Towards a didactical framework of co-creation

12 A co-creative learning environment

According Artevelde University College’s Educational Concept (2015), a learning environment that aims at co-creation invites students to lifelong and meaningful learning. Co-creation occurs when different parties (students, lecturers, staff members, the business world and society) jointly look for solutions for complex problems. This has a positive influence on the motivation of all parties involved as they can contribute in their own way and with their own talents and specialisation to achieve a mutual valued outcome and really make a difference. Co-creation stimulates the creativity and the initiative of these parties as they are challenged to spot opportunities, to approach problems from a different angle and to come up with innovative alternatives.

The ‘learning by developing’-concept contains a method to achieve co-creation. New skills and knowledge are developed in authentic research and development projects that aim at innovation and problem solving. The interdisciplinary cooperation between all parties involved is a crucial factor in this process.

The emphasis on the social and active process that learning involves automatically implies the importance of language in this process. Starting from the idea that language connects people, lecturers try to stimulate the linguistic development of the students in their classes. Certain course units, optional study tracks and programmes are taught in a foreign language. That way we provide our students with a better chance to study or work abroad. Incoming students and staff bring the world into our University College and next to that we stimulate international co-creation through education, research and services.

In a co-creative environment, the possibility to share knowledge gains importance. Therefore, it is needed to implement educational technology. Through blended learning students are offered more opportunities to a profound processing of knowledge, practicing skills, communication and cooperation with lecturers, fellow-students and partners nearby and abroad. This way graduates are able to participate actively in a fast evolving, highly technological, mediatised and networked knowledge society.

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