Introduction

Co-creation has become a hot topic in higher education, especially because of its potential to solve a number of challenges in the current higher education setting. In a society characterised by globalisation, digitalisation, and constant change, educational institutions – higher education institutions (HEI) as well as other education institutions – must think beyond today and provide students with the skills to shape tomorrow’s society. 21st century skills such as digital literacy, sustainability, entrepreneurship, global citizenship and research competencies must be achieved by introducing a New Generation curriculum design and – importantly – a Self- Directed curriculum. These are catalysts for a more student-centred learning approach, smarter use of ICT, and tighter links between educational institutions and employers as well as social enterprises. Co-creation of course content by a broad range of stakeholders can be a powerful tool in realising this new and self-directed curriculum, and has therefore received much attention in higher education. In the case of co-creation with students, the contributing students naturally bring their individual learning needs and qualities to the table, allowing for increased course diversification and student engagement, leading to better learning processes and outcomes; in other words, deep-level-learning. Whereas, current course material typically starts from the educator, and fails to engage the diverse capabilities of its students, many of which have prior work and learning experiences. Unlocking their potential through co-created course content – also in a blended and distance learning context – greatly contributes to the quality and richness of the course, and to the development of critical thinkers. Co-creation can also involve colleagues from related disciplines or experts from the professional field. Incorporating their input will not only aid the educator in providing the most up-to-date course material in a rapidly changing environment, it also assures that students pick up on interdisciplinary knowledge and skills indispensable for their future careers. Unfortunately, learning platforms often fail to strike a balance between free input by students and experts from related professional fields on the one hand and sufficient control and feedback facilities for the educator on the other hand. Furthermore, educators – especially those lacking in digital literacy – often get bogged down by administration and coordination, leaving insufficient room for creativity, inspiration and research. The time bottleneck is especially present in higher/adult education settings where educators are faced with a wide variety of roles and large numbers of students. The main objective of the CoCOS project is therefore to apply the mindset, methods and tools gleaned for open source development to the co-creation of easy-to-study study materials. In a number of diverse pilot courses, we tested out and evaluated our experiences with open educational resources (OERs), open source platforms and freely available web tools explicitly designed to reduce course management during co-creation. Using version control technology – typically used in software development – these co-creation tools keep track of what content was created by whom at what point in time. Furthermore, it provides a hierarchical control structure, allowing the educator to keep editorial control over the final course. This conceptual framework describes 4 aspects that are related to the co-creation of open study materials:

· What is co creation

· Easy-to-study study materials

· Open Educational resources

· Didactical approach towards co creation The first section of this conceptual framework describes the process and core principles of co-creation and provides a clear distinction between the concept of co-creation and collaboration. The second section will describe what is to be understood by easy-to-study study materials and what are the criteria that need to be met to be able to classify educational resources as being ‘easy-to-study’. Creating Open Educational Resources (OER) requires a full understanding of its concept. This document will provide a clear description in the third section and will formulate guidelines to be able to publish resources as OER via Creative Commons. Finally, the fourth section will bring together section 1, 2 and 3 in a clear methodology related to the didactical approach towards co creation.

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