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Applying enquiry and problem based learning to mission-oriented innovation policy: from policy to pedagogy to teaching and learning practice

Sally Randles (Faculty of Business and Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Paul Dewick (Business School, Keele University, Keele, UK)
Eleanor Hannan (Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Dawn Theresa Nicholson (Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Martijn Rietbergen (Institute for Engineering and Design, Hogeschool Utrecht, Utrecht University of Applied Science, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Christopher Taylor (Faculty of Business and Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Valeria Ruiz Vargas (Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Helen Wadham (Faculty of Business and Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Lauren Withycombe Keeler (School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA)

Journal of International Education in Business

ISSN: 2046-469X

Article publication date: 29 March 2022

Issue publication date: 20 April 2022

324

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present theory, practice and original research findings to support the proposition that broad enquiry and problem-based learning (EPBL) approaches provide an appropriate pedagogical lens for sustainability educators to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively within mission-oriented innovation policy (MIP) environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study comprised four elements, each of which used different research methods. The first element involved a literature review mapping the synergies between MIP and EPBL; the second element piloted the use of EPBL for undergraduate modules related to sustainability challenges; the third element involved external stakeholders in the co-creation of a postgraduate programme that brought together innovation and sustainability, with EPBL fundamental to the design and development; the fourth element curated and comparatively analysed international cases of EPBL in the context of MIP, and sustainability challenges in particular, highlighting the versatility of EPBL and the importance of creativity in EPBL design and implementation.

Findings

The systematic literature review reveals synergies between the key features of EPBL and defining characteristics of MIP, indicating the relevance of applying EPBL to support MIP. Two in situ pilots generated 13 recommendations on the benefits and operational challenges of applying EPBL. These recommendations informed the design and development of a postgraduate programme, involving a transdisciplinary consultation process with key industrial and societal stakeholders. Comparative analysis of four international case studies describing EPBL applied in practice in different international settings show there is no “one size fits all”. Instead, the application of EPBL to different sustainability challenges and for different learner groups demonstrates the versatility of the pedagogical approach and the creativity of the sustainability educators.

Originality/value

A discourse around the appropriate pedagogical methods and teaching/learning practice to equip the current and future workforce with the knowledge and skills to respond to MIP and global sustainability challenges is nascent but emerging. This paper makes a scientific and practical contribution to the discourse. The authors show how EPBL can underpin the design of programmes to provide learners with the knowledge and skills to support organisations working effectively within an MIP context, especially addressing sustainability challenges. The authors provide recommendations for educators seeking to embed EPBL within their curriculum and call for external stakeholders to proactively engage with educators to co-create programmes with context-specific outcomes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was part-funded by a Manchester Metropolitan University Teaching Academy (UTA) Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) research grant.

Citation

Randles, S., Dewick, P., Hannan, E., Nicholson, D.T., Rietbergen, M., Taylor, C., Vargas, V.R., Wadham, H. and Withycombe Keeler, L. (2022), "Applying enquiry and problem based learning to mission-oriented innovation policy: from policy to pedagogy to teaching and learning practice", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 52-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIEB-04-2021-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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