Challenge-based learning in ICT education

Integrating Challenge-based learning in ICT education to solve wicked societal problems

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

Higher education must equip students with the transversal skills required to contribute to the global economy, environment, and societies of the future. Graduates need to be prepared with strong disciplinary knowledge combined with problem solving, critical and computational thinking and social integration skills to be able to achieve societal impact on some of the more wicked problems, such as sustainability and climate impact.

This project will explore the role that ICT education can have in preparing students to be able to contribute constructively to solving some of societies more complex problems using technology by examining the impact of integrating Challenge-based learning (CBL) into the ICT undergraduate learning experience. This phd project incorporates the design, development and evaluation of integrating CBL within the ICT undergraduate learning experience using sociotechnical complex problems.

CBL is an innovative teaching methodology that engages students in solving real-world challenges by applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their course. There has been much recent research into integrating this relatively new pedagogical approach into education, with limited research in the field of ICT education where it has been shown to better prepare graduates for the new challenges and opportunities provided by ICT. CBL in ICT education would facilitate a multidisciplinary approach that encourages students to collaborate actively with peers, industry, community, and other stakeholders to identify complex sociotechnical challenges, formulate relevant questions and develop solutions.

Marie Leijon, Petri Gudmundsson, Patricia Staaf & Cecilia Christersson (2021) Challenge based learning in higher education– A systematic literature review, Innovations in Education and Teaching International

Portuguez Castro, M.; Gómez Zermeño, M.G. Challenge Based Learning: Innovative Pedagogy for Sustainability through e-Learning in Higher Education. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4063.

POWER, Jess (2019) Transforming the student experience by integrating interdisciplinary challenge-led learning. In: HEIR Conference 2019, 11th- 13th September 2019, University of Wolverhampton.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Erin Roehrer


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements .

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Erin Roehrer, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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