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Embedding interdisciplinary and challenge-led learning into the student experience

POWER, Jess (2018) Embedding interdisciplinary and challenge-led learning into the student experience. In: Experiential Learning for Entrepreneurship. Palgrave, UK, pp. 105-123. ISBN 978-3-319-90004-9

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Abstract or description

The Chinese proverb often credited to 18th century US philosopher, scientist and civic leader Benjamin Franklin underpins the fundamental principle of experiential learning and forms the underlining framework for this chapter.
“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”
Benjamin Franklin
The Innovation and Creative Exchange (ICE) uses the concept of challenge-led learning to enable Undergraduate (UG) students to co-create knowledge and form knowledge communities/exchanges leading to the developments of skills and attributes associated with employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship. This chapter presents a blueprint for experiential learning in practice through employing interdisciplinary wicked challenge-led learning opportunities as part of the Higher Education (HE) UG experience. A case study is presented which focuses on specific elements of the ICE Project at the University of Huddersfield, UK. This project was initially funded through the Royal Academy of Engineering - Visiting Professors Scheme, with Professor Jonathan Sands - Vexillifer Elmwood, as the Visiting Professor of Innovation (VPI). Drawing on the work of Kolb (1984), ICE focuses on the elements of experiential learning concerned with concrete issues related to the learner and the learning context, so learning-by-doing. The case study presents a synthesis of impact in relation to interdisciplinary, wicked, design-led challenges from the student’s perspective.

It is widely recognised that in global society, environments are characterised by wicked problems, the solutions to which require transcendence of traditional discipline-based boundaries, new forms of knowledge-sharing and a tool belt of transferable skills. This wicked, messy context (Jordan et al. 2014), demands a shattering of traditional disciplinary boundaries and creates a strong rationale for embedding interdisciplinarity into the HE student learning experience. Furthermore, the call for HE to embed employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities into the student experience is compelling (DIUS 2008; QAA 2012; RAE 2012; McLeish and Strang 2014; DC 2015; BIS 2016). Graduates as societies’ leaders need to be highly skilled, commercially aware and able to apply creative ideas and innovations to practical real-world scenarios. The ICE project provides a direct experience in which the learner is actively involved in the real situation through global wicked challenges or commercial challenge-led activity. It brings together students from different disciplines and places value on what each learner brings to the educational experience, which is a key aspect of experiential learning. The case study presented is a synthesis of the feedback from the student participants (2012-2017) and commercial partners involved in a series of 24-hour/7-hour design challenges. This data is complemented by a series of interviews with a team of students 12 months after their initial challenge-led learning experience. It is framed in the core principles of experiential learning, learning-by-doing and learning through reflection-on-doing. The example featured in this chapter as a case-study is from the 24-hour design challenge in 2016, the theme of the challenge being: internet of things.

Item Type: Book Chapter, Section or Conference Proceeding
Additional Information: Book chapter 6 in: “Experiential Learning for Entrepreneurship Theoretical and Practical Perspectives on Enterprise Education” edited by Denis Hyams-Ssekasi and Elizabeth Caldwell Published in July 2018 by Palgrave Macmillan.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Depositing User: Sarah BEIGHTON
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2018 16:02
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2018 13:24

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