Challenge Based Learning - CBL - a new innovative teaching approach

InclusU is oriented towards the didactic approach of "Challenge Based Learning". This allows students to develop joint solutions for technological and social challenges in cooperation with actors from industry, politics and society.

What is CBL?

Higher education institutions (HEIs), as knowledge providers, are closely linked to societal challenges and the transformation towards a sustainable society. One approach to learning in HEIs - often described as 'challenge-based' - is to manage how to test theory by tackling real problems in collaboration with societal actors.

The essence of the concept is that we see students as agents of change. This changes the way we teach and learn, and changes what is relevant in higher education.

Challenge-based learning provides an effective and efficient framework for learning while solving real-world challenges. Implemented in schools in the 2008s, CBL is being introduced in the higher education sector (Johnson & Brown, 2011). CBL draws on different educational theories and pedagogical methods of experiential learning from Kolb (1984) such as Problem Based Learning (PBL), Inquiry Based Learning (IBL), Design for Learning (DFL)....

The learning process is broken down into different phases

  • A general societal problem that can be explored by students in different ways (multi-solution)
  • A contextualisation broken down into different key questions and which determines what is important to know about the problem, to refine it and position the problem to be solved (with the stakeholders).
  • An action plan: The Challenge in collaboration with stakeholders articulates pedagogical and experimental activities that lead to significant actions, from strategic note to experimental prototype

Who are the partners

From Inclus-U network, 5 universities are involved in CBL innovative pedagogy: Malmö, University of Lille (France), Wrocław University (Poland), Europa-Universität Viadrina (Germany) and Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

What is the project?

Universities are exploring and experimenting with CBL.
Workshops are held regularly.
The final objective is to jointly elaborate an article on the assets of CBL for our European Universities

Who is funding?

GERMANY - DAAD - reference

FRANCE: This work benefited from a government grant managed by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche under the Programme d'Investissements d'avenir under the reference ANR-19-GURE-0017


  1. VIADRINA - 2 to 5 December 2021
  2. LILLE - 4 to 7 September 2022

Contact persons 

  • Malmo

Cecilia CHRISTERSSON, Prof. and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement and Challenge Based Learning, Malmö University (Sweden)

  • Lille

Béatrice ROUZÉ, Senior Executive, Pedagogy & Innovation Support Directorate, University of Lille (France)

  • Wroclav

Justyna PILARSKA, Lecturer, Institute of Pedagogy, Faculty of Historical and Pedagogical Sciences, Wrocław University (Poland)

  • MRU

Inga JUKNYTE-PETREIKIENE, Assoc. Prof., Head of Academic Affairs Center, Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

  • Viadrina

Niki KASIS, Lecturer & Researcher, Center for Teaching and LearningEuropa-Universität        Viadrina (Germany)