Realizing co-creation in higher education: Myth or reality?
Responsible Teaching & Learning
Romulo Pinheiro et al, University of Agder, Norway
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
This paper critically reflects on such challenges in the light of the development and implementation (2017-9) of an interdisciplinary co-creation (master-level) course at the University of Agder (UiA), in Southern Norway. Academics from