Teaching and Learning for Challenge Driven Education in a Global Context

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This course supports teachers in higher education in developing and implementing Challenge-Driven Education (CDE) and other forms of project-based learning approaches. The course is built around a number of aspects that are characteristic for CDE, for example: sustainable development concepts and competencies; design methodologies; facilitation, supervision, and assessment, of student teams; and engagement of external stakeholders in student projects.

The course is project-based where you as participant is expected to work with a course development project in parallel with actively participating in the online webinars. Your project can be performed individually or in collaboration with a colleague and could for example be about: infusing some elements of project-based or challenge-driven learning in an existing ‘conventional’ course; or improving some parts of an existing project-based or challenge-driven course, for example enhancing the focus on sustainability and/or external stakeholder interaction; or developing a completely new challenge-driven course. It is up to each participant to come up with a project that suits their respective contexts and teaching practices.

The course is part of KTH's ambitions to increase the integration of sustainable development and challenge-driven education in all study programs, to involve more teachers in the KTH Global Development Hub (GDH), and to promote collaboration and partnerships with other universities and various societal actors. More about CDE and GDH is provided below.

Elegibility: You should be an experienced teacher with formal teacher education corresponding to LH231V Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 7.5 credits or equivalent from KTH or other universities.

For more information, please contact Anders Rosén, aro@kth.se.

Application: https://www.kth.se/form/lh233vspring22. FULLY BOOKED.

Course format and schedule

The course is conducted online, blending online webinars with home assignments. Course material, instructions for the development project and assignments, zoom links for the webinars, etc, is provided through the course's Canvas learning management system that will be activated about two weeks before course start. Since you should be an experienced teacher to participate in this course, and since CDE is a relatively new concept that is still in evolution, you will be considered a co-creator of this course and co-developer of the CDE concept. Well prepared and active participation in the webinars is therefore required for your own learning as well as for your contribution to the other participants' learning. The course corresponds to 3 ECTS credits which means that you in total, including webinars and homework, are expected to spend about 80 hours on completing the course.

Webinars spring 2022:

Date Time (CET) Theme
January 27 10:00-15:00 Introduction to challenge-driven education
and sustainable development
February 24 10:00-15:00 Designing project-based and challenge-driven courses
March 31 10:00-15:00 Challenge-driven design methodologies
April 28 10:00-15:00 Stakeholder engagement, innovation, and impact planning
May 18 10:00-15:00 Facilitation and collaboration for learning in project teams
June 9 13:00-16:00 Final presentations and summing up

Intended learning outcomes

The objective is that the participants after finishing the course should be able to design, plan and implement challenge-driven project courses. This implies that the participants should be able to:

  1. explain and discuss the concepts challenge driven education, sustainable development, innovation, key competencies, and implement these concepts in learning activities;
  2. identify and analyze societal challenges and solutions in relation to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals;
  3. describe, apply and introduce students to specific design methods and creativity methods suitable for open ended socio-technical projects;
  4. formulate relevant learning objectives for challenge-driven learning processes and plan for and perform appropriate assessment and grading of individual students in team projects;
  5. apply methods for engaging external stakeholders in challenge-driven projects;
  6. plan for and assess the impact of challenge-driven projects;
  7. select, apply, and motivate methodologies and exercises facilitating collaboration and innovativeness in multi-disciplinary student projects.


The course is examined through prepared and active participation in all webinars, a course design assignment reported in terms of a report and a personal reflection, and peer review of other course participants' reports.

Background to CDE & GDH

The grand challenges for humanity in the 21st century, for example as expressed by UN:s 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, are calling for substantial transformations of our global society, to ensure a healthy planet and sustainable living conditions for ourselves and future generations. These challenges are also drivers of change of the education systems, where the traditional focus on developing students' knowledge within specific disciplines must be complemented to better support the students in preparing for living in and acting on these challenges.

Challenge-Driven Education (CDE) is an evolving learning approach that is implemented somewhat differently in different contexts. In general it can be described as a project-based and highly student-centred approach where learning takes place through exploration of sustainability related societal challenges and development of interventions or solutions that are addressing such challenges. CDE projects preferably involve multi-disciplinary international student teams and external stakeholders who can contribute in identifying challenges and act as users or exploiters of the results. The objective with CDE is to create conditions for active, experential, and transformative learning where students’, in addition to applying and deepening disciplinary knowledge and professional skills, get opportunities to question and change the ways they and others see and think about the world, develop key competences for sustainability, and take action for transformative change. CDE has potential to enhance the interaction between the university and the surrounding society and have impact on sustainable development through mutual capacity-building learning processes, innovations emerging from the student projects, and by students becoming sustainability change agents.

The course LH233V has been developed and is run in collaboration with the KTH Global Development Hub (GDH) where KTH is joining forces with universities in Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania, in developing and implementing new approaches for education, innovation, and research, as means for mutual learning and capacity building for sustainable transformations.

Information about other teaching and learning courses at KTH

Overview of all courses in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education


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