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.
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. ...
The learning aims and outcomes in challenge-based learning are always dependent on the context of the curricula and the challenge in question. In an ideal case the curriculum can be adapted to the specificities of challenge-based courses. Challenge-based learning can complement the content and learning outcomes of existing modules. In a practical setting, challenge-based learning can be integrated in teaching, conducted as separate courses or modules or explored in connection with internships. Hence, the choices in terms of curricula adaptations are multiple.
The aim is to solve societal challenges that reach beyond individuals, organizations or institutions, and provide a learning experience for the students while doing so. The engagement may be short-term, for instance focused on a particular challenge or the current issues of the challenge owner. Societal engagement may also be built on a long-term relationship with a selected number of challenge owners. Longer partnerships support the HEIs sustained commitment to society and allow multiple or major challenges to be solved in the context of learning and education.
The teacher has different roles and tasks during the challenge-based learning processes. The teacher organizes, develops and evaluates co-operation between the challenge owners and the students. The extent of the teacher`s role also depends on the student`s level of studies: first semester students tend to need more support than students already further along in their studies. We will describe the teacher`s role in the different phases of challenge-based learning: preparation, action and evaluation.
Some examples on
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
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. ...
In the preparation phase, the teacher initiates co-operation with a partner organization. It is important to make a tentative agreement defining the collaboration with the partner organization beforehand and to make sure that the partner understands the aim of the collaboration. It is quite common for challenge owners to have a rather blurred understanding of the scope of a student project. It is important to have open discussions with the challenge owners, explaining that usually students will provide new perspectives, novel ideas, a concept and sometimes prototypes - but not "ready answers" that can be applied directly.
The teacher's role is to facilitate the first meeting between students and partners and guarantee an ethical approach to the project. It is also important to define what "societal" means in this project's context. Good communication, documentation, trust and commitment should be the basis for cooperation, ensuring that the students and the partners are encouraged to act and think "outside the box" in their joint challenge-solving process.
The key in preparing your students for the challenge-solving process is to build up motivation, a sense of belonging and a sense of responsibility both within their group and also in the context of their relationship with the partner and society in general. On the one hand, the idea is to empower the students to face the "big issues" but also, on the other hand, to open up the multifaceted nature of the challenges to be solved.
Students might need help coping with uncertainty, since when working with challenges in a project, it is often unclear what the process and outcomes will be. Tolerating uncertainty and stress is an important part of the process. Creating a positive, productive atmosphere and encouraging a work culture among the students is one of the most important tasks for the teacher. Arts-based methods help to make room for uncertainty. If you are able to let go of control, and accept and admit the limits of your knowledge, this creates the space for a shared and democratic learning process. Learning to rely on the process is a means of nurturing the relaxed but focused attitude required to make observations and act upon them. At the same time, however, the teacher cannot sacrifice ethical sensitivity and responsibility.
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
- 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. salto-youth.net/tools/toolbox/tool/ what-does-inclusion-mean.2003/
- Be playful and experiment with a role play in someone else's shoes: http://noored.ee/ 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:// www.salto-youth.net/tools/toolbox/
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.
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?
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...
The student's right to learn needs to be kept in mind throughout the project. It is also vital to discuss the potential ethical questions and problems that might occur during the process. For example:
1. Not finding a challenge in a specific case as all seems perfect
2. Being aware of practical limitations and regulations
3. Understanding that this is a learning process and failure to find solutions is not a failing in learning
There might be different understandings of what the needs of the challenge owners are or what constitutes the challenge for students to work on. These situations are delicate and usually students will need help to solve them, as they may otherwise cause some stress for students. On the other hand, they are good learning experiences for both parties. The ethical questions relating to challenge owners and their vulnerabilities have been elaborated in the Managing Art Projects with Societal Impact study book.
Student-teacher relationships can be problematic: When is it right to give students their freedom and when is it better to provide support? Where does the student's responsibility end and the teacher's begin? There is no one answer, but these questions ought to be clearly discussed and considered prior to the actual start of the project. As indicated earlier, a student-teacher-challenge owner contract can be helpful in building a joint understanding of tasks and expectations.
