Four internationally-renowned universities-Chalmers University of Technology, Linkoping University, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)-developed a benchmark survey that may be used by any engineering school to benchmark curricula for teaching of personal, interpersonal and system building skills. These skills are enumerated in the CDIO Syllabus. Teaching activities were categorized as Introduce, Teach or Utilize, based on intent, time spent, and linkage to learning objectives, assignments and assessment criteria. Interviews were used to collect the data from instructors of the schools' engineering programs. The data was then reduced and analyzed to illuminate patterns of teaching. The results indicate that much effort is expended in covering these topics, but often in an inefficient, uncoordinated and unplanned manner. For example, there are often frequent repetitions of introducing a topic, without ever teaching it. In other instances, students are expected to utilize knowledge without having been taught it. The results of the benchmark survey indicate that a consistent and deliberately designed curriculum in this area could demand no additional resources, yet provide a much more effective education. The survey gives useful indications of how to begin such a curriculum redesign process.
2005. Vol. 21, no 1, 121-133 p.