On the Didactic Quality of Instruction:
The IGIP Qualifications Profile - The European Engineering Educator - Ing-Paed IGIP

by Professor Adolf Melezinek
University Klagenfurt, Germany
President of the International Society for Engineering Education (IGIP)

1. Introduction

Numerous standards have recently been developed to comply with the system of guaranteeing quality in engineering education. The international set of standards ISO - 9000ff is especially well-known. This abbreviation denotes a standard of guaranteeing quality in business education which is accepted in 60 countries. The standard defines quality criteria whose fulfilment is tested by independent institutes.

A rising number of firms require from their suppliers the ISO certificate as a guarantee of quality, and condition for placement of an order and participation in public tenders and projects. Such requirements concern not only manufacturers, but also service providers. Certified quality of training has come into existence. An Unisys department Customers' Training, for example, has performed its activities according to the ISO 9001 for two years. The well-known firm Microsoft offers three grades of the Certified Professional qualification, including the MICROSOFT Certified Trainer. This qualifications guarantee will be required from instructors teaching at Authorized Technical Education Centers and Authorized Training Centers.

The IRDAC - Industrial Research and Development Advisory Committee of the Commission of the European Communities states in its recommendations: Economic productivity depends on the productivity of education and continuing education, requiring improvement of efficiency in education. The IRDAC's requirements include, among others, training by universities and firms particularly in engineering disciplines which suffer from an acute lack of qualified workers ... . The IRDAC also demands the establishment of new structures on the European level which would facilitate the education of many new learners.

The quality of instruction depends to a large extent on the quality of the engineering educator. There are diverse qualifications systems and guarantees of qualifications of engineering teachers. [4] There is no sufficient transparency. We often lack scientifically founded, theoretically and practically justified criteria which would guarantee the quality.

The IRDAC requires:... a coherent European impetus should be prepared due to the lack of qualified workers ....

In our time of unifying Europe, the establishment of the basal engineering pedagogical qualifications profile of technology teachers has become more meaningful and essential than in any other time. Such a qualifications profile is provided by the International Society of Engineering Pedagogy IGIP in its Register The European Engineering Educator ING-PAED IGIP.


Let me begin with a sample situation which can be frequently encountered in practice. An engineer is called to a technological school or university as a teacher after years of work in industry or research. Throughout the period of practice, he/she carried out practical activities, his/her way of thinking has been strongly influenced by the exactness of technology, operation with quantifiable, measurable phenomena and objects, the necessity to make decisions and bear responsibility for human lives and the economic existence of a firm. For years, he/she had studied at a technological school or university, and had gained highly advanced, sound mathematical knowledge as a condition for research. At the same time, he/she was trained to accept only objectively provable and verifiable, exactly described arguments as a criterion of accuracy in final results.

Now, this engineer is unexpectedly faced with the task to teach. He/She looks for a science - theory dealing with teaching issues. What he/she is offered by pedagogical theory does not often reach up to the level of special lectures on differential equations, theoretical electronics, etc. In older pedagogical theories, the engineer lacks above all quantifiability and accuracy. He/She is not close to the methodology of traditional philosophical-spiritual scientific pedagogy. He/She finds out that there may not be any pedagogical theory available which complies with his/her ideas and experience. Thus, the need to search for new ways in education and further education of teachers of engineering schools becomes clear.

This example can serve as a simplified but clear illustration of the situation which resulted in the origin and academic establishment of a new scientific discipline: engineering pedagogy.

Engineering pedagogical curriculum underlying the IGIP's Register allowed the establishment of the Klagenfurt School of Engineering Pedagogy. Many participants in this symposium may be familiar with the initial steps of this school. To give you a full picture, I will briefly outline them below.

2.1. On the Beginnings of Engineering Pedagogy

While scientific pedagogy comprises various schools and streams, two major streams can be identified based upon simplified and generalized assumptions. The first one includes the more or less traditional philosophical-spiritual scientific beginning during which methods based upon phenomenological understanding were applied in order to get insight into the components of the instruction process. The other stream is represented by scientists who basically created the cybernetic beginning during which calculation methods dominated. Although both the streams comprise a wide range of schools, they share certain key ideas which, at the same time, distinguish them from each other.

