A Challenge-Based Learning Approach for Connecting Ideas to the Market

THE UoL Industry 4.0 Initiative - Teaching and Innovation Fund 2017/18
Is Industry 4.0 just about technology?

UoL4.0 Design is a ‘Challenge-Based Learning’ educational strategy to support UoL students and Lincolnshire businesses and organisations in the discovery of opportunities concerning the digitalisation of industry and services (e.g. Big Data/Analytics, Blockchain, the Cloud, Internet of Things and wearable sensors).

UoL4.0 Design goal is twofold:

Concept - CBL in the context of other T&L approaches:

Experiential Learning is an integrated holistic approach to learning, which combines experience, cognition and behaviour (Akella, 2010), to offer students opportunities to use what they have learned in real situations, where they face problems, discover information on their own, try solutions and interact with other students within a specific context (Moore, 2013).
Challenge Based Learning is founded on Experiential Learning, and its main principle: students learn best when they participate actively in open learning experiences. (Tecnológico de Monterrey, 2015)

Concept - CBL Structure:

Concept - Previous Experiences:

Concept - Others’ Experiences:

Challenge Based Learning (CBL) provides an efficient and effective framework for learning while solving real-world challenges. The framework is collaborative and hands-on, asking all participants (students, teachers, families, and community members) to identify big ideas, ask good questions, identify and solve challenges, gain deep subject area knowledge, develop 21st century skills, and share their experience with the world. (Digital Promise, 2018)

Examples of Big Ideas:

Current and future proposals - Our BIG IDEA:

Report on project activities - Focus group

Participants (by programme):

  • BA Business and Management (2)
  • MSc Agri-Food Technology (1)
  • MSc Computer Science by Research (2)
  • MSc Logistics and Global Operations (3)
  • MSc Management (1)
  • MSc Marketing (1)
  • MSc Project Management (2)

Report on previous activities:

Conclusion:The possibility to fast transfer the concept of I4.0 to students with no experience in the topic. Areas of interest: Agriculture, automotive industry, government (NHS + Police), and tourist industry.
OneNote has been selected by the team to communicate and to collaborate.


Impact - students:

  • They are fundamental part of this Project.
  • Their proposals will be the final product of this project.
  • This concept of challenge-based learning has been strengthened with their input.
  • This activity will be part of the Lincoln Award.
  • Expected outcomes for the participants:
  • Full professional experience in an intensive real business-based challenge.
  • Additional awareness on soft-skills such as collaboration and multidisciplinary.
  • Confidence to become employers rather than employees, if they prefer.

Impact - UoL:

  • Improved links with Exec Dev team, Research and Enterprise (Central) teams and Schools of Computing, and Media and Design.
  • Membership at the Industrial Digitalisation Project Steering Group (coordinated by the College of Science).

Impact - participant organisations:

  • LIBS Executive Development
  • Lindum Group
  • New Theatre Royal Lincoln
  • Ruddocks Design

These companies are very interested on this route for exploring new technologies and their business opportunities

Impact - other members inside the community and internationally:

  • Business group Horncastle/Louth
  • Universities interested at the moment:
  • Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Mexico)
  • Universidad EAN (Colombia)
  • University of Texas @ Arlington (USA)
  • Other potential partners:
  • Tec de Monterrey (Mexico)
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Peru)
  • Universitat de Lleida (Spain)

Future activities: Step 2 in the project - Execution

Created By
Chang Ge

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