Sustainability in Cross-Disciplinary Modules

The project is focused on increasing the sustainability orientation through two components.  First,  a theoretical component: a lecture about ethical aspects and considerations in knowledge-based project development and a “Responsible Innovation" analysis using  a matrix in which the approach of Stilgoe et al (2013) is combined with Brey (2012). Stilgoe et al (2013) mention four measures to create responsible innovation: anticipation, reflexivity, inclusion and responsivene. Brey (2012) use a classification  into three levels: technology level, artefact level and application level.  In the InGenious module of Linköping University, students are using the above-mentioned classification to think in new ways and develop innovative solutions and concepts. Second, to increase the level of sustainability in the project work: student solve challenges from outside partners, either firms or not for profit organisations such as municipalities.

The module has  a strong focus on sustainable development following the Agenda 2030 and the UN global goals of sustainability. Consequently, the challenge providers, as well as their challenges to the students, has been carefully chosen to fit this approach. As a result, all projects during this ongoing semester has strong sustainability focus and during the previous semester, most challenges had a clear sustainability focus. 

Methods used

To realise the development of the module the following methods are used: 

  • Challenge-based learning, – Students work on challenges from external providers which could be both private firms and public organizations. 
  • Active learning – means student centred processual learning where the students are regarded as co-creators of the learning and the teachers as facilitators. The opposite is the traditional learning where the teacher transfers their knowledge to the students which are more of passive receivers. 
  • Blended learning – which in its simplest form, is a mixture of traditional face-to-face learning and e-learning but could be made more complex. The benefits of this approach are that it takes into account that students are individuals with various type of learning styles, provided that there are several ways and sources of gaining knowledge offered. 
  • Entrepreneurial/experimental learning - entrepreneurial learning is synonymous with experimentation, which in turn is related to active learning. In short it implies that the students both must formulate their problems and their solutions thereof. 

More information: Dr. Charlotte Norrman (