The beginnings of the Klagenfurt School of Engineering Pedagogy are, for the most part, based upon traditional philosophical-spiritual scientific pedagogy. However, considering the special nature of engineering sciences and engineers, cybernetic pedagogy is strongly stressed. It introduces the notion of information with its quantitative dimensions and the concept of a set of rules.

Engineering pedagogy aims to implement integral thinking in terms of Science as Art, trying to combine the science of teaching with the art of the teacher, i.e. with the teacher's personality. The teaching process should be inspired in a scientific manner applying as many calculation methods as possible and making teaching activities meaningfully algorithmic. However, human beings and art, which inspires teaching and adds creativity, should maintain their roles in the instruction process. The teacher's art should be applied in accordance with the science, exploring the effectiveness of teaching processes.

Let me indicate globally the subject of engineering pedagogy which comprises research and practical achievement of goals and contents of engineering fields and courses; it also focuses on the process during which study material is transformed by means of certain media, under the influence of certain sociocultural environments, and using certain teaching methods in the minds of certain addressees.

This definition can be illustrated by an example showing engineering pedagogical understanding of the notion of instruction.

The engineering pedagogical model of the instruction process is shown in Fig. 1. The instruction process is, as any other process, governed by certain laws. It has two poles, including the system of teaching and the system of learning, between which information is mediated. The whole process is in its progress affected by a number of factors: Z, L, M, P, S, LM.

Fig. 1

The dependence of the instruction process on these factors

teaching goal(Z)
study material(L)
psychological structure(P)
sociological structure(S)
learning method(LM)
is apparent without detailed explanation when we imagine how significantly instruction changes when we vary the factors.

During preparation for instruction, practitioners have a didactic task of searching for suitable values of the LM under conditions of given values of Z, L, M, P, and S. In other words, we must answer the essential question of what learning method enables the achievement of the given teaching goal (Z) under conditions of the given study material (L), given teaching and learning media (M), existing addressee (P), and given impact of a certain sociocultural environment (S). The learning method which will interest us most in answering this question will be a function of the factors. Mathematically, it can be expressed in the functional equation:

LM = ¦ (Z, L, M, P, S)

This functional equation describes the extremely complex relations as all the factors act jointly. Individual factors can act in one or in opposite directions; if some of them are given, some others are also determined to some extent, etc. The instruction process in its complexity of dimensions of teaching and learning, and coordination of all the pedagogical variables makes an exceptionally complicated object of knowledge.

For the clearest possible illustration of these complex relations, instruction which complies with the IGIP's Register follows the sound maximums of the Cartesian Method. It means that each problem to be examined is divided into as many parts as is possible and desirable for finding a better solution... Our highly complex subject is thus broken down to model parts corresponding to the factors Z, L, M, P, and S. The aspect of the whole which must be inherent in the overall instruction process should be considered continuously. This methodology underlies any standard work [8].


The qualifications profile of the ING-PAED IGIP Register is built on the following three essential conditions:

3.1. On Engineering Qualifications

Excellent engineering qualifications required for registration in the IGIP Register should above all comply with the requirements enforced by the F┌d┌ration Europ┌enne d'Associations Nationales d'Ingenieurs. This condition for registration is defined by the FEANI as the European Engineer - EUR ING. For further details on the qualifications profile see e.g. in [1].

3.2. On Engineering Pedagogical Education Itself

The basis for the ING-PAED IGIP curriculum is the model seen below, showing engineering pedagogical university education of teachers of theoretical engineering subjects. [8, 2, 3, 4]

Fig. 2

Engineering Pedagogy together with Engineering Pedagogical Practice create the integrating core of the model. These principal fields of study integrate knowledge of further planned specializations. The content of individual fields of study will be briefly outlined below.

In Selected Chapters in Psychology, consisting of 16 hours minimum, the following topics should be discussed: identification of issues in cognitive and pedagogical psychology, talent, self-education ability (particularly gaining technical knowledge, comprehension, and intelligence), conditions of the learning process of human beings, results of memory research, motivation, informal testing (instructions for the development of tests targeted at a learning goal), and others.

One third of Training in Communication and Discussion Leading should focus on rhetoric; the remaining two thirds should be devoted to communication and discussion training itself, altogether 32 hours minimum.

Rhetoric should encourage self-confidence of addressees in making speeches and delivering lectures; fundamentals of voice generation (phonation) and correct articulation, including issues varying from distinct articulation to the achievement of fascinatingly convincing power of speech, should also be discussed.