Questions of copyright and IP, as well as data management and storage, are also a major topic. There are good guidelines provided by, for instance, the European Network of Research Integrity Offices (http://www.enrio.eu/) and the European IP Help Desk (http://www.iprhelpdesk.eu/Library). We recommend full discussion of the topic prior to the actual action phase.
In addition, a question that has arisen often in recent discussions concerns the relationships between teacher, challenge owner and student in cases where new innovations or ideas are created and will be commercialized, for example by creating a startup. Can a teacher properly evaluate their student's work if he/she is involved in a new business venture with them?
In many cases, the established rules for research ethics and integrity provide a useful foundation for challenge solving projects as well, especially as these projects often include different research activities.
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. ...
The action phase starts with background research on the relevant challenge owner, the challenge at hand and the circumstances in which the project takes place. Conducting field visits is a great way to get started. An ethnographic method of research provides a useful tool for connecting with the organization and obtaining thorough data for further action research. In light of this familiarization, there is often a need to redefine the challenge. It is important to support the students in their relationship with the challenge owner and facilitate communication and joint activity if needed. Background research will result in a project plan to be approved by the teacher and the challenge owner.
The better the project is planned, the easier it is for students to work. On the other hand, projects will also prepare students for unforeseen events that may occur along the way. Depending on the objectives of the study unit or the course, and the content of the project, the nature of co-operation between the students and the teacher during the project can be very different. The content of the project can be research-based, based on personal artistic work, or focused on guiding a client's work. The most important task of the teacher is to support the students in their work and to guide their work to the objectives pursued. Project work can include multiple target levels: the objectives of a study unit or a course, the student's personal goals, and the goals of the project. The teacher can act as a mentor, facilitator, supervisor, leader, or support provider. It's good to establish with the students what kind of support they need and how they want the learning process to proceed.
Documentation is an essential part of the project. Students should plan and agree beforehand how and who will document the project activities. When taking photos and videos, remember to ask for (written) permission from the persons involved.
It is important to bear in mind that challenge-based learning projects are learning experiences for the students, and practicing the project cycle from planning to execution and evaluation is an essential part of the learning process. At the same time, making the project TOGETHER with the challenge owner is the way to enhance engagement and the co-creation of knowledge. Regular reflection throughout the process between student groups, challenge owners and the teacher keeps everyone on track as to how the project is proceeding, whether the aims are being met, or if the project plan should be modified.
The content of the project can be anything from research-based and development-oriented to personal artistic work. It can also focus on the guiding and counselling of challenge owners. The most important task of the teacher in all cases is to support the students in their project, to ensure that they are learning and to guide their work towards the pursued objectives in co-operation with the challenge owner.
The teacher can use different methods in supporting the learning process of students. Critical reflection skills are essential in working life and thus should be practiced during the studies. Arts-based methods can be used as a tool for reflection, promoting discussion, making phenomena visible and solving problems (Eskelinen & Kanervo 2018). http://www.theseus.fi/handle/10024/156410
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. ...
We will now provide you with practical examples of how to use different arts-based methods as pedagogical tools. There is a huge variety of creative methods: drama, movement, visual arts, dance, creative writing, music, poems, rap and social media channels to name just a few. No matter what methods you choose, we believe that using creativity and arts-based methods enables us to reflect on our own behavior and thinking and deepen our understanding of others and the surrounding world. Using arts-based methods increases respect towards other people, and towards their input and abilities.
Arts-based methods can be used in teaching for different purposes. Arts-based methods can be used pedagogically when familiarizing students with a new topic, for example, or when introducing them to a new phenomenon. In addition, arts-based methods provide a platform for learning and processing a topic.
Arts-based methods can be used in brainstorming and innovation sessions in the classroom, but also when working with professional networks and co-operating with challenge owners. Arts-based and creative methods provide students with a solid foundation on which to build on their competences for the future.
