An investigation into the adoption of CDIO in distance learning

Ferguson, Clive; Brodie, Lyn; Endean, Mark; Goodhew, Peter and Palmer, Stuart (2008). An investigation into the adoption of CDIO in distance learning. In: EE2008 International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education, 12-14 Jul 2008, Loughborough, UK.



The Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate Initiative (CDIO) uses integrated learning to develop deep learning of the disciplinary knowledge base whilst simultaneously developing personal, interpersonal, product, process and system building skills. This is achieved through active and experiential learning methods that expose students to experiences engineers will encounter in their profession. These are incorporated not only in the design-build-test experiences that form a crucial part of a CDIO programme but also in discipline focused studies. Active and experiential learning methods are, of course, more difficult to incorporate into distance education. This paper investigates these difficulties and the implications in providing a programme that best achieves the goals of the CDIO approach through contemporary distance education methods.
First, the key issues of adopting the CDIO approach in conventional oncampus courses are considered with reference to the development of the CDIO engineering programmes at the University of Liverpool. The different models of distance based delivery of engineering programmes provided by the Open University in the UK, and Deakin University and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia are then presented and issues that may present obstacles to the future adoption of the CDIO approach in these programmes are discussed.
The effectiveness and suitability of various solutions to foreseen difficulties in delivering CDIO programmes through distance education are then considered. These include the further development, increased use and interinstitutional sharing of technology based facilities such as Internet facilitated access to laboratory facilities and computer aided learning (CAL) laboratory simulations, on campus workshops, and the development of a virtual engineering enterprise.

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