Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Presented at the Higher Education in Transformation Symposium November 2 - 4, 2016 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada


This paper details a pilot initiative within the Engineering Department at Ireland’s Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) where a competitive, team-based robot-building activity has been embedded within the first year module Professional Development for Engineers. As part of the 2015 programmatic review process at ITB, an existing first year module Personal Development was significantly re-designed. The resulting module Professional Development for Engineers was delivered to Engineering students in semester 1 of year 1 of the 2015/16 academic year. A core aim of this initiative is to enhance the first year engineering student experience. The initiative is an adaptation of a robot-building activity run within the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) for the past twelve years. The two lead authors, as part of a larger ITB programme design team, partnered with DIT to deliver a series of workshops that equipped ITB staff to deliver RoboSumo to their students at ITB. Arising from this preparatory work, ITB have implemented a slimmed down version of RoboSumo within ITB’s Professional Development for Engineers module. This paper outlines the curriculum design approach taken and then discusses challenges that encountered before and during implementation. An action plan for improvement of the next iteration is identified; it has been informed by the evaluation and analysis of the initial pilot project discussed here.