Operationalising challenge based learning for geo-information specialists in an international classroom

J. Ettema*, Leonie Bosch-Chapel, H. van der Werff, A. Vrieling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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The main challenge for the new generation of international geo-information specialists is to provide accurate, relevant, and actionable spatial information services to society. Consequently, educators need to organize their education in such a way that students students not only to master content, but also acquire essential skills and competencies to collaborate, communicate, and think in a critical, creative, and innovative manner. The concept of Challenge-based Learning (CBL) provides a flexible and effective educational framework for finding a collaborative solution to real-world, open-ended, technology-driven challenges in interdisciplinary teams. A perfect example of a task that our students will face in their professional life, is providing adequate geo-information services to application fields outside of their expertise. At the Faculty Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, the classrooms are highly international (from 75% to 100% non-European) and from multiple application fields. MSc students are highly motivated, especially when they can tackle challenges linked to their home countries. By operationalising the CBL concept we want to enable students to co-define their learning path, to enhance 21st-century skills in an international classroom, and to exchange experience with peers and experts, while acquiring essential domain knowledge. In spring 2020, we will embed a CBL approach in an online elective called “Weather Impact Analysis”. In this concept paper, we show how, by using the CBL approach, students obtain deep domain knowledge and skills, while at the same time they acquire 21st-century skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing society.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging, Engineering, Education
Subtitle of host publicationBook of Abstracts, SEFI 48th Annual Conference University of Twente (online), 20-24 September, 2020
EditorsJan van der Veen, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Hannu-Matti Jarvinen, Tinne de Laet, Ineke Ten Dam
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9782873520205
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Event48th Annual Conference on Engaging Engineering Education, SEFI 2020 - Enschede, Online, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Sep 202024 Sep 2020

Publication series

NameSEFI 48th Annual Conference Engaging Engineering Education, Proceedings


Conference48th Annual Conference on Engaging Engineering Education, SEFI 2020
CityEnschede, Online


  • Challenge-based learning
  • Geo-information students
  • International classroom


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