Training in communication and discussion leading aims at the improvement of language behaviour in situations arising in the instruction process, and in cooperate decision making. Special attention will be given to the development of the speaker's perception of the effect of his/her speech on others (how I can express myself clearly), intensification of the teacher's perception of abilities and needs of students and colleagues (how others are able and want to understand me), encouragement of cooperative speech and forms of behaviour in relation to various social situations (how we can make ourselves understood), and practice in the analysis and mastering of specific language barriers in the study field.

Teaching Technology, consisting of 12 hours minimum, focuses on major devices, equipment, and systems which contribute to shaping the teaching process. Special emphasis is laid upon the function, operation, and meaningful use of equipment. Attention is paid to classical devices and equipment, such as boards, OHP's, slide projectors, and film projectors, as well as to so called new media, including computers and videos.

Selected Chapters in Sociology, consisting of 8 hours minimum, should outline methodology of sociology building particularly on the example of functionality and dependence of social groupings (social interaction in engineering instruction, organizational structure, styles of behaviour, personality of the Reader/Associate Professor in engineering, etc.).

Fundamentals of Text Comprehension and Production, consisting of 16 hours minimum, should comprise, aside from a brief explanation of major related theories, practice in comprehension of texts from the field of natural sciences and engineering. In addition, the course should include exercise of perception of the most important dimensions of comprehensibility; complex practice aimed at the improvement of the production of assigned texts, such as university textbooks, manuals, and operation instructions; and exercise in explaining easily comprehensible texts. Attention should also be paid to the text / picture interaction.

Biological Fundamentals of Ontogenesis, consisting of 8 hours minimum, should examine ontogenetic specifics of human beings, biologically and psychically given limitations of human load, the notion of normality, as well as potential symptoms and syndromes of handicapped students, and measures leading to the reduction of disabilities.

Laboratory Didactics, consisting of 12 hours minimum, focuses on psychomotoric aspects of engineering instruction, including experimental work and research. In addition, the structure of controlled experiments should be explained, comprising identification of the problem - identification of the hypothesis - experiment - results and outcomes, as well as the forms of school laboratory work, such as persistently repeated school experiments - experiments selected from a wider offer - individual topics brought up by students - semester work in the lab, etc.. [2]

The course Fundamentals of Engineering Pedagogy, consisting of 36 hours minimum, is the integrating element of all engineering pedagogical study. In the context of the system of the communication effect and all the other courses of study, engineering pedagogy aims at the specification of instruction goals of engineering courses, optimal selection and structuring of information; and analysis of the process of instruction. It further studies the specific effect of the contents of engineering courses on the instruction technique. In relation to practice, the focus is on the production of notions, introduction of laws, major methods of presentation, and roles of analogy in engineering instruction. Generally, it is devoted to the planning and designing of lectures and other instructional units.

Engineering Pedagogical Practice, consisting of 36 hours minimum, provides opportunities for practice in specific topics of individual fields of study based upon the knowledge of engineering pedagogy and other courses of study, which are concentrated on the planning and designing of instruction. Emphasis is also laid upon the design of lectures and related practical courses. Practical courses should be analyzed using video recordings (TV training of behaviour) where, in addition to the instructor, the group itself acts as a means of control.

According to the curriculum, Other Courses are planned, consisting of 16 hours minimum. These courses, such as school law and school management, must be approved by the appropriate National Monitoring Committee (see chapter 4). Active command of at least one world language, in addition to the mother tongue, must be required, then other necessary tasks must be determined by the appropriate competent National Monitoring Committees.

A summary of the engineering pedagogical curriculum is shown in the Table below.

Engineering Pedagogy36 hrs minimum
Engineering Pedagogical Practice36 hrs minimum
Teaching Technology12 hrs minimum
Laboratory Didactics12 hrs minimum
Text Comprehension and Production16 hrs minimum
Rhetoric12 hrs minimum
Communication and Discussion Training32 hrs minimum
Selected Chapters in Psychology16 hrs minimum
Selected Chapters in Sociology8 hrs minimum
Biological Fundamentals of Ontogenesis8 hrs minimum
Other Courses (such as School Law, and Management),
in total
16 hrs minimum
Total:204 hrs minimum

3.3. On Engineering Pedagogical Practice

At least one-year experience in engineering instruction is a condition for registration. This requirement includes experience gained in instruction at diverse institutions providing engineering education, such as secondary and higher schools, and technical universities, experience gained as an instructor in in-service training, continuing and further education, etc.

