This section of the model is aimed at teachers in higher education institutions. The section can be used as a toolkit and has been created to support the work of HEI teachers who are interested in societal engagement and working with different stakeholders in society. In this toolkit, stakeholders comprise societal actors related to the specific study fields, for instance, public and third sector organizations for social sciences, in business studies different private enterprises, and in the arts, various arts organizations. The guiding principle through this toolkit section and the model as a whole is to see teaching and learning as an integral part of societal engagement for Higher Education Institutions.

We will start by introducing challenge-based learning. After this we will introduce the HEISE pedagogical model by describing different stages of societally-engaged teaching in higher education institutions. We will give concrete examples and the tools necessary to put challenge-based learning into practice, and to make use of arts-based methods along the way. Moreover, we will also present longer case studies that highlight the process holistically.

Challenge-based Learning

We consider challenge-based learning as the framework for a collaborative learning experience in which teachers and students work together to learn about vital issues, propose solutions to real problems, and take action (Apple Inc., 2010). This framework connects to other active and creative learning methods such as problem-based learning, learning-by-doing, game-based learning, arts-based learning (e.g., Barone & Eisner, 2011), inquiry-based learning (e.g., Friesen & Scott, 2013) and Learning by Developing (LbD) (Raij, 2007). For instance, problem-based learning enhances learning that enables critical thinking, flexible problem solving, and the transfer of skills and use of knowledge in new situations (Barron & Darling-Hammond, 2008), whereas in inquiry- based learning students "construct meaning in the context of their lived experience through active inquiry and engagement with their school and community" (Alberta Education, 2007, p. 5)....

HEISE Pedagogical Model

The HEISE pedagogical model is based on experiential and challenge-based learning in order to increase higher education institutions` societal engagement. We believe that adopting arts-based methods in different stages of the learning process is a means of incorporating societal engagement in education. Challenge in this model is understood in a broad way: as any problem or challenge that an organization, group or individual is dealing with. ...

Some examples on
challenge based
And with a global twist:

Guide to Learning by Developing:

Some examples on challenge based learning:
- Challenge-based cultural planning in the cultural district of Töölo Bay in Helsinki
- Arvo Pärt Center
- We-house Kerava and Puluboi

Engaging with the curriculum if possible

Negotiation of the students' learning goals

Facilitating the first meeting between challenge owner and students

Encourage challenge owner and students to think outside of the box

Agreement with the challenge owner

Creating the structure for the students with the challenge owner if needed
Guarantee: ethical approach, documentation, communication and commitment

Supervising, managing, mentoring or facilitating

Following up with whole gorup or/and with each team

Support mutal learning, peer learning and new perspectives during action

Support identifying phenomena, issues, slow changes, and small signals that appear during the process

Evaluation together with students and the challenge owner

Pedagogical reflection

Incorporating learning outcomes in career plans and professional competence

Societal scaling of the project

The preparation phase consists of various activities that need to be completed before starting the challenge-based learning activities. When preparing yourself to teach a challenge-based course, a good way to understand the setting is to adopt the role of mediator and facilitator, as you will be working at the nexus between the students, the challenge owner(s) and the regulations of your university and discipline. The mindset, skills and competences of the teacher are at the core of the preparation phase. In addition, the profile of the students, their previous experience, completed courses and learning outcomes play an important role in deciding how to implement challenge-based learning. ...


Games can be used in work with the challenge owner to gain understanding and insight, and to set the project on the "right" path. For example Atlas is a design game that can be used at the beginning of a project to create better understanding of the participants and their aims and perceptions of the joint activity. Atlas has been tested by researchers and professionals in real-life service development contexts.

Games can also become an outcome and simultaneously a tool for guiding the further development of projects. For example, in a case examining the needs of elderly residents within a city district for city services and their reach both physically and psychologically, a board game was developed to capture the spaces occupied by these services and the various barriers or enablers a person encounters on their path to them.
Different approaches to problem solving

- Impact Gaps Canvas as a supportive tool. See: http://tacklingheropreneurship. com/the-impact- gaps-canvas/

- A tool to find common ground on social inclusion: https://www. what-does-inclusion-mean.2003/

- Be playful and experiment with a role play in someone else's shoes: telepurk/1371122721/Kellegi-teise- nahas.-2013

- To find out about the privileges you might be enjoying: https://peacelearner. org/2016/03/14/privilege- walk-lesson-plan/

- or search for other tools: https://

Example of challenge-based learning as part of a module: MAPSI

For example, as part of a two-year Master's programme in cultural management, regular challenge- solving sessions were established as a separate course within the specialization module, which consists of three courses overall .The challenge-solving course consist of project work by student teams on a societal challenge related to the students' practical specialization.
Sometimes HEI's organize events for matchmaking between challenge owner's and students.

For example, Laurea organises an event called Project Market 2-3 times a year, at which potential challenge owners can present their challenges to students. Students can then choose which challenge they want to work with and earn credits while doing so.

This can be seen as marketplace for challenges.
Students can select this five ECTS challenge-solving course in place of an internship during their last semester of studies. At the end of the studies it is hoped that students can draw on the the skills gained, the knowledge and perspectives required to carry out a project designed to solve a real-life societal challenge with a stakeholder (i.e. organization). This course is very flexibly structured, with no set weekly meeting times and an expected workload equivalent to five ECTS. The responsible teacher supervises the process as a mediator or facilitator, but the student project team determines the scheduling of the project tasks and meetings, and the exact content of the course. The teacher is responsible for providing appropriate knowledge input and study materials at the appropriate stage, and providing help to find case-related materials. Pay attention to these questions:

- Who will contact the challenge owner? Student, university coordinator, or you as a teacher?
-How to be sensitive towards the challenge owners? Listen and observe.
- How to set goals at different levels (student, challenge owner, course/ project, societal level)?
- How to build up collaboration? Define clear responsibilities and roles
- Do you need a formal agreement with the challenge owner? Pay attention to copyrights and legislation.
- How to evaluate the different goals? Does the challenge owner have a role in the evaluation?
- What are the ethical issues involved?

