Nowadays, global companies expect their collaborators to have multiple competencies, making the work context considerably more demanding. One of these competencies is the ability to address day-to-day challenges with the immediacy they require. For that reason, there is a need to improve the relationship between theory and practice in students, ensuring that everything they learn has meaning and applicability in the real world.
In response to the above, different methodologies allow students to learn through challenges. One of them is Challenge-Based Learning, but what is it about? Let’s find out more about it.
What is Challenge-Based Learning?
Challenge-Based Learning is a pedagogical model that focuses on inductive methodological strategies. Because of its flexibility, this method can be used at all educational levels as it allows students to make decisions about their own learning process while being critical and reflective.
The RBA is presented in the context of a situation familiar to the students, which piques their interest in the relationship between the topic of study and the context in which it is developed. The challenge usually begins with a question that seeks to motivate students and immerse them in the research so that they can achieve their goal.
This method develops key competencies such as collaborative and multidisciplinary work. In addition, it encourages the use of technologies and new digital tools for education, which allow students to access different sources of information and publicize their process and acquired knowledge.
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RBA at CloudLabs
At CloudLabs, we rely on a methodology based on problem-solving in contextualized situations, experimentation, and discovery, using active learning techniques based on the following steps:
- Development of a simulation, which allows putting theory into practice.
- Questions to reinforce learning.
The above is developed in each of the laboratory simulations, in which the student always finds a challenge to solve, which relates to a profession and a problematic situation.
For example, in a chemistry simulation, the student is the laboratory analyst in charge of performing physicochemical studies for the characterization of materials. The laboratory has received two samples of water and an alcoholic solution. The analyst must characterize both solutions by recording the temperatures and changes of state that occur during the process. As a result, there is a context, a role, a challenge, and a learning objective.
The student is immersed in the situation after reading the challenge and is motivated to solve it by applying all of his/her knowledge and developing his/her analytical skills. Furthermore, it allows for experiential learning through the exploration of specific environments.
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For students to successfully complete the simulation, they will have to solve different challenges, which have multiple variables that professionals face every day in real life. This will allow them to gain experience that will help them in their working life.
Challenge-based learning seeks to make students the protagonists of their learning process. By doing this, the teacher takes on the role of a facilitator and supports the learning process, allowing students to develop competencies and become more autonomous.
In CloudLabs, students can experiment, learn, play, and, most importantly, transform their thinking because each challenge invites them to question themselves and provide solutions. It will undoubtedly have an impact on their life and performance at work.
Jiménez, A. B., Hinojosa, V. C., Ramos, J. C., Sánchez, R. M., Blasco, V. J. Q., & Mendoza, C. A. (2019). El aprendizaje basado en retos como propuesta para el desarrollo de las competencias clave. Padres y Maestros/Journal of Parents and Teachers, (380), 50-55.