As a framework for re-designing engineering curriculum, CDIO has been adopted by many educational institutions worldwide. What sets it apart from other engineering educational frameworks is the comprehensiveness of its approach, encapsulated in the 12 CDIO Standards. Two standards relevant to professional development of engineering educators, are Standard 9 "Enhancement of Faculty Competence” and Standard 10 "Enhancement of Faculty Teaching Competence."

This paper focuses mainly on Standard 10, which refers to "actions that enhance lecturer competence in providing integrated learning experiences, in using active experiential learning methods, and in assessing student learning", as opposed to Standard 9 which covers "actions that enhance lecturer competence in personal and interpersonal skills, and product, process, and system building skills." Our focus on Standard 10 aims on maintaining a lecturer's CDIO Competency via training to become an Academic Mentor, specifically in the Diploma in Chemical Engineering (DCHE) in Singapore Polytechnic (SP).

The paper first provides a short background literature review of the changing role of engineering educators, in light of changing student characteristics in today's globalized, inter-connected world. The paper then presents the desired characteristics of an engineering educator and highlights the lack of emphasis given to such training; and calls for a more professional approach to preparing them, noting in particular the importance of mentoring. More specifically, this part of the paper argued that engineering educator must be skilled in pedagogical content knowledge, and not just subject matter knowledge and general pedagogical knowledge.

The paper then briefly explains SP’s Academic Mentor Scheme and its broad objectives, outlining how we utilize the scheme to enhance our own CDIO capability, with specific objectives for DCHE Academic Mentor. We share the same framework from our initial efforts in building CDIO capability that was presented in earlier CDIO conference, which suggests that alignment should be attained between curriculum, pedagogy and competency. This framework is adequate for our earlier effort, which focused on helping newly-hired lecturers, making the transition from industry to academia, to quickly get up to speed in curriculum design using relevant CDIO Standards. However, for the development of academic mentor, this needs to be supported by additional framework, if we are to achieve the expressed objectives for our academic mentor. Specifically, we identify a model of continual improvement for academic mentor that emphasizes educational research to inform practice that supports the professional development of the academic mentor. This, in turn, enables the academic mentor to support other teaching faculty involved in CDIO implementation.

Lastly, the paper shares positive experiences from both mentor (the first author) and mentee (the second author) that has resulted from this partnership. We present a summary on how this partnership evolved, followed by key issues and challenges faced by both parties. These include matching of expectations between mentor and mentee and adopting of new pedagogic approaches (e.g., flipped learning and peer instruction, development of learning tasks based on dynamic simulation). We conclude by summarizing some key learning points that may be of interest to others involved in similar professional development activity.

Proceedings of the 11th International CDIO Conference, Chengdu, China, June 8-11 2015

