DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Van Dijck, Egbert-Jan; Meijer, Maarten; Van Den Berg, Femke; Kalkman, Ruben; Roest, Thijs
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
Section: Responsible innovation in design and engineering education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.110
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


Purpose: Sustainability transitions are not hindered by technological barriers but above all by the lack of well-qualified people. Educating the next generation of engineers and product designers is therefore more important than ever. However, a traditional widely used model of Instruction and evaluation is not sufficient to prepare this next generation for the demands of society. It is appropriate that curricula should be adapted. If necessary, in a disruptive way. The question is of how students and lecturers of Engineering and Product Design can participate on an equal basis in an educational module in which students prepare for a role in society that is in shock. To propel students and lecturers in a new direction a disruptive educational innovation has been designed and tested over a period of six years. Purpose of this paper is to give individuals and organisations involved in higher education insight into a new method of education based on new values such as student agency, equal partnership, partnership learning communities, significant learning experience, and the strong belief students have the capacity and the willingness to positively influence their own lives and environment. Method: The method used is design-oriented scientific research. We conducted a single case study, an in-depth, detailed examination of a particular case within a real-world context namely a disruptive education (service) innovation at Department of Engineering at Technical Faculty of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands). Results: The result is an exceptional example of education innovation under the engineer’s motto 'There has to be a better way'. It turns the traditional education model upside down. During their graduating year EPD students can participate in a future excellent program (10ECTS). After a kick-off, students and lecturers are transformed in equal partners in an innovation consultancy firm with a passion for engineering and product design. In 10 weeks, they explore their emotionally intrinsic values that enables students to accomplish great things and to experience meaning in their lives and work. It leads to a significant learning experience for students. The results of our innovative way of new engineering education are extremely useful for students and lecturers, who are involved in a EPD Bsc-program. Relevance to the theme of the conference The aim of our disruptive education innovation is to help students (and graduates) address current and future challenges. They learn to act, to take responsibility at different levels (firm-, team-, and personal level), develop leadership skills, and to be able to switch between a holistic view at system level and product and service level vice versa. They are aware of the importance of their student-agency, and co-agency. Student agency can be exercised in moral, social, economic, creative context. As such our education innovation fits seamlessly within the theme ‘Responsible Innovation for Global Co-habitation’. It is a great opportunity to share our new perspective on design education with other educators, practitioners and students from engineering and product design fields during the E&PDE 2023 conference.

Keywords: Education innovation, student agency, equal partnership, partnership learning communities, significant learning experience


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