Sustaining CDIO Elements in an Institutional Restructuring Process

Sustaining CDIO Elements in an Institutional Restructuring Process

J. Roslöf (2015).  Sustaining CDIO Elements in an Institutional Restructuring Process. 8.

As in many other countries, the Finnish higher education has experienced a significant development phase during the past few years, and this change process still continues. The drivers behind the structural development include both elements aiming at improving the quality of education on several planes but clear requirements to be able to improve in terms of economic efficiency are present, too. One concrete indicator illustrating the level of economical steering is the fact that the annual governmental funding of Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) will be decreased by roughly 15% between 2012 and 2016. Accordingly, this has generated a need to rethink the TUAS internal structures and processes on all levels.

On departmental plane, this adaptation will result in restructuring of the degree programs in general, and reform of curricula as well as ways of organizing the daily activities in particular. Partly regardless to the drivers behind this type of processes, a significant reform is always an opportunity to conceive novel and innovative structures and ways of working. Yet, when an educational institute faces economically challenging times, there is also a risk of losing many of the earlier advances in the development of active learning and teaching methods, for example. If there is a de facto need to cut the program-level spending by approximately 1/3 within a few years’ timeframe, how shall the operations be planned and organized?

In this paper, the curricular reform of the Bachelor’s level engineering education in Information and Communications Technology related programs at TUAS will be discussed. Special focus is set on describing the challenges considering sustaining and further developing of the CDIO-based elements in the new curriculum and the department’s operational structure. The planning process and its main challenges will be explained and illustrated. Finally, the main parts of the new curriculum will be presented and compared with the previous, and certain practical perspectives to the future implementation of the curriculum will be reflected. The main goal of the paper is to provide a case study documenting a major curricular change process, and to discuss it from different perspectives with peers of the international engineering education community.

(Note: This abstract was originally accepted to CDIO 2014 in Barcelona but I had to withdraw it since I could not participate in the conference for private reasons. The presentation format can also be a round table discussion, if it fits better the schedule.)

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

Authors (New): 
Janne Roslöf
Turku University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland
Change Management
CDIO Standard 1
CDIO Standard 3
CDIO Standard 12
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Kulmala, R., Luimula, M., & Roslöf, J. (2014). Capstone Innovation Project – Pedagogical Model and Methods. Proceedings of the 10th International CDIO Conference (CDIO 2014), Barcelona, Spain: 
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Roslöf J. (2008). A Design-Build Introductory Course in Information Technology Engineering. Proceedings of the 4th International CDIO Conference (CDIO 2008), Ghent, Belgium. : 
Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) (2014). Curriculum of the B.Eng. Degree Program in Information and Communications Technology. Turku, Finland. Detailed description available online at: : 
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