Project introduction and background information
TU/e offers an environment for students to work in interdisciplinary teams and work on societal problems. However, there is little known about how to design characteristics for these problems and what is needed to support the student teams. The educational concept Challenge-based learning (CBL) uses authentic societal problems ('challenges') to urge student learning. The main research question for thiscase study is: What design characteristics of innovation Space challenges support interdisciplinary student collaboration?
Results and learnings
Data collection consisted of analysis of learning materials, interviews with teachers and students, student surveys about motivation and collaborative learning in four courses and two honour’s tracks. The results show how teachers ask for competence development in supporting students, especially in assessing and integrating discipline knowledge. Students reported high motivation combined with anxiety for open and complex challenges. Over time this anxiety decreases, as students develop knowledge to solve the challenge. Students also reported a need for a clear mapping of learning goals to activities and assessment
For students it appeared often unclear how and on what criteria they are assessed. Yet, students also reported support in developing ownership, self-directed learning, and collaborative learning. This study increases the understanding of challenge design and how interdisciplinarity can be situated in this new design.