Comenius education grant for Isabelle Reymen of TU/e

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Comenius Education grant for Isabelle Reymen of TU/e

Professor Isabelle Reymen, scientific director of TU/e innovation Space, has secured a grant worth half a million euros under the Comenius programme run by NWO. Reymen will develop the conceptual framework for Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) and will research its subsequent rollout and upscaling at TU/e.

Framework

This project will develop a framework to refine CBL in higher (engineering) education based on empirical evidence from best practices, learn from experiments carried out, develop means for achieving teacher involvement and professionalisation, implement the new insights, and focus on dissemination. The project is innovative since it focuses on fostering learning that closely fits students’ intrinsic motivation, but in order to succeed, the learning framework requires strengthening of its conceptual basis and guidelines towards wider implementation. Research will unravel the effects of CBL on students’ engagement, collaboration, learning processes and outcomes, and on teachers’ needs to facilitate this type of learning. The project team is involved in the most important experiments in CBL at TU/e, has expertise in educational innovation and learning, and can direct university-wide implementation of CBL.

Innovative

The innovative nature of her project application and the planned scale drew a positive response from the assessment committee. It is believed that her project could have a highly innovative impact on the curriculum. According to Reymen, the first step is to build the conceptual framework of CBL. “In various places around the world CBL has already been adopted, but it has not yet been the subject of any proper research. That's what we will be doing in the coming years, and already we are seeing plenty of interest, from places such as Aalto University in Finland and MIT in the US, where people are also working with CBL,” says Reymen.

In the coming academic year more experiments with CBL will start up, such as assessing students differently when participating in interdisciplinary teams, since assessment on the basis of a single discipline will no longer do. It’s important to research what CBL can bring staff and students in learning and what is required for this. The committee that approved her application assessed Reymen's ambitions as 'realistic' and spoke of its confidence ‘that the applicant can realize the planned results’. Reymen’s application ‘Fostering Challenge-Based Learning through TU/e innovation Space’ was the first TU/e application to be accepted in the highest category of the Comenius programme: the Leadership Fellow programme.

About CBL

CBL forms the core of the TU/e educational vision for 2030. It concerns an innovative type of learning where students work on real-life open-ended challenges that directly impact our world (e.g. related to United Nations’ sustainable development goals), and where students take ownership of their learning. Besides deepening disciplinary knowledge and skills in context, students learn to collaborate with different disciplines and stakeholders, and deal with complex, open-ended processes. TU/e aims to implement CBL as an educational concept, a learning framework for all programmes, and thus offers a unique environment to study the development and upscaling of the concept. TU/e innovation Space is the community and facility that plays a central role in the development of CBL at TU/e. 

Source: TU/e Cursor
Photo: Rob Stork

Comenius education grant for Isabelle Reymen of TU/e

Comenius Education grant for Isabelle Reymen of TU/e

Professor Isabelle Reymen, scientific director of TU/e innovation Space, has secured a grant worth half a million euros under the Comenius programme run by NWO. Reymen will develop the conceptual framework for Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) and will research its subsequent rollout and upscaling at TU/e.

Framework

This project will develop a framework to refine CBL in higher (engineering) education based on empirical evidence from best practices, learn from experiments carried out, develop means for achieving teacher involvement and professionalisation, implement the new insights, and focus on dissemination. The project is innovative since it focuses on fostering learning that closely fits students’ intrinsic motivation, but in order to succeed, the learning framework requires strengthening of its conceptual basis and guidelines towards wider implementation. Research will unravel the effects of CBL on students’ engagement, collaboration, learning processes and outcomes, and on teachers’ needs to facilitate this type of learning. The project team is involved in the most important experiments in CBL at TU/e, has expertise in educational innovation and learning, and can direct university-wide implementation of CBL.

Innovative

The innovative nature of her project application and the planned scale drew a positive response from the assessment committee. It is believed that her project could have a highly innovative impact on the curriculum. According to Reymen, the first step is to build the conceptual framework of CBL. “In various places around the world CBL has already been adopted, but it has not yet been the subject of any proper research. That's what we will be doing in the coming years, and already we are seeing plenty of interest, from places such as Aalto University in Finland and MIT in the US, where people are also working with CBL,” says Reymen.

In the coming academic year more experiments with CBL will start up, such as assessing students differently when participating in interdisciplinary teams, since assessment on the basis of a single discipline will no longer do. It’s important to research what CBL can bring staff and students in learning and what is required for this. The committee that approved her application assessed Reymen's ambitions as 'realistic' and spoke of its confidence ‘that the applicant can realize the planned results’. Reymen’s application ‘Fostering Challenge-Based Learning through TU/e innovation Space’ was the first TU/e application to be accepted in the highest category of the Comenius programme: the Leadership Fellow programme.

About CBL

CBL forms the core of the TU/e educational vision for 2030. It concerns an innovative type of learning where students work on real-life open-ended challenges that directly impact our world (e.g. related to United Nations’ sustainable development goals), and where students take ownership of their learning. Besides deepening disciplinary knowledge and skills in context, students learn to collaborate with different disciplines and stakeholders, and deal with complex, open-ended processes. TU/e aims to implement CBL as an educational concept, a learning framework for all programmes, and thus offers a unique environment to study the development and upscaling of the concept. TU/e innovation Space is the community and facility that plays a central role in the development of CBL at TU/e. 

Source: TU/e Cursor
Photo: Rob Stork