Learning Outcomes in Challenge Based Master’s Theses for Sustainable Development at Chalmers University of Technology
Other conference contribution, 2015

Challenge based learning (CBL) is a multidisciplinary approach that encourages students to work actively with peers, teachers, and stakeholders in society to formulate relevant questions, identify complex challenges, and take action for sustainable development. The first Challenge Lab at Chalmers started as a Master’s thesis course and has now been running for two years. Challenge Labs around the world, similar to the one at Chalmers, have the potential to work as student driven transition arenas. In this paper the learning outcomes of the two first years have been evaluated. The aim is to give input to the continued development of the Chalmers Challenge Lab and to similar projects at other universities. The results show that Challenge Lab students perceive that they have developed deep skills in: ability to identify, formulate and manage complex problems in a critical, independent and creative manner from an overall perspective; and ability to identify which problems need to be addressed to observe sustainable development. Additionally, the students perceive that they have developed skills in working across disciplines and with stakeholders, which is not offered or usually developed in traditional Master’s theses.

cross disciplines


Challenge based learning

stakeholder involvement

active learning


Kamilla Kohn Rådberg

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics

Ulrika Lundqvist

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Johan Malmqvist

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Product Development

John Holmberg

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Proceedings from Ingenjörsutbildningarnas Utvecklingskonferens 2015, Uppsala, Sweden

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)


Subject Categories

Other Engineering and Technologies

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work

More information