Arts-based methods provide a tool for reflection and evaluation, for the student to reflect on their own actions and to take responsibility for their own learning process. Through different arts-based methods students can examine how well they operate as a team, assess everyone's individual performance as a group member, and so on.
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!
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. ...
In addition, the use of arts-based methods might be new to the students and to the stakeholders, and this novelty can also prompt resistance and a feeling that this is the wrong way to approach a serious, real-world project. Even if the students are encouraged to use creative and artistic methods to find new solutions in the cooperation process, there can be obstacles to using them. The arguments against could be limited time, limited space and the official positions of the participants. Often the students are afraid to propose something unusual. It has been noted that sometimes the reaction to arts-based methods can be negative at the outset, but that after reflection and time to build self-awareness their merits are better understood.
The challenge owner might affect the process with the perception that, as they are the owner of the challenge, the students are working for them, rather than contributing as equal partners. Obstacles in the process may arise from these different expectations and assumed roles - the challenge owner might only want usable outcomes and find time used for learning and the exploration of different options inefficient. It is therefore important at the beginning of the process to try to build realistic expectations for all parties. As in any team, there are also the inner dynamics to take care of, and building a good team spirit can help with many obstacles.
However, it is always advisable to prepare a plan B in case of surprises, unexpected obstacles etc. Students might leave the project, there might be organizational changes in the challenge owner's organization, staff members resigning, etc. Hence, having plans for all eventualities can help. Moreover, when engaging with the challenge owner, try to ensure that you are working with the organization, not just with an individual representative.
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. ...
A report serves multiple purposes in terms of evaluation and feedback. Reporting engages additional skills such as the abilities to document, categorize, establish hierarchies, create holistic views, summarize etc. The final report can take multiple forms, such as a written report, a template to be completed, web page, blog, video, painting, etc. Often the challenge owner has specific wishes or requirements for the final report. You need to be vigilant in agreeing on a format that is suitable for students and their skill-set and achievable in the timeframe of the project/course.
Even though a report is often the main document created within the challenge-solving process, it might not be the best means to evaluate and measure the learning that has occurred. If the teacher has not participated in and observed the student's work and thus been able to see the learning process first-hand - it might be good to use, for example, learning diaries to see how the learning process has occurred. For the students the challenge-solving project is an opportunity to learn more about society and to develop professionally. Students can connect learning outcomes to their career path and competences. Examples of learning diary instructions and learning diaries can be found in the right-hand column.
We recommend organizing a reflection and feedback session connected to the sharing of report content, either before submission so that feedback can be included in the final version, or after in order to discuss and reflect on the findings together. The final discussion is an opportunity to listen to each other and give mutual feedback. Sometimes the challenge owner might wish to keep the final report private, and these should be discussed beforehand, but one good option is to have two versions of the report: public and private.
Peer evaluations of the process can also be used to reveal the group's inner dynamics and roles. Students can also be encouraged to consider and discuss the process together or individually, either with mentors or with challenge owners during the process itself.
It is a good idea to assess which reporting format is best on a case-by-case basis. For example, if the challenge is connected with reaching the challenge owner's customers, (tested) customer outreach methods with feedback could be proposed. Sometimes analysis of further work on the challenge in question might be the best outcome of the project.
We should not forget the importance of art at this stage. The final outcome could be a poem, a painting, or a song, all depending on the nature of challenge and the challenge owner. As mentioned earlier a piece of art has an impact of its own. You can find examples here: xxx
Sometimes, unexpected learning outcomes are very significant, leading to outcomes we would not have anticipated. So, adopting an expansive framework for evaluation is also recommended.
Challenge owners can be integrated in the evaluation process. The provision of feedback and grading by challenge owners requires good guidelines supported by clear evaluation criteria in order to ensure equal treatment of students. This is especially important if there are several challenge owners evaluating different student teams. It is only rarely that the challenge owners are encouraged also to reflect on their own learning and the process, rather than simply evaluating the outcome itself. However, we recommend if possible including these topics in the evaluative discussions.
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 PDFAims 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.
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.