Challenge-Based Learning prepares the future change agents
TU/e hosted the first national conference on Challenge-Based Learning.
The opening of the first national conference on Challenge-Based Learning was in the safe hands of Isabelle Reymen, director of TU/e innovation Space, and Ines Lopez Arteaga, dean of the Bachelor College. Their speeches to a full Blauwe Zaal, last Thursday, painted a quick picture of the origins of CBL and outlined how this is becoming an established means of delivering the TU/e curriculum.
That preparations for the conference, attended last Thursday by 260 people, had taken their toll was evident when Isabelle Reymen took the microphone. Having almost completely lost her voice at the start of the week, she had avoided talking for the past two days. Speaking just before her, Dean Ines Lopez Arteaga told the audience something of the history to the introduction to Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) and presented its strategic perspective. Where CBL and the Bachelor College 2.0, the recalibrated version due to launch in September, should be heading is, to her mind, clear; these factors will transform the education process: we must move from content delivery to student coaching. Lopez Arteaga: “In the coming years we need to scale up CBL as a means of curriculum delivery while at the same time ensuring that the student continues to acquire deep disciplinary knowledge.” This last issue, she believes, will be the most significant challenge in this change process.
Reymen outlined this prospect in broader terms. The idea is that the introduction of CBL, placed within the context of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN, creates the opportunity to prime TU/e students to become agents of change. This, it was said, is something that traditional forms of education - “mass production” in Reymen's words - don't do. “In traditional education the student has no control over what they are given [in terms of curriculum] and this leads to low numbers of motivated students and empty lecture theaters. The student's passion and interest must be given a much greater role [in shaping the curriculum].” According to the innoSpace director, students should learn to deal with uncertainties and must be taken out of their own particular education bubble, in which they find themselves between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four.
Reymen proudly announced to those present, many of whom were TU/e staff, that TU/e now runs forty CBL courses and that these are being taken by four thousand students. “Added to which, innoSpace is home to all our student teams, and their work too is governed by the principles of CBL. There are now about forty teams, about 650 students in total.”
Keeping up a steady pace in spite of her voice problems, Reymen moved on to what else innoSpace offers with a CBL flavor: its own Bachelor's Final Project (BEP), an interdisciplinary and team endeavor; and the ISP Master's, which involves working on an open-ended assignment with many uncertainties, and during which a lot is asked of students in terms of discovering for themselves what they will research. There's also close cooperation with groups such as the Intelligent Lighting Institute (ILI) and the university's four research institutes, as well as with industry. As the supplier of research subjects and experts, who come and teach one day a week, the latter has a role to play in education because students need to learn entrepreneurship before they graduate.
The grants accompanying educational laurels won in recent years will be spent on continued research on CBL in cooperation with the Eindhoven School of Education (ESoE). With undisguised enthusiasm Reymen announced at the end of her talk that the CBL toolkit for teaching staff had been posted online. Registration has opened, so the website says, for demonstration lunches on June 29 and on July 6 and 13, an opportunity to learn how a department can get the most out of using the toolkit.
This article was written by Cursor.
Keep following us
Sign up for our bimonthly newsletter that brings you the latest in groundbreaking research from TU/e.
The Dutch podcast Sound of Science discusses the latest scientific discoveries and the role of technology in society.
Be part of our community and stay up to date on everything that happens at TU/e by following us on LinkedIn.
Be the first to know the latest TU/e news via our Twitter channel.
Instagram - Research
Follow our latest research news via our research channel on Instagram.
On our YouTube channel you find the latest videos and animations about research, education and working at TU/e.