by Gunter Bombaerts (TU/e) and Diana Adele Martin (Technological University of Dublin)

Highlights from workshop @ SEFI Annual Conference 2019  (16-19 Sept)

Gunter Bombaerts (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Diana Adela Martin (Technological University of Dublin) held a workshop on co-creative education at the annual conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) this year. The SEFI Annual Conference is a scientific conference focused on Engineering Education and the biggest event of this type in Europe.

There was a huge interest in from universities around the world — a total of 24 participants from 19 universities participated in the workshop. The workshop was itself co-creative and challenge-based, where the participants developed a co-creative course themselves during the workshop and presented them to the other participants. Gunter and Diana shared some theoretical insights and practical tips on developing a challenge-based co-creative course, based on their experience of developing SCALINGS TU/e co-creation course

Here are Gunter and Diana’s 10 top tips when designing co-creative learning course: 

When engaging with clients (organisations/companies providing the case):

  1. Reach out to companies, NGOs, councils or citizen groups in your area for developing activated learning environments, through company driven pitches and scenarios, site visits and interviews with professionals.
  2. Use existing contacts and get to know them (through several contacts).
  3. Include the perspectives of different stakeholders — help them define ethical questions.
  4. Include a local (socio/economic/political) problem faced by your community and invite students to address it by reflecting on the wider societal role engineers have.
  5. Make clear agreements on their contribution (number of meetings, etc.).
  6. Give opportunities for several student groups to work with one client (company offering the challenge) so that it gives them multiple perspectives. 

When engaging with students:

  1. Enable students to take an active and creative stance for the design of an engineering artefact or resolution of a situation.
  2. Enable students to reflect on the constraints of the wider context of engineering practice and issues such as imbalance of power and the need for paradigm/structural change.
  3. Embrace ambiguity! Avoid black-and-white scenarios where “right” answer or strategy is clear.
  4. Give students guidance through clear instructions and feedback meetings. 

And last but not leastbe flexible — as things may change!

Here are the slides from the workshop.
And here are some resources on examples / case studies that Diana and Gunter think are helpful for teaching engineering ethics.

Thank you to all the participating universities!

Aalto University and Tampere University Finland; Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Budapest University of Technology; TU Berlin Germany; TU Dublin Ireland; TU Eindhoven, the Hague university of Applied Sciences, Avans university of Applied Sciences; Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and EPFL Lausanne Switzerland; UPU Spain; Aston University, University College London, Swansea University, Birmingham University; University of Cape Town South Africa; Virginia Tech and National Instruments, US; and UNSW Sidney, Australia.

Challenge-Based Learning in Ethics Course at TU Eindhoven, the Netherlands