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. The course is built around a number of aspects that are characteristic for CDE, for example: wicked problems; sustainable development concepts; key competencies for sustainability; design methodologies; frugal innovation; external stakeholders in student projects; facilitation, supervision, and assessment, of student teams.

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. Your project can either be aiming for being implemented in a near future or be more visionary or something in between. It is up to you to come up with a course development project that suits your contexts, teaching practices, and aims.

The course is part of KTH's ambitions to better support our students in preparing for working in the collaborative, inter- and trans-disciplinary contexts of real world societal challenges and contributing to sustainability transformations of society. The course is also promoting enhanced collaboration between the university and the industry, the public sector, and civil society, and involvment of more teachers and students in the activities of the KTH Global Development Hub (GDH). 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/62b307a79ff06ae9d799606b?l=en

Course format and schedule

The course is conducted online, blending synchronous online webinars with asynchronous home assignments. Course material, instructions for the development project and assignments, zoom links for the webinars, etc, are 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 as participant 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 and our joint explorations. 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 2023:

Date Time (CET) Theme
January 25 10:00-15:00 Introduction to challenge-driven education
and sustainable development
February 19 10:00-15:00 Designing project-based and challenge-driven courses
March 11 10:00-15:00 Challenge-driven design methodologies
April 8 10:00-15:00 Stakeholder engagement, innovation, and value creation
April 29 10:00-15:00 Teachers' roles, learning facilitation and supervision
May 20 10:00-15:00 Final presentations, summing up

Intended learning outcomes

The objective is that the participants after finishing the course should be able to design 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 system, 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. It is a project-based approach where students are learning by developing interventions or solutions to societal challenges related to sustainable development. The challenges, that constitutes the targets for the projects and the context for the learning, are commonly identified and explored in close collaboration with some external stakeholder, it can be a company, public authority, or from the civil society. Since such challenges typically have the character of 'wicked problems', it is however preferable to involve a multitude of different stakeholders and interdisciplinary international student teams.

The objective with CDE is to create conditions for active, experiential, and transdisciplinary learning where students’, in addition to applying and deepening disciplinary knowledge and professional skills, get opportunities to develop key competencies for sustainability. CDE can also enable transformative learning where students can question and change their own and others' ways of seeing and thinking about the world, and take action for transformative change. CDE has potential to have actual impact on the sustainable development and transformation of society, through mutual learning and innovation-capacity building, 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), which is a partnership between KTH and universities in Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania. The partnership concerns mutual capacity building for the Sustainable Development Goals in the UN’s 2030 Agenda, and is based on joint activities on challenge-driven education, innovation, and research. Through a student mobility program and online collaborative opportunities, our students can come together either physically or virtually at KTH or at any of the partner universities, and there collaborate with various external stakeholders in projects that are addressing local challenges related to the SDGs. 

Information about other teaching and learning courses at KTH

Overview of all courses in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education


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