Nestled within the foothills of Bogotá, the College of the Andes (Uniandes) attracts college students throughout Colombia who need to examine engineering. At present, these graduates are higher outfitted than ever, due to a complete redesign of the college’s undergraduate engineering curriculum, impressed partially by its relationship with MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel World Schooling Lab (J-WEL).
Leveraging its affiliate membership with J-WEL over the course of a number of years, Uniandes linked its senior college leaders, college, and employees to MIT concepts and expertise as a part of an ongoing interplay that helped gasoline the Colombian college’s systematic reimagining of engineering training. Now that it’s in place, the refined curriculum is already making an influence on college students and is inspiring redesign efforts in different departments at Uniandes.
J-WEL affiliate director for membership Julia Reynolds-Cuéllar displays: “Uniandes is a valued member of our group. Leaders of their curriculum redesign efforts have supplied ongoing insights for J-WEL members and have been lively in making certain classes realized are broadly shared — a crucial a part of J-WEL’s mission.”
Reimagining a curriculum for tomorrow’s engineers at Universidad de Los Andes
Redesigning the curriculum at Uniandes was a three-year iterative course of that interleaved concepts, analysis, design, and implementation to land at a sensible and related overhaul of engineering training. The personal analysis college was one of many first to affix J-WEL in 2018, shortly after the launch of the MIT-led collaboration designed to create a platform for instructional establishments to share their concepts and improvements whereas participating with MIT college and employees specialists. This design has proved fruitful. Luis Alejandro Camacho Botero, affiliate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Uniandes says, “It’s crucial for various faculties of engineering world wide to be linked and to know what others are doing, and that can assist us to do it higher.”
Uniandes leaders joined their friends in exploring wide-scale policy-level transformation in training by way of J-WEL applications with such themes as “The Drawback-solving Campus,” “Strategic Planning,” “Computing All over the place,” and “Constructing a College-Led Innovation Ecosystem.” Drawing on these concepts, Uniandes college redesigned their programs in actual time. To land on the sensible adjustments they sought, college and employees honed their concepts by taking part in J-WEL’s hands-on workshops on track design, launching interdisciplinary applications, blended studying, and integrating human skills.
The J-WEL crew helped Uniandes by focusing their choices on train with project-based motion studying so college students might actively hyperlink their classroom studying to the work they do within the discipline. At present, many Uniandes engineering lessons incorporate interactions with exterior companions, bringing concepts and issues from the nonprofit sector, trade, governmental businesses, and native communities into the curriculum. A second key means by which Uniandes college harnessed MIT-led concepts was by incorporating human expertise into engineering lessons, constructing capabilities for communication with a number of audiences, working with multidisciplinary groups, and understanding the social, environmental, and moral influence of technical options.
“There are lots of progressive elements of our new undergraduate engineering applications. Now we have project-based programs situated all through the curriculum. We’re additionally selling completely different studying areas, so college students can develop teamwork, management, communication, and creativity expertise,” says Silvia Caro, vice chairman for tutorial affairs at Uniandes. “College students will graduate not solely with technical, but additionally transversal expertise, to have the ability to work with others and suggest options to the challenges of the long run.”
As Uniandes gained insights from MIT and different establishments, the college rapidly grew to become a pacesetter and mannequin for different J-WEL members by sharing insights into their work because the redesign unfolded. Such sharing has emerged as a crucial side of the J-WEL group. Throughout a 2020 digital gathering dubbed J-WEL Connections, leaders of Uniandes’ curriculum reform effort recognized 5 key classes for his or her counterparts:
- Don’t rush the method. Time and endurance are wanted.
- Respect the rhythms of various departments, but additionally talk anticipated outcomes and deliverables.
- Present clear tips and perceive restraints, to allow them to be thought of all through the remainder of the method.
- Promote reflections and areas for dialogue inside every division and throughout the bigger college degree. This may occasionally embrace participating with stakeholders exterior of the college.
- Get college deeply engaged and excited concerning the course of from the start by offering area for various pedagogical reflections.
Uniandes’ drive to share their insights has formed J-WEL’s personal evolution. In 2019, a crew of J-WEL specialists visited the Bogotá campus for a joint workshop designed to allow the following steps of their curriculum reform efforts. Uniandes seized the chance to take their insights additional by organizing a further workshop to achieve 13 universities from all through Colombia’s Caribbean coastal area, making certain that Uniandes’ studying was shared broadly with others. Each units of workshops succeeded in inspiring ongoing efforts throughout the nation, a testomony to the worth of J-WEL’s objective of wide-scale transformation sparked by the improvements undertaken by its companions within the setting.
Now that it has redesigned its engineering curriculum, Uniandes is dedicated to protecting its instructing approaches present by way of frequent evaluate, diversifications, and inputs from the sector. Rubby Casallas Gutiérrez, dean of the varsity of engineering, summarizes her establishment’s dedication to getting ready college students for a lifetime of studying and influence: “The world is altering at a better velocity than ever earlier than and engineers might want to reply to these adjustments. This additionally signifies that our present college students might want to acknowledge the significance of lifelong studying, that they might want to proceed buying new expertise after they graduate.”