Part of the 4TU.Federation
Centre for
Engineering Education

Project introduction and background information

Literature shows some fundamental directions to help students to create a theoretical meta-structure, preferably within a challenge-based task. It is the aim of this project to make these available for TU/e in a practical form that supports various initiatives undertaken to innovate and create challenge-based education. Some of which have been tested in higher education and/or secondary education in particular.

Objective and expected outcomes


This project will address the issue of knowledge acquisition in challenge based learning in a practical way. The aim is to inspire and support teachers/projects creating challenge based learning that also want their students to acquire theoretical integrated knowledge and understanding. This can be subjects/courses already taught in a more-or-less challenge based form, but also projects that re-design a subjects/courses currently classically taught into a 'challenge based courses'.

As indicated above, this is partly done by making available the results and ideas found in literature in a practical form for teachers throughout TU/e. Secondly, it is done by the in-depth analysis (structure, completeness etc.) of the knowledgebase and understanding students acquire as a result of challenge based education and its particular characteristics.

Expected outcomes

  • Improved challenge based education for the subjects involved. That is: challenge based education optimized for acquiring better theoretical knowledge/understanding (this involves both the tasks and the teaching behavior; the latter being included but not emphasized in this project).
  • Best practices: both tested and theoretically underpinned from experiences at AP/CT/EE/ME.
  • Formats for challenge based learning to be used at other departments also. Understanding of the merits and affordances derived from the projects/subject included. This leads to a) a 'model' of deepened challenge based education, and b) practical guidelines for creating deepened challenge based education, that can be used for other courses in other departments.
  • Insight in the production of 'theoretical knowledge' in challenge based learning (PhD level-to be discussed). Thus contributing to building"up a body of knowledge/expertise in creating/implementing challenge based learning at TU/e.

Results and learnings


Practical outcomes

Results and products

1. Web tool "design your CBL"

    a. Online tool in which the findings are incorporated:

    b. Conference paper 'design your CBL' (EDUCON 2020 conference)

2. Organized meetings

   a. Study day TN (approx. 50 TU / e teachers)

   b. Study day EE (approx. 40 TU / e teachers)

   c. Contribution to E3 development day (approx. 15 participants)

3. PowerPoints etc. at these meetings about "theoretical knowledge in CBL"

4. Application for innovation fund "design your CBL (see below)"