic Challenges.

Susan Zvacek (CollegeTeachingCoach.com, US) closed the Round Table with Summary and conclusions.

Paulo Menezes was also the Technical Chair for this Round Table responsible for playing with all of us in our different interventions.

IGIP was honoured with this cooperation from all the mentioned Colleagues, whom we want to thank once again. All of them gave more than 2h on different moments of their working day, due to their many world locations in this online condition.

We received the recognition of the quality of this Workshop from the IGIP President and the Secretary General and from different members of the IGIP Executive Committee.

At the end of this IGIP Workshop related with Engineering Education all the attendees and guests were invited to dedicate it to honour the memory of Lueny Morel, in recognition of her impact on and her deep involvement in the Engineering Education Community.

Disrupting Corporate Learning During and Post COVID-19

By Mansour Kamel Mansour, President/Learning Strategies Consultant

Organizations in 2016 spent $359 billion on training and the return on investment is not worth it as concluded by Steve Glaveski in his article titled “Where Companies Go Wrong with Learning and Development” and published in the Harvard Business Review on October 2nd, 2019. The evidence is overwhelming that the traditional learning and development practices are broken and for many reasons including 1) learning at the wrong time, 2) learning the wrong things, quickly forgetting what is learned, and 4) flawed training methodologies. Those flawed methodologies include 1) intensive long days of knowledge based training, 2) the “What” and the “How” are identified but not the “Why”, 3) training is based on “Seat time” - where "Seat time" does not demonstrate skill mastery, some people master the material fast and some people don’t, and 4) eLearning is often impersonal — learners have dissimilar literacy levels, different knowledge backgrounds, and other associated abilities.

The skills mastery and competency based learning is proposed as a sustainable model for the workforce skills development in place of the traditional one size fits all approach. The competency-based model is characterized by being learner centred, mastery of all concepts, individualized learning, outcome as well as performance based, self-paced, and finish when mastery of all courses is demonstrated. The proposed model would allow for a personalized learning experience augmented with mentorship practices that caters for the individual learning needs resulting in benefits for both the enterprise and the individual. The current and the emerging technologies play a pivotal role supporting the new proposed learning methodology to prepare an agile workforce required for the skills based economy. It is essential to adopt the appropriate change management strategies to achieve successful digital transformation leading to successful implementation of the new learning model.

Skills mastery, competency as well as outcome based learning, and certain qualification frameworks utilize a learning model that is based on the knowledge, skills, and application methodologies. Stephen P. Anderson, in his article titled “Toward A New Model for Corporate Learning and Development (Part 1)”, recognizes the importance of classifying what will be learned and he adds: "I knew, implicitly, that How we teach or learn something depends a great deal on What it is we’re learning." And "You can’t assess How learning should happen, if we don’t also have a structured way to talk about the What we hope people will learn."

To help support the skills mastery learning methodologies, I propose an agile digital learning platform where the learners are recipients and contributors of the learning content. The agile digital learning platform is a social learning network that is the Facebook or Microsoft Teams for learning, powered by AI as well as by powerful search engine, offers bite-sized micro-learning content with AR and VR capabilities, and it curates individual learning opportunities and documents outcomes as well as skills mastery. I like the expression "Learning is fundamentally a social phenomenon."

To learn more about the utilization of skills mastery training methodologies and emerging technologies to prepare an agile workforce, please check out my new article titled “Disrupting Corporate Learning During and Post COVID-19”.

Conducting Online Classes in Pandemic

By Prathamesh Churi, Assistant Professor, School of Technology Management and Engineering, NMIMS University, India

“Technology can never replace teachers, but if teachers do not use technology they may get replaced”

A modern and well-furnished classroom is defined by various technology these days. There is always constant pressure on management and Institutes to implement technology in classrooms just to make teaching learning smoother. There is always a debate on whether a technology will replace teachers? Well, the answer is obviously NO.

The past few days have seen increasing numbers of schools and universities across the world announce that they are moving to online-only learning. Hundreds of thousands of teachers are busy working to move their face-to-face lessons online due to the COVID 19 pandemic situation. Designing online courses takes significant time and effort.

The following can be the list of Do’s and Don’ts that an ideal teacher must bear in mind while conducting an online class.

About technical difficulties:

·      Before taking lecture, it is good if teachers check their internet connections, working of PPT and online material.

·      Make sure you have a good lighting background so that your students can see your face clearly.

·      Check the microphone quality to be clearly audible. Put your microphone at an adequate distance and not very close to your face.

·      Do not keep asking “Am I audible” many times during online lectures. It is sometimes disturbing to the students.

About emotional difficulties faced by Teacher and Students:

·      Some teachers are anxious in handling high-technology software in such situation. The only way to get out of this anxiety is to practice on such software and conduct mock lectures/tutorials on these platforms.

·      Do not be demotivated if a particular student is not giving the answer. Sometimes a student may be suffering an internet issue at his/her end. Sometimes he/she might not have heard his/her name during the lecture when you have asked the question.

·      In this difficult time, it is important to be personally in touch with the students. It motivates students a lot. They feel that the teacher is specially taking care of him/her.

·      Do not overburden students: We have to take into account that many students have other responsibilities when they are at home.  They have assignments of other courses, projects, internship work, household work, etc.

·      Do not conduct personal attacks on students, especially in online teaching. Other students may make fun of them, which degrades the motive of the lecture.

·      Do not make your students feel unwelcome in your online classroom. Welcome them. Greet them.

About motivation and demotivation for teaching online:

·      Provide contact details to all students and be accessible and available after the lecture time.

·      Preparing a small online sheet and sharing it among the students for asking continuous feedback after every lecture is a good practice.

·      If you are giving any task to the students during the online lecture hour, please make sure that it is simple but requires some effort to solve. Giving complex tasks may result in loss of confidence and interest among students.

·      Hearing from everyone during a class discussion is a good practice.

·      Try to give small quizzes and assignments, which can be done while the class is going on, so that they do not require too much work to complete.

·      Including humour in lecture hours always creates interest among students.

·      Do not neglect the queries of the students, especially in the present situation.

·      Do not give too much tasks in one lecture, as the engagement can turn into frustration.

·      Do not develop long lists of rules for the online classroom that restrict the ways in which your students can interact with you and the other folks in the class unnecessarily.

Do not monopolise the conversation while taking the lecture.

Talking about Teaching: Building Confidence in Online Teaching and Learning

By Susan Zvacek, CollegeTeachingCoach.com, USA

This fall, faculty members in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Porto (FEUP) have had a professional development opportunity to help them improve their online teaching. The three-week short course consists of a series of instructional modules addressing the challenges of teaching at a distance, especially for those who are new to this instructional format. The modules are housed in a freely available learning management system (Canvas) but are not open to the public. Instructors have been able to explore all or some of the topics, based on their interests, needs, and time available.

The course was designed specifically with the pandemic situation in mind. The teaching strategies and tools were chosen assuming that the instructors would not meet with their students in person, and that no specialized “production equipment” would be available.

Each module consists of text-based information, images, videos, and links to relevant web resources, along with suggested activities to reinforce the concepts. The topics include:

·      Cool Tools for Your Online Class: Free apps, web tools, and open educational resources to incorporate into your course for a robust student learning experience.

·      Creating Simple Videos: Tips and strategies for effective instructor-made video content.

·      Discussions on Zoom: Using this popular tool to support content delivery, student interaction, and formative assessment. Focused on instructional strategies to improve the teaching and learning experience.

·      Asynchronous Discussions: Developing prompts that facilitate higher order thinking and that extend the conversation to broader issues within the discipline.

·      Your Online Persona: Developing your online teaching identity and facilitating a sense of social presence.

·      Assessing Learner Progress: Strategies for formative and summative assessments within the online environment.

A new module was made available every Monday and Thursday over a three-week span, although the content and suggested learning activities were not time sensitive and the modules will remain available through the calendar year. In addition to the modules, there were three Zoom sessions scheduled at a time when the greatest number of instructors could participate. Each Zoom meeting included some additional material related to the modules recently opened and an opportunity for Q and A.

Plans are afoot to survey the participants in the short course to identify (for example) which topics were most readily applicable, which were previously unfamiliar to participants, and which should be revised, if necessary. A future column will be devoted to sharing those lessons learned, so stay tuned.

University Corner – Integrated Master of Mechanical Engineering (MIEM)

By Lucas Silva and Jorge Seabra, Mech. Eng. Department, FEUP, Portugal

The Integrated Master of Mechanical Engineering (MIEM) of the University of Porto has been attracting, year for year, a large number of the best Portuguese students. For the 2020 new admissions, the mark of the last student enrolled reached 18.55 out of 20, despite the Numerus Clausus having been increased from 151 to 192 (+ 27%). MIEM is one of the Engineering degrees with the highest average nationwide and also the Engineering degree enrolling more than 100 students with the highest score.

The success of MIEM can be explained by several factors:

·      The large spectrum of the courses provided to the students, allowing a transversal academic training in Mechanical Engineering;

·      The Professors' commitment to high quality teaching;

·      The quality and quantity of the Department of Mechanical Engineering scientific and technological production, which ranks among the top 20 departments in Europe according to several international rankings;

·      The strong and large dissemination of MIEM in Industry and Society.

