Transdisciplinary Challenge-based Learning: Multi-Stakeholder Co-creation Combining Engineering Technology and Social Sciences

Kostas Nizamis, Mats van Dalen, Desirée H. van Dun, Eduardo Martino Polidor Hermsen, Brendan Patrick Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) effectively engages and encourages multidisciplinary collaboration amongst university students to resolve real-world challenges. However, with increasing demand for more challenges, it can become difficult to identify external stakeholders willing to be challenge providers. To manage and alleviate the threat of challenge provider saturation, we studied how CBL can be best leveraged to create value for external stakeholders, and simultaneously enrich student learning experiences as part of a transdisciplinary Master program. Within this educational setting, faculties from both engineering and social sciences worked to merge two courses and perspectives (Systems Thinking and Change Making) around one comprehensive challenge. This multidimensional challenge required close cooperation between the teachers and challenge providers to formulate a wicked challenge that combined both practical and academic merit. Working through this common challenge the researchers aimed to mitigate the threat of stakeholder recruitment saturation while providing a new option for working across disciplines in CBL (both for students and teachers). In collaboration with university educational experts, the instructors evaluated the combination of the courses with all the actors (namely students, challenge providers, and teachers). Both before, during, and after the courses, panel meeting discussions, diary-style logbooks, testimonials, and surveys were administered. Despite a degree of initial uncertainty created by the multidimensional challenge, the experience offered an increased value to the challenge provider and enabled the students to engage in a real multi-perspective transdisciplinary educational experience. We discovered the added value of merging different perspectives and can provide suggestions for future transdisciplinary challenge-based learning.


Dive into the research topics of 'Transdisciplinary Challenge-based Learning: Multi-Stakeholder Co-creation Combining Engineering Technology and Social Sciences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this