Project introduction and background information
Digital education provides a unique opportunity to reshape our educational practices in order to optimally use our limited resource in terms of human capital and continue to provide excellent education to our students. However, education at most universities is still organized around monographic stand-alone topic courses, offered in a predetermined sequence and taught in plenary lectures. At the same time, it is well-known that the ingredients needed for (deep) learning are: boundaries (context), resources and a question that triggers our imagination. The goal of CMODE project was to develop a course design strategy based on these three pillars that can be extended to curriculum design.
The next project; CMODE-UP used the results of CMODE, and created evidence-based design principles for teachers to design their courses in engineering education with online modules. A teacher guide was also created to assist teachers in their design decisions.
Finally, CMODE-UP, the subsequent project, improved the design principles, the results from a teacher workshop were combined with results of a descriptive literature review.
Objective and expected outcomes
The general objectives of the projects were to arrive at evidence-based design principles for modular on-demand digital education in higher engineering education and CBL contexts.
The following sub-objectives were addressed with CMODE, CMODE-UP, and CMODE-UP: Implementation.
· Explore the possibilities of on-demand modular education within the current curriculum structure.
· Design a real-life case that provides the motivation for deep learning in the modules.
· Optimize face-to-face lecturer-student contact to maximize the ratio value/time.
· Develop an intelligent digital learning environment including digital assessment tools.
· Design digital learning environment making use of existing online material supplemented with new material if needed and implement in CANVAS.
· Establish best practices, do’s and don’ts and a roadmap towards broader implementation of design principles for modular courses in higher engineering education.
· Optimize use of our limited resources to make lecturer time count.
· Maximize the added value of TU/e education with respect to online programs.
· The C-MODE blueprint is based on existing literature and best practices and TU/e expertise.
· The "design principles" and the "teacher guide" of CMODE-UP are based on: a) a systematic literature review on 33 peer-reviewed published articles on modular courses in higher engineering education, b) interviews with TU/e experts and teachers.
· The design principles are then improved through: a) a short workshop with two TU/e teachers and b) a descriptive review of relevant articles and conference proceedings that can shed light on issues such as design of a course with elective modules.
· The design principles can be further strengthened and adapted using empirical data and practical implementation in the context of modular courses.
· Evidence-based framework with: a) design principles and a) accompanying teacher guide that can help teachers and course designers at a practical level in design of courses with a modular approach.
· Improved performance and satisfaction of students and lecturers.
· Reduce pressure on lecturing space and lecturer time.
· Roadmap towards a broader implementation of modular courses.
Results and learnings
CMODE-UP resulted in two products to facilitate design of courses with a modular approach.
The first product contains six design principles for the teachers to consider as they design their course with a modular approach: 1) Course content: analyze learners, resources and course learning outcomes, 2) Module category, 3) Weekly alignment, 4) Module development, 5) Implementation, and 6) Course evaluation.
The second product; teacher guide seeks to further support teachers in designing courses by showing them selected illustrative articles. This teacher guide is a practical source to illustrate how the design principles have actually been implemented in the literature. This guide provides the teachers with example articles for each design principle. This teacher guide does not tell the teacher to apply certain design principles, but gives examples and shows how and why a teacher might choose from different design options.
With CMODE-UP: Implementation, the researchers worked on the iteration and validation of both products, through: a) testing of the design principles at TU/e engineering courses at a short teacher workshop and b) a descriptive review of 20 published papers.
Our current actions for dissemination include:
· conference presentation; the 50th SEFI Annual Conference, September 19-22, 2022, Barcelona, Spain,
· conference presentation; the 49th SEFI Annual Conference, September 13-16, 2021, Technical University Berlin (virtual),
· 4TU final-reports for CMODE-UP and for CMODE-UP: Implementation,
· research seminar at Innovation Space, May 12, 2022,
· presentation at TU/e CoP meeting, May 18, 2022,
· presentation at the 4TU Modularization event, December 9, 2021, and
· article to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Please follow this page for the upcoming products of CMODE-UP: Implementation: ‘Express reports’ and ‘Teacher Recommendations’.