4. Organizational Structure

In order to conduct tasks connected with the Register, the management of the IGIP nominates an international committee of experts, the European Monitoring Committee, EMC, and national expert committees, National Monitoring Committees, NMC. Fig. 3 shows this organizational structure.

Fig. 3

The EMC consists of leading experts in corresponding international engineering educational systems and should reflect a balanced representation of geographic regions. Meetings of the members and the chairperson of the EMC are called by the IGIP's management.

IGIP-NMC's are national institutions composed of leading representatives of education in their corresponding countries. The chairperson of the NMC and the national contact place of the IGIP are determined by the IGIP's management after a consultation with the IGIP-EMC. Members of the IGIP-NMC are nominated by the chairperson of the NMC, recommended by the IGIP-EMC, and confirmed by the IGIP's management.

4.1. Procedures Governing the Submission of the Written Application for Registration

4.2. The Tasks of IGIP-NMC's

4.3. The IGIP-EMC's Tasks


The quality of education depends to a large extent on the quality of the engineering teacher. The IGIP's qualifications profile The European Engineering Educator ING-PAED IGIP complies with the need considered as the pan-European challenge by the IRDAC.

The IGIP's Register of European Engineering Educators ING-PAED IGIP has met with a positive response. The Register is continually accepting persons with the appropriate qualifications. Thus, diplomas were conferred upon colleagues from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and Cyprus at a festival venue within the international symposium Visions and Strategies for Europe held in Prague in the summer of 1994. In April 1996, diplomas were awarded to colleagues from Switzerland at a festival venue in which a member of the Swiss government, Federal Councillor Cotti took part. On the occasion of 25th anniversary of the Klagenfurt University, diplomas were conferred upon colleagues from Austria, etc.

The IGIP's Register has also won recognition from the UNESCO, which recommended to the IGIP to offer its qualifications profile as a model to be applied worldwide.


  1. FEANI: Leitfaden zum FEANI-Register EUR ING, FEANI-Register Kommission, Paris 1992
  2. HAUG, Albert: Labordidaktik in der Ingenieurausbildung, VDE-Verlag, Berlin, 1980
  3. HERNAUT, K.: Ingenieure und Ingenieurp˝dagogen in Europa - Einheit der Vielfalt. In: Melezinek A. (Hrsg) Interdisziplinarit˝t und Internationalit˝t der Klagenfurter Universit˝t: Die Klagenfurter Ingenieurp˝dagogische Schule, Leuchtturm Verlag, Alsbach/Bergstrasse, 1995
  4. MELEZINEK, A.: Recent Innovations in Technical Training in Central and Eastern European Countries, UNESCO, Paris, 1985
  5. MELEZINEK, A.: P˝dagogik fěr Ingenieure und Techniker. In: Reichert u.a.ńBerufliche Bildung im Zusammenwirken v.Schule u.Betrieb. Neckar Verlag, Villingen, 1986
  6. MELEZINEK, A.: Technical Teacher Training: The ńIngenieurp˝dagogikApproach. In: Journal of Engineering Education in Southeast Asia, Vol.17, No.2, Sept.1987
  7. MELEZINEK A.: A Model for Educational Training of Technical Teachers. In: Applied Engineering Education. Pergamon Press, Oxford, New York, Nr. 6,1989
  8. MELEZINEK, A.: Ingenieurpaedagogik, Springer Verlag Wien, New York, 3.Auflage 1992
  9. MELEZINEK, A.: Anerkennung als Techniklehrer fěr Europa: Das Register Europeanischer Ingenieurp˝dagogen ING-PAED IGIP. In: Melezinek A. (Hsg) Interdisziplinarit˝t und Internationalit˝t der Klagenfurter Universit˝t: Die Klagenfurter Ingenieurp˝dagogische Schule, Leuchtturm Verlag, Alsbach/Bergstrasse, 1995
  10. SCHRIFTENREIHE INGENIEURPAEDAGOGIK (bisher 33 B˝nde) LTV-Verlag, Alsbach/Bergstr.

Return to the page "Newsletter 3/1996"