Grand Challenges as Educational Innovations in Higher Education: A Scoping Review of the Literature
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AbstractGrand challenges are complex problems that are common to much of society, affect large populations, and may have several possible solutions. Incorporation of grand challenges into higher education courses can facilitate the development of collaborative problem-solving skills while providing relevant and practical opportunities to experience the dynamics involved in real-world work. Although grand challenges are becoming more commonly used in higher education, to date, there has been no synthesis of how grand challenges are incorporated and the learning outcomes of engaging in grand challenge work. In this scoping review, we examined and mapped the state of evidence for the use of grand challenges in higher education. We conducted the review according to the Johanna Briggs Institute methodology for scoping reviews and considered quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods studies as well as literature reviews, program descriptions, and opinion papers published in English without limitations on year of publication. We used a data extraction tool to synthesize and present our findings in a tabular form with accompanying narrative summaries. The results reveal a growing global interest in the use of grand challenges in higher education while highlighting a lack of rigorous empirical evidence on the impact on student learning.