Expert Advice on Starting a CDIO Program at Your Institution

At the request of program leaders at universities that are adapting and implementing CDIO, we offer this startup advice.

The advice is targeted to individuals or small teams leading the academic reform, and it may also be helpful for faculty members and other academic leaders (e.g., deans). It captures and distills lessons learned by the initial CDIO collaborators.

The advice is organized loosely into topical areas (Goals/Outcomes, etc.) and then into individual bits of advice, with the key work or phrase highlighted.

Five of the items are commonly thought to be key in bringing about any organizational change: rationale, committed leadership, interested early adopters, appeal to professionalism, and resources and incentives. These should be very carefully considered and incorporated into program plans.

One of the processes that supports implementation and adaptation of CDIO is to commission activities that effect early, reliable, and visible change. We call these early successes.

If you’re a program leader, please pay particular attention to the "Early Successes" section of our startup advice, which outlines activities that can lead to early visible progress toward CDIO adaptation and implementation.

We're here to help you to adapt, implement, and maintain your CDIO program. The CDIO team includes experts and experienced individuals who can assist you with everything from stakeholder surveys, to assessment studies, to partnering with other CDIO adopters.

There are three easy ways you can get information and assistance from the CDIO Initiative:

  • E-mail your question to info at It will be directed to the proper person who will respond to you, or
  • If your question relates to a specific institution or geographic region, email the CDIO contact at one of our member schools, or
  • E-mail the appropriate CDIO Regional Co-leader


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