Challenge-based Learning Design in Higher Education: a New Context for Learning Beyond Competency Approach

Loles Gonzalez
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Spain

Lluis Pastor
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Spain

Cristina Girona
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Spain

Marta Merino
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Spain


The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC) – an entirely online university with over 50,000 students – has launched the PLA-Niu project and it is designed to be a methodological change in the conception of the subjects to be implemented in the entire range of training of training at the university.It aims to transform the subjects in the University’s programmes into activities designed strictly based on competencies which are aimed at resolving challenges inspired by the professional sphere; to implement a new means of selecting, designing and managing learning resources based on content curation for learning, organising it into specific aggregators for each activity; and to provide a system that enables the production and organisation of training in an agile, flexible and personalisable manner.With this project we want to respond to the main challenge faced by higher education that is overcoming the gap between university education and the demands of society and the professional world. This gap cannot be accounted for merely in terms of a shortcoming in the relationship between the competencies of academic programmes and the real training needs of lifelong learners, but also involves the mismatch between the design of training models and students’ expectations.

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