Internal and external stakeholders’ impact on product development curriculum design

Hanna Lindsten, Petra Auvinen, Tero Juuti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Teachers do not develop curriculum independently of other stakeholders. Instead, the development activity is seen here as a joint effort of both internal and external stakeholders having a common goal of improving curriculum design and practice. In this case, internal stakeholders include the faculty, the students, and the higher education teachers’ own community while external stakeholders refer to the higher education policy and the labour market. The aim of the paper is twofold: Firstly, to analyse and make visible what kind of influence various stakeholders have on curriculum design work in product development education, and secondly, to discuss the ways in which higher education curriculum can be improved as a collaborative process between internal and external stakeholders.

The research data was collected from the curriculum development session conducted at the Laboratory of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Systems on October 2018. The participants in the session were four product development teachers, a couch, a researcher and a research assistant. In the session, the participants aimed at jointly creating a particular flow chart to describe and document the specific competence goals as well as the knowledge, skills, routines, and attitudes the students should learn to achieve those goals. The researcher observed the session and intervened with questions about the various stakeholder roles in the curriculum design work. The three-hour session was recorded on an audio tape and then transcribed. The method of content analysis was used as a qualitative research strategy to analyse the transcription of the session. In conclusion, the paper highlights the importance of collaboration with relevant stakeholders at least at some point of the curriculum design work. By paying attention to different, or even contradictory stakeholder motives and interests, we can achieve a deeper understanding about the nature and dynamics of curriculum design work and therefore about the future of higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019
PublisherThe Design Society
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912254-05-7
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventInternational Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education -
Duration: 12 Sept 201913 Sept 2019


ConferenceInternational Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education


  • curriculum design
  • stakeholders
  • product development education
  • competence-based curriculum

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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