Authors (New): 
Hui-Bee Lee
Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore
Chemical Engineering
continual improvement
CDIO Standard 9
CDIO Standard 10
Adams, R.S. and Felder, R.M. (2008). Reframing Professional Development: A Systems Approach to Preparing Engineering Educators to Educate Tomorrow’s Engineers, Journal of Engineering Education, July Issue – Special Guest Editorial, 239-240 : 
Ambrose, S. A., and Norman, M. (2006). Preparing Engineering Faculty as Educators. The Bridge, 36(2), 25-32 : 
Berk, R.A., Janet, B., Mortimer, R., Walton-Moss, B. and Yeo, T.P. (2005). Measuring the Effectiveness of Faculty Mentoring Relationships, Academic Medicine, Vol.80, No.1, 66-71 : 
Biggs, J.B. (2003). Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Buckingham: The Open University Press. : 
Boice, R. (1992). Lessons Learned about Mentoring, New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 50, 51-62 : 
Cheah, S.M. and Lee, H.B. (2015). Module Review and Redesign via Self-Evaluation using CDIO Standards, paper prepared for the 11th International CDIO Conference, June 8-10; Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R. China.: 
Cheah, S.M. and Singh, M.N. (2011). Sustaining CDIO Capability: Professional Development for Engineering Faculty, Proceedings of the 7th International CDIO Conference, June 20-23; Copenhagen, Denmark. : 
Christiansen, B.L., Jensen, L.B., Krogsboll, A. and Willumsen, L. (2010). Sustaining Momentum when Implementing CDIO in a Set of Study Programs, Proceedings of the 6th International CDIO Conference, June 15-18; Montreal, Canada : 
Clutterbuck, D. (2004). Everyone Needs a Mentor, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London, UK : 
Coates, W.C. (2011). Being a Mentor: What's In It for Me? Acad Emerg Med., 19; 92–97 : 
De Janasz, S.C. and Sullivan, S.E. (2004). Multiple Mentoring in Academe: Developing the Professorial Network, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Vol.64 (2), 263–283 : 
Douah, R., Shultz, N.L., Nackerud, Radcliffe, P. and Reubold, T. (2007). Faculty Mentoring at the University of Minnesota, President's Emerging Leaders Program 2000-2005, available at:, accessed March 4, 2015: 
Edstrom, K. (2012). Faculty Development for CDIO Implementation – Sensitive Viewers be Warned, Workshop at the 8th International CDIO Conference, July 1-4; Brisbane, Australia : 
Edstrom, K., Karlsson, S., Jonsson, E.M. and Hanson, M. (2009). A Strategy for Implementing CDIO a across Institution, Proceedings of the 5th International CDIO Conference, June 7-10; Singapore : 
Felder, R.M. (1993). Teaching Teachers to Teach: The Case for Mentoring, Chem. Engr. Education, 27(3), 176-177 : 
Fink, L.D., Ambrose, S.A. and Wheeler, D. (2005). Becoming a Professional Engineering Educator: A New Role for a New Era, Journal of Engineering Education, January Issue, 185-194 : 
Foster, L. (2001). Effectiveness of Mentor Programs: Review of the Literature from 1995 to 2000. California Research Bureau, California State Library: 
Fraser, K. (1999). Australasian Academic Developers’ Conceptions of the Profession, International Journal for Academic Development, Vol.6, No.1, 54-64 : 
Gore, J.M., Griffiths, T. and Ladwig, J.G. (2004). Towards Better Teaching: Productive Pedagogy as a Framework for Teacher Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, 20, 375-387 : 
Grossman, J.B. (2009). Evaluating Mentoring Programs, brief from Public/Private Venture, available at:, accessed March 5, 2015 : 
Hanover Research (2014). Faculty Mentoring Models and Effective Practices, available at:, accessed March 4, 2015 : 
Hynes, M.M. (2007). Developing Middle School Engineering Teachers: Toward Expertise in Engineering Subject Matter and Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Qualifying Paper, Tufts University : 
Jamieson, L.H. and Lohmann, J.R. (2009). Creating a Culture for Scholarly and Systematic Innovation in Engineering Education, Report for the American Society for Engineering Education : 
King, A. (1993). From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side, College Teaching, 41(1), 30-35: 
Kolari, S. and Savander-Ranne, C. (2002). Does Pedagogical Training Benefit the Engineering Educator? Global J. of Engng. Educ., Vol.6, No.1, 59-69 : 
Kozanitis, A., Leong, H., Singh, M.N., Edstrom, K. and Lei, H. (2009). Proceedings of the 5th International CDIO Conference, June 7-10; Singapore : 
Korthagen, F., Loughran, J. and Russell, T. (2006). Developing Fundamental Principles for Teacher Education Programs and Practices, Teaching and Teacher Education, 22, 1020-1041 : 
Loyer, S. and Maureira, N. (2014). A Faculty Teaching Competence Enhancement Model: A Mentoring Approach, Proceedings of the 10th International CDIO Conference, June 16-19; Barcelona, Spain : 
Malmqvist, J., Gunnarsson, S. and Vigild, M.E. (2008). Faculty Professional Competence Development Programs – Comparing Approaches from Three Universities, Proceedings of the 4th International CDIO Conference, June 16-19; Gent, Belgium : 
McDonald, J., and Stockley, D. (2008). Pathways to the Profession of Educational Development: An International Perspective, International Journal for Academic Development, 13, 213–218 : 
Morell, L and DeBoer, J. (2010). The Engineering Professor of 2020: The Forgotten Variable, Proceedings of the ASEE National Conference, Louisville, Kentucky, USA : 
Nick, J.M., Ortiz, J., Reising, D., Delahoyde, T.M., Ottley, C., Del Prato, D., Young, P. and Siktberg, L. (2012). Best Practices in Academic Mentoring: A Model for Excellence, Nursing Research and Practice: 
Olsson, T. and Roxå, T. (2012). Using Models to Promote Scholarly Development in Engineering Education, 40th SEFI Annual Conference, September 23-26, Thessaloniki, Greece : 
Passow, H.J. (2007). What Competencies Should Engineering Programs Emphasize? A MetaAnalysis of Practitioner's Opinions Informs Curriculaar Design, Proceedings of the 3rd International CDIO Conference, June 11-14; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA : 
Quinn, L. and Vorster, J. (2014). Isn't It Time to Start Thinking About 'Developing' Academic Developers in a More Systematic Way? International Journal for Academic Development, Vol. 13 No.3, 255-258 : 
Ramsden, P. (1992). Learning to Teach in Higher Education. London: Mackays of Chatham, 8-9: 
Redish, E.F. and Smith, K.A. (2008). Looking Beyond Content: Skill Development for Engineers, Journal of Engineering Education, 295-307 : 
Shulman, L.S. (1986). Those Who Understand: Knowledge Growth in Teaching, Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4-14 : 
Sorcinelli, M.D. and Yun, J.H. (2009). Mutual Mentoring Guide, Office of Faculty Development, University of Massachusetts : 
Stice, J.E., Felder, R.M., Woods, D.R. and Rugarcia, A. (2000). The Future of Engineering Education IV - Learning How to Teach, Chem. Engr. Education, 34(2), 118–127: 
Zachary, L.J. (2000). The Mentor’s Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships, 2nd Ed., San Francisco: Jossey-Bass: 
Zellers, D.F., Howard, V.M. & Barcic, M.A. (2008). Faculty Mentoring Programs: Reenvisioning Rather Than Reinventing the Wheel, Review of Education Research, Vol.78, No.3, 552-588 : 
Go to top