The Importance of Asking the Right Questions

Paul Bennett, Chief Creative Officer, IDEO, on the importance of asking the right questions.


CDIO Challenge!

Hi Folks, watch this video made by the Academic Mentors Roy and Kim Fai from MAE on the recent CDIO challenge for their Students!


SP is CDIO Regional Centre for Asia

During the most recent International CDIO conference in Montreal, it has been agreed that SP will be CDIO Regional Centre for Asia. This is of great significance to SP as it provides an endorsement and recognition of the work done. The regional leadership will allow us to form deeper relationships with the other asian collaborators with the common goal of making engineering education more meaningful for our students.

View the updated timeline of Singapore Polytechnic’s CDIO Implementation on Dipity.

If you are interested in creating a simillar Timeline like this, you can check out the website It is an interesting application which allows users 4 different ways to view the timeline. You may view the content as a timeline, flipbook, by list or by maps. If you want a simplier timeline, you can try instead.

Finland has the Best Education System in the World

In our regular CDIO sharings, it was shared that Finland has the best education system in the world. Finland’s education system has consistently ranked among the best in the world for more than a decade.

Here’s a video speaking on Finland Education.

The puzzle is, why Finland? Documentary filmmaker, Bob Compton, along with Harvard researcher, Dr. Tony Wagner, decided to find out. The result of their research is captured in a new film, “The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System.

We will be purchasing the video, in the meantime, take a look at the trailer.

And in this next video, Dr. Tony Wagner interviews a group of 8th and 9th grade Finnish students. The conversation gets interesting towards the end when students talked about their idea careers in future verus the amount of $ they earn.

Dr. Tony Wagner earned an M.A.T. and an Ed.D. at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He recently accepted a position as the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. He is also a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author. His work includes numerous articles and four books. One of his books titled “The global achievement gap : why even our best schools don’t teach the new survival skills our children need–and what we can do about it” is available at our SP library.

You can also read more about his work at

A Cartoon Presentation of the CDIO Implementation in MAE

During one of our regular sharing of CDIO, our Academic Mentor from MAE, Kim Fai shared this cool cartoon presentation of the CDIO implementation in MAE.

Here’s the explanation of the cartoon:

Implementing CDIO pedagogy requires a continual and collective effort as depicted in the cartoon by 6 main points.

The “men behind the cannons” represent the module coordinators who will be “calling the shots”. The “men delivering” the cannon balls (i.e modules) are members of his/her teaching team. This relationship highlights the importance of teamwork between the module coordinators and his teaching team, in building the CDIO framework for their respective modules.

The “cannons” represent the CDIO standards which are the tools and methods used in the implementation of CDIO pedagogy. These canons are deployed at various angles denoting different disciplinary knowledge we are teaching. The “common target” represents the CDIO skill sets we aim to cover in our curriculum while teaching various disciplinary knowledges. It is important to note that the cannon balls are landing on different spots within a common target. Module coordinators should realised that they need not cover all CDIO skill sets in their modules. Some skills will be covered by other modules whilst other skills can be reinforced.

Staff training is essential to ensure that teaching staff have the same understanding in delivering their modules under CDIO framework. The “command post” represents the CDIO steering committee. The committee provides constant monitoring on module/skill mapping as well as gap analysis, in order to propose and give advice to new direction in curriculum design.

Thanks again to Kim Fai for sharing this 🙂

Thinking about Design Thinking and Design Pedagogy

On 21 Oct 2010, SUTD and SP jointly invited Professor Clive L.Dym (Harvey Mudd College) and Mr Daniel D. Frey (Associate Professor MIT, Co-director of Singapore MIT International Design Centre) to share their thoughts on design thinking in their curriculum.

Professor Clive shared on some of the challenges to engineering education as well as recent advances in and awareness of design thinking. He also shared that design ought to be the cornerstone of engineering and design thinking requires important skills such as:

  • the ability to handle ambiguity
  • maintaining a “big picture” or a multi-disciplinary perspective
  • accepting that answers can be untrue and univerifable
  • handling or even enjoying the iteration of divergant and convergent thinking this is central to the acquisition of engineering knowledge, that is, to design

He further stressed that schools should developed students to learn on their own as schools can’t possibly provide students with everything.

To read more about Professor Clive’s work, here’s a link to a paper which he co-wrote previously on “Engineering Design Thinking, Teaching, and Learning”.

The session continued with the sharing from Mr Daniel D.Frey in which he emphasised that SUTD takes the design process very seriously and that design thinking is weaved into the SUTD curriculum which is based on the CDIO framwork.

The session ended with a Q&A which was chaired by Professor Clive, Mr Frey and Ms Pee Suat Hoon (EDU DIR).

Powerpoint Presentations of the 2 speakers can be located in the Design Thinking module in Blackboard, under DT Events.

An Amazing Video

Hi Folks,

Besides the fantastic animation, listen to the message that Sir Ken Robinson is telling us. Especially about why our kids find it so hard to concentrate… looks like we need to do radical things! Enjoy the video!

CLS won the Inaugural IChemE Awards for Innovation and Excellence

Congratulations to CLS for being the first winner in the category of “Excellence in Education and Training in Chemical Engineering” in the inaugural IChemE in Singapore Awards for Innovation and Excellence.

The event was held on March 24, 2010 at the Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore. Other winners include Merck Sharpe Dohme, Huntsman Singapore, and Senoko Energy.

SP’s entry, entitled “Revamping the Diploma in Chemical Engineering using the CDIO Framework” was submitted by the Course Management Team (CMT) of the Diploma in Chemical Engineering. The award is a fitting recognition for the CMT’s effort in adopting the CDIO Framework for revamping its curriculum; to deliver the best educational experience to students.

Major Milestones in SP CDIO Implementation

CDIO in SP started way back in 2004, click on the milestones below for more information.

Can’t see anything above? Try clicking here.

CDIO Co-participants Receive Testimonial

The last day of school was sweeter for 4 graduating DCHE students as Dennis (EDU) and Sin Moh (CLS) jointly gave out a special testimonial to each of these students to recognize their participation as student co-participants for CDIO evaluation.

As student co-participants, they had been giving constructive feedback to the CDIO team on the effectiveness of the CDIO activities designed for DCHE since the academic year 08/09.

We wish them all the best in their future endeavours!