·      The Master of Science Dissertations developed in an industrial environment, allowing a large number of students to be easily absorbed into the         labour market;

·      The high-quality students, assuring high knowledge generation during the Master of Science Dissertations;

·      The high employability of MIEM students after graduation;

·      The increasing investment of the Portuguese industry in innovation;

·      The NEEM (Association of the Mechanical Engineering Students) that allows a good study environment for the students;

·      The mentoring program that gives a large support to first year students.

The program studies in Mechanical Engineering will be restructured for academic year 2021, according to the new legislation for the engineering degrees in Portugal. The bachelor and the master will be separated and the contents of the courses updated with more specialized and recent knowledge, particularly in the aeronautical field, which is becoming a key sector of the Portuguese economy.

It is expected that the Mechanical Engineering degree of FEUP will attract even more and better students, contributing to the competitiveness of the Portuguese economy.

NEWS: IEEE EDUCON 2020

By Manuel Castro, UNED, Spain

Last April, from 28 to 30, as initially scheduled, the IEEE EDUCON 2020 was organized with an incredible effort and time devoted by our colleagues from Porto University, Polytechnic of Porto and University of Coimbra, Portugal.

The result was superb, having in mind that the decision to go online was taken one month before and all the technical activities and conference preparation had to be done in record time. The organized full immersive environment using WebEx as videoconference server allowed all the participants to follow synchronously all presentations having as a backup a pre-recorded presentation in case of any issue, connection failure, unstable network or medical problem. But this backup plan was used only a few times.

The 350+ conference participants shared three days full of technical presentations, special sessions, keynotes, round tables and workshops, exactly in the way of a traditional conference, but online. The main miss were the colleagues, of course, the codfish, the Port wine, and again, our friends. We provided improved networking, some virtual guided visit, some cluster of colleagues working together in future actions and research, but the overwork due to the pandemic was so large that reduced the available time to a minimum.

We had the IEEE EDUCON Steering Committee meeting during the conference, reviewing all the aspects of the change to online, future actions, as well as the continuation as traditional conference in April 2021 in Vienna, Austria, and we appointed Tunisia as the organizer of IEEE EDUCON 2022. During the coming years, we will see the evolution of hybrid conferences, probably having a mix of traditional and online attendees. This will further complicate the effort and resources, as well as increase the conference costs to fulfil those new online connection and networking requirements.

Finally, our thanks go to all participants, session chairs, authors, reviewers, volunteers, technical support and organizers as well as to all the sponsors for a brilliant conference in these pandemic times.

NEWS: Entrepreneurship Certificates for engineering education institutions and individuals

By Axel Zafoschnig

Based on the findings of the IGIP Working Group “Entrepreneurship”, the Austrian IGIP Section has developed a certification system for institutions and individuals by means of which an additional “Entrepreneurship in Engineering Education“ certificate can be awarded.

With regard to the Lisbon strategy for growth and employment, educational institutions need to stimulate entrepreneurial mindsets among young people, encourage innovative business start-ups, and foster a culture that is friendlier to entrepreneurship and to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses. This means that, in this field, real world experiences through problem-based learning and enterprise links should be embedded in all engineering studies.

In order to ensure that the entrepreneurship activities relevant for engineers are realistic, practice-oriented, and scientifically justified, a certification system was implemented. There, IGIP Austria, the Graz University of Technology and the Ministry of Education work together in fixing the criteria for the award of the certificates, as well as in auditing prospective candidate institutions, and in approving their entrepreneurship activities.

If Engineering Education faculties or departments can prove that their own Entrepreneurship Program corresponds with the criteria of the Austrian certification system, they can become Training Centers and award additional entrepreneurship certificates to their students.

Should this have raised your interest, please contact the Austrian section and ask for details:

Wolfgang Pachatz : Wolfgang.Pachatz@bmbwf.gv.at

Jürgen Jantschgi :  juergen.jantschgi@htl-wolfsberg.at

NEWS: Ukrainian Vocational Education Competition

By Oleksandr Kupriyanov, Ukrainian Engineering Pedagogics Academy

The second round of the All-Ukrainian competition of student scientific works in the specialty "Vocational Education" took place in Ukrainian Engineering Pedagogics Academy via video conferencing.

At the first stage of the competition, the committee reviewed 86 student scientific works (93 authors) from 36 higher education institutions and selected 21 best research papers, the authors of which were invited to the final scientific and practical conference. Due to the all-Ukrainian quarantine, the final conference was held on April 15, 2020 via video conferencing on Google Meet. During the section meetings, the students demonstrated a high level of mastery of the basics of scientific and pedagogical research which addressed current issues of vocational education.

Google Meet, a video conferencing platform, was used to organise the final scientific and practical conference in the specialty "Vocational Education", which involved defence of scientific works. The sequence of events was organised in Google Calendar, the reports were given via Google Meet, and the jury put down their marks in Google Sheets.

The event began with a grand opening, which all the participants and members of the competition commission accessed together; then the participants were divided into four sections, in which the students reported on their findings in parallel; after the reports were delivered, the jury discussed them.

NEWS: The Center for Educational Research and Innovation (CIIE)

By Uriel Cukierman, UTN.BA, Argentina

The Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CIIE) was established in 2016 and it has developed since then a very important activity in Research and Education. The centre is located in the Regional Faculty Buenos Aires of the National Technological University (UTN.BA), the biggest and most important engineering school in Argentina. Our Faculty was recently awarded the status of IGIP Accredited Training Center for the period 2020/24. Our first cohort of the International Engineering Educators Certification Program was originally planned in a blended learning modality, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we decided to transform it into a 100% distance learning modality.

Once the offer was publicly announced, more than 100 engineering educators from all over our country showed their interest in participating and, finally, we accepted only 50 registrations in order to keep the quality and integrity required for an effective learning.

Our 15-module curriculum, officially approved by the IGIP Executive Committee, will be offered by experienced faculty members with Ing.Paed.IGIP qualification. In order to facilitate the interactions among students, and with their professors, a Moodle LMS was developed. There will also be synchronic activities using a very popular teleconferencing service. We will promote an Active and Student Centred Learning by means of a Competency Based Education approach.

On August 1st, 2020, we organized the kick-off of the Program in a first live session (see figure attached) where most of the participants expressed their excitement about this opportunity to improve their teaching competencies. The first module has begun on August 3rd and, after a summer break in January, the Program will continue until the expected completion by June 2021.

NEWS: IGIP Round Table "TEACHING ONLINE: ASSESSING LEARNER PROGRESS,” Nov. 25

By Susan Zvacek and Teresa Restivo

This Roundtable Discussion/Webinar was an opportunity to explore strategies for monitoring student progress, identifying misconceptions they may have, and reinforcing important concepts and skills – all while teaching at a distance.  The presenters discussed the possibilities for assessment that the online environment offers and the constraints it presents, as well. The discussion focused on best practices that are grounded in research, both new and old. The session included time for Q & A to address the concerns of attendees, too. 

Omar Karam (Egypt), Maria Isabel Pozzo (Argentina), Christian Guetl (Austria), and Susan Zvacek (US)  spoke about their respective areas of expertise, addressing topics such as practical concerns that arose when transitioning abruptly to the online environment, embedding assessments in remote and virtual labs, motivational elements within assessments to promote higher order thinking, and strategies to deter cheating and plagiarism. Andreas Pester (Egypt) and Teresa Restivo (Portugal) were roundtable organizers, along with Susan Zvacek, who also served as Discussant, and technical support was provided by Paulo Menezes (Portugal).

The roundtable discussion attracted many participants who were engaged with the topics throughout the 90-minute session, providing questions and comments that enriched the discussion greatly. The key takeaways from the roundtable were as follows:

1.   Support for teachers and for students has been a critical element during the transition to the online environment. Both groups required technical support and teachers benefitted from professional development to adopt new teaching strategies appropriate for online delivery of instruction.

2.      Many institutions discovered the value of assessments that are woven into learning activities as a way to monitor student progress and provide feedback to students.

3.    It is not only possible, but imperative, that motivational elements be incorporated into formative assessments. These can be drawn from gamified approaches to instruction, such as rewards or ongoing feedback.

4.      Although it seems that a large number of students may have chosen, during this time, to engage in misconduct (such as cheating or plagiarism), most students do not and there are proven strategies to deter these behaviours.

The roundtable concluded with a lively Q & A, followed by a brief summary of the points noted above. Additional topics for future roundtable opportunities are being discussed by the organizers. 

If you have a particular topic for consideration, please contact Teresa Restivo (trestivo@gcloud.fe.up.pt) or Susan Zvacek (Susan@CollegeTeachingCoach.com).

IGIP IMC Report 2020

By Tiia Rüütmann, IGIP EC Member

ING.PAED.IGIP applications were submitted from Slovakia (18), Ukraine (4) and India (1). All applications were accepted in the review process.

One application to become IGIP approved training centre was submitted from Argentina, The Centre for Educational Research and Innovation of Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (UTN), Regional Faculty Buenos Aires. The application was approved by reviewers.

Members of IGIP IMC reviewed applications online, in Conftool environment. For every application, at least 2-3 reviewers were assigned.