For over 25 years, I have taught Computer Architecture, Operating Systems, Computer Networking, Mobile Application Development, Storage Systems, Programming Autonomous Systems, Programming in the Linux kernel, and Introduction to Co-evolving Hybrid Intelligence.
My approach to education has always been to put the practical problem or challenge to be solved before the theoretical study, enabling students to develop creative, critical, and engineering thinking -- we (I and my colleagues) call this Сhaordic learning.
The general idea is the following. Software engineering is an interactive, collaborative and creative activity that cannot be entirely planned. Inspection and adaption are required to cope with changes during the development process. Software engineering education requires practical application of knowledge, but it is challenging and time consuming for instructors to evaluate the creation of innovative solutions to problems.
Current higher education practices lead to a multitude of rules, guidelines and order. Instructors see deviations of students as failures and limit the creative thinking processes of students. The chaordic learning is a self-organizing, adaptive and nonlinear learning approach, to stimulate the creative thinking of students. In this approach Instructors provide structure and guidance, but also integrate freedom for self-organization and self-guided learning and embrace innovation and creativity. Deviations are seen as opportunities and failures as possibilities for students to learn and improve.
We introduced chaordic learning into many university courses and international schools and describe the chaordic process of these courses as case studies. Students in these courses report about an increased intrinsic motivation, a higher level of self-organization and more room for creativity leading to an improved learning experience and more fun.
Over the years, I have organized many STEM schools around the world. The most famous of these schools is the international Joint Advanced Student School (JASS), which annually brings together undergraduate and graduate students from different countries for a two-week intensive devoted to the development and research of breakthrough technologies.