Ethical questions

There are several ethical questions related to challenge-based learning. These questions relate to student engagement, the challenge owners, the teacher's responsibilities and roles, and data management. They also relate to specific topics, such as evaluations, copyright and other IP law, and the commercialization and ownership of outcomes...

See also Ethics in Action (rules for the group, sensitivity, respect)

OAJ. Ethical principles of teaching. https:// of-teaching/

Talentia. 2017. Arki, arvot ja etiikka. http:// docs/Talentia_Etiikkaopas_2017.pdf

Once the preparations have been completed, it is time for action. Challenge-based learning often takes the form of a project in practice with a distinct timeframe, limited scope and resources, and specific outcomes. There might be various perspectives on the activity such as social, artistic, entrepreneurial, managerial and economic, all of which offer multiple ways to engage with society and through engagement increase the project's societal impact. ...

Arts-based methods as pedagogical tools

Arts-based methods can be used as pedagogical tools in teaching, as professional methods when promoting the welfare of challenge owners, and as a tool when reflecting on one's learning process. The teacher's role is not to control but rather to facilitate, consider and reflect together with students. the student's role is not to adapt ready-made knowledge or skills, but rather to analyze circumstances and resources, to deconstruct preconceptions and to create new understandings with other people (Eskelinen & Kanervo 2018). See Figure 3 below for a summary on arts-based methods used. ...

Examples of creative methods


Student groups document their process by taking photos during their project. Students can share their photos, for example via Instagram, Whatsapp or other distribution channels. The first picture is a group photo, which introduces their project group and their project. Photos are a good tool for documentation in addition to other forms of record. Students take photos of the project activities, their partners in the project, and also the physical premises where the project takes place. Via Instagram etc. students can share photos, videos and stories about their project and it gives other students and teachers an opportunity to follow the project almost in real time.

Challenge at the University – Board game

Download the Game instructions (print on A4)

Download the Game board (print on A2)

Download the premade Questions and Role cards (print on A4)

Download empty Question and Role cards and fill them yourself! (print on A4)

Songs, dances, paintings, pictures or dramas

Make a song, a dance, a painting, a picture or drama of your thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the project. Is there something you are enthusiastic about? Are there issues that concern you? What are the personal strengths and skills that you can use in this project?

The aim of this exercise is to encourage students to think about and name their own skills and the prior experience that they can use in this project. Each member of the group has their own unique strengths and when these are combined they can work wonders!

Some examples of arts-based exercises

Learning diary instructions and guidelines

Obstacles you might meet

During the process, you might encounter problems that relate to content or to the participants. There might be resistance to engaging with the challenge. Often students find it frightening to discover that there is no clear tool or model that they can take and apply. They also get frustrated when the challenge itself is vague and needs re-defining - finding that there is no one right answer can create anxiety. ...

As with any course, when we are evaluating challenge-based courses we need to bear in mind the learning goals. We need to distinguish how we evaluate the learning and whether we wish to evaluate the outcome achieved as well. There are three parties involved: learner, teacher and challenge owner(s). The role of each party is different in the evaluation process, but the evaluation should be done together with partners. The student collects feedback and evaluation materials during the challenge-solving project and uses different methods of documentation where possible. Good evaluation and assessment of outcomes helps to develop co-operation with partners and it also helps students to reflect on their learning achivements. ...

Arts-based methods as pedagogical tools

Above, we have concentrated on the evaluations of the students. However, we need to evaluate our own learning and progress as well, and that of the challenge owners. The first tool to use for the teacher's self-evaluation is student feedback. Often we collect feedback at the end of the course in the form of a feedback survey. However, engagement in discussions and collection of informal feedback throughout the process by discussing with students and challenge owners alike is to be encouraged. This allows you to take corrective action in time if needed.

Learning diary instructions and guidelines Open PDF

Aims for evaluating the process and outcomes (e.g.
report, poem, video) - To have reflective and evaluative discussions with students and the challenge owner at the premises of main activity for the project. Discuss: How did we achieve the aims, and how well did we achieve the aims?
- Assign student teams to reflect on their own (team/personal) project aims and the outcome of the project. The aim is to discover the critical events, challenges and difficulties in the course of the project, and how they were overcome.
- To make a presentation of the project
- To reflect activities through the context of the course topic (e.g. social pedagogy) and make a summary of your conclusions with the team.

Closing words

Challenge-solving projects enable interaction and communication between the students and the challenge owners, and also between HEIs and the surrounding society. Co-operation between students and challenge owners gives students a great chance to consider their career opportunities and build their professional networks while still completing their studies. For the teacher, challenge- solving projects offer an opportunity to work together with students and challenge owners as equals. The learning process is egalitarian, as there are no right or wrong answers, but instead solutions are found and created together. The world around us is changing rapidly, and so should higher education institutions. Creativity and interpersonal skills are needed in order to cope with this complex world and its demands. Arts-based methods can support us in facing constant changes and help us to build resilience, cognitive flexibility and tolerance of uncertainty. These are also some of the core capabilities that Unesco and the Model UN have identified as being central in dealing with the complex problems of our society. In addition, the competences of emotional and social intelligence, critical and creative thinking, as well as the abilities to interact and negotiate with different types of people can be generated and practiced in challenge-based learning processes in which the teachers, students and stakeholders together actively engage in the solving of complex societal challenges. This type of collaboration creates meaningful interactions, which have great potential to lead towards a significant societal impact.