Book on Engineering Curriculum Design Aligned with Accreditation Standards

The book is one of the results of the ECD-EAST project. It starts with a brief description of the most important current challenges for engineering education in Europe and globally. Together with the various requirements of the Bologna Process these challenges constitute the context of programme development today. Included also are discussions of the overarching European Qualifications Frameworks. Chapter 2 offers an introduction to various approaches to outcomes based systematic curriculum design with a special focus on those related to engineering education. Chapter 3 describes the accreditation of programmes as a means of external quality assurance. Chapter 4 goes into details regarding the requirements of national and international quality assurance standards in engineering, in particular the requirements for graduates attributes / programme learning outcomes. Besides a detailed description of the EUR-ACE Framework Standards requirements, various national (Russia, France, UK, Germany) and international approaches are explored. The discussion of the FES of Russia includes a comparison with EUR-ACE and EQF standards. These approaches are complemented by the ABET/USA and Washington Accord ones and the increasingly influential approaches of international University Networks like CDIO.

The core activity of the ECD-EAST project was the development of a systematic curriculum design approach and its pilot application to master programmes in electrical and mechanical engineering and computer science at three outstanding Russian Research Universities and the activity was supported by the various European partners. The approach developed by the ECDEAST project partners is presented in Chapter 5. The methodology proposed in these guidelines is based on the theoretical considerations outlined in Chapter 2 and on the experiences and good practice of European countries in the implementation of the two-tier system (Bachelor-Master) in engineering education with reference to European requirements regarding learning outcomes and competencies (Dublin Descriptors, EQF, EUR-ACE Standards) and Russian Federal Educational Standards.

The guidelines formed the basis for a dedicated training programme in curriculum design for faculty and staff of the relevant departments of the three participating Russian Universities and this training was complemented by a staff exchange programme with partner Universities. As a result of the actual programme design and implementation by the departments involved and an evaluation of the recently started programmes by an international team of experts, the guidelines have been refined and enhanced by practical recommendations. It is hoped that these guidelines can serve as a model for systematic curriculum development in other departments and universities in the future. An example of the development of a programme from conception through the development of programme objectives, learning outcomes, credit allocation for learning outcomes and module syllabi is given in the Annex 2, where the curriculum in Electrical Engineering, developed at Tomsk Polytechnic University, is described. The other two cases are available on the web-site of the project.

A glossary, a list of acronyms and a list of references complement the publication and may be helpful for further investigations.