iFoundry: Curriculum Reform Without Tears

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iFoundry: Curriculum Reform Without Tears

  1. 1. D. E. Goldberg, A. C. Cangellaris, M. C. Loui, R. L. Price, & B. J. Litchfield University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL 61801 USA [email_address] © David E. Goldberg 2008
  2. 2. <ul><li>Broad recognition that the world is different & curriculum inadequate. </li></ul><ul><li>Much good thinking, writing, and doing. </li></ul><ul><li>But why don’t/can’t we change? </li></ul><ul><li>2 Key problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional: Organizations designed not too change, universities medieval, depts 19 th century. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual: Profoundly confused about what engineers do or should do, a category error. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Point of view: Historical, org behavioral, & philosophical. </li></ul><ul><li>Toward open-source, grassroots curriculum reform. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  3. 3. <ul><li>Cold war curriculum in internet world. </li></ul><ul><li>The institutional problem of change: An academic NIMBY problem. </li></ul><ul><li>iFoundry: Six elements for change. </li></ul><ul><li>Things to do with an iFoundry. </li></ul><ul><li>7 failures of engineering education as a starting point for reform of content. </li></ul><ul><li>Some progress: Office of Engineering Education Innovation at Illinois. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  4. 4. <ul><li>In final days of the Vannevar Bush era. </li></ul><ul><li>Report, Science: The Endless Frontier, set stage for NSF and ongoing funding of scientific research </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate to hierarchical, specialized world. </li></ul>Vannevar Bush (1890-1974) © David E. Goldberg 2008
  5. 5. <ul><li>Missed revolutions since WW2: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality revolution. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entrepreneurial revolution. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IT revolution. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual revolution. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In what sense missed? Ignored in the academy. </li></ul><ul><li>Missed revolutions explained by tech & economic forces. </li></ul>Bob Dylan (b. 1941) © David E. Goldberg 2008
  6. 6. <ul><li>Cold war engineer a category enhancer, a specialist. </li></ul><ul><li>In creative era, premium on category creators —creators of new categories of products and service, generalists. </li></ul><ul><li>Engineers generally not creative? (Davis, 1996, 2006). </li></ul><ul><li>This requires different skill set. </li></ul><ul><li>Right-brained thinking: integrative, creative, intuitive. </li></ul><ul><li>MFA + Engineer vs. MBA + Engineer. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  7. 7. <ul><li>Price, Griffin & Vojak have researched tech visionaries. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs: Individuals responsible for large amounts of new product business. </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of industries, consumer, low-tech, hi-tech. </li></ul><ul><li>Looking for common threads. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all engin students to be TVs. </li></ul><ul><li>Clues to creative era engineer. </li></ul><ul><li>TVs as problem finders & modelers, for example. </li></ul>Ray Price © David E. Goldberg 2008
  8. 8. <ul><li>Have reasons, motivation to change. </li></ul><ul><li>Have the will. </li></ul><ul><li>Even have good models of change. </li></ul><ul><li>But departmental system is designed to resist change. </li></ul><ul><li>All traditional curriculum change is painful & at best, incremental. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to overcome organizational resistance. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  9. 9. <ul><li>NIMBY = Not in my backyard. </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is OK to change the curriculum…” </li></ul><ul><li>“… .as long as you leave my course alone.” </li></ul><ul><li>Politics of logrolling: You support my not changing. I support your not changing. </li></ul><ul><li>Even though agreement for change is widespread, specific changes are resisted. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  10. 10. <ul><li>Have two problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need locus for change, where change is part of the mission of the unit. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need respect for academic governance and faculty control over ultimate acceptance and rejection of changes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suggests a pilot unit. Create place where change is the mission, but leave ultimate decision in hands of faculty back home. </li></ul><ul><li>iFoundry: Illinois Foundry for Tech Vision and Leadership. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  11. 11. <ul><li>Collaborative, interdepartmental pilot unit. A curriculum incubator to permit change. </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers. Enthusiasm for change among faculty & student participants. </li></ul><ul><li>Existing authority. Use signatory authority for modification of curricula for immediate pilot w/ cooperation of departmental representatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Respect faculty governance. Permanent changes go through usual channels. </li></ul><ul><li>Scalability. 300 @ teaching U vs. 5300 at research U. </li></ul><ul><li>Open-source curriculum change. Do it in the open. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  12. 12. <ul><li>Easy, little things : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NAE list that everyone agrees on: communications, leadership, teamwork, ethics, entrepreneurship. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Departmental-wise innovations that need experimentation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Themes in humanities & SS requirements to engage student choice. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tweaks to existing courses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minor adjustments to requirements & hours. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Harder, bigger things : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiments in students teaching & advising students. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early qualitative approach to talking about, designing technology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Radical integration arts . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Radical integration humanities & SS. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New BA in engineering or LAS minor in engineering. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pilot interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, & intercollegiate MA/MFA/MS/PhDs. </li></ul></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  13. 13. <ul><li>General Engineering at UIUC established in 1921 following curriculum study. </li></ul><ul><li>Has had industrial-based senior design since late 60s. </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting opportunity for diagnosing content ills. </li></ul><ul><li>Seniors with all the skills. </li></ul><ul><li>What don’t they know how to do on first real engagement? </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  14. 14. <ul><li>After 4 years they </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t ask questions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t label things. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t model qualitatively. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t decompose problems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t experiment or measure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t visualize/draw. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t communicate. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Huge “quality” failure: “product” inadequate to intended function. </li></ul><ul><li>7 failures as decomposition for repair. </li></ul><ul><li>Must teach critical/creative thought in context of design. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008 Paul Newman (b. 1925)
  15. 15. <ul><li>Category error. </li></ul><ul><li>Teach applied math & science, not engineering. </li></ul><ul><li>Do so for reasons of status. </li></ul><ul><li>Many fields have made same mistake. </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching right things vs. teaching things right. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  16. 16. <ul><li>Illinois establishing Office of Engineering Education Innovation. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin Fall 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Run iFoundry and content initiatives. </li></ul><ul><li>E-Transform Alliance: Grassroots open-source curriculum reform using principles and open-source content sharing. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008 Info: [email_address]
  17. 17. <ul><li>Why don’t we change & how should we change? </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to change a problem of organizational resistance. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure of coalition “diffusion” a cautionary tale. </li></ul><ul><li>iFoundry: A new pilot programs across departmental boundaries to promote change. </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptual understanding of what engineers don’t learn and why they don’t learn it is crucial. </li></ul><ul><li>Unblock the organization, and teach the right things, and curriculum reform will take place. </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  18. 18. <ul><li>iFoundry: http://www.illigal.uiuc.edu/web/ifoundry </li></ul><ul><li>ETSI: http://www.illigal.uiuc.edu/web/etsi </li></ul><ul><li>Sp08 ETC: http://www.illigal.uiuc.edu/web/etsi/etc-sp08/ </li></ul><ul><li>Engineer of the future: http://www.illigal.uiuc.edu/web/etsi/engineer-of-the-future/ </li></ul><ul><li>ENG491: http://www.illigal.uiuc.edu/web/ifoundry/eng-491/ </li></ul><ul><li>MTV: http://online.engr.uiuc.edu/webcourses/ge498tv/index.html </li></ul><ul><li>TEE: http://online.engr.uiuc.edu/webcourses/ge498tee/index.html </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008
  19. 19. <ul><li>Workshop on Philosophy & Engineering (WPE-2008) </li></ul><ul><li>10-12 November 2008 (Monday-Wednesday). </li></ul><ul><li>The Royal Academy of Engineering, London. </li></ul><ul><li>In cooperation and affiliation with SPT, INES, ASEE (Ethics Div.), and RAE. </li></ul><ul><li>1-2 page abstracts (~1500 words) due 18 August 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Escape following US Presidential election. </li></ul><ul><li>Web: http://www-illigal.ge.uiuc.edu/wpe </li></ul>© David E. Goldberg 2008

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