Infinite-Pi Learning Model in Product Engineers Training


Frequently, discussions arise within the T-shaped competency model regarding the choice between emphasizing depth or breadth in education. Each has its own considerations and applications at different levels of learning for students. Typically, learning begins with a broad overview and then delves into depth within applied disciplines, with the reverse approach for more theoretical subjects. In the realm of engineering design, the concept of design itself is considered a broad topic, but achieving proficiency in a specific area of knowledge is crucial for providing innovative solutions. This study focuses on the exploration of the design methodology known as the double diamond, within the context of pedagogical development for training product engineers. A product engineer needs to be competent in various fields while maintaining an innovative mindset. This is why the pi-shaped model is popular among product engineers, as it bridges two T-shaped components, representing expertise in more than two fields. However, the pi-shaped model, while facilitating multi-disciplinary learning, falls short in addressing innovation. In this study, the double-diamond methodology and the pi-shaped model are integrated into the infinite-pi model for training product engineers. In this approach, product engineers undergo training in various fields (pi-shaped), while continuously exploring new areas and returning to fundamentals (double diamond) to foster innovation. Preliminary study results indicate strong agreement among participants with the infinite-pi model. They express a preference for this model over both the pi-shaped and T-shaped models.

Author Information
Tee Hui Teo, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Maoyang Xiang, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Xuesong Zhai, Zhejiang University, China
Fan Ouyang, Zhejiang University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2024
Stream: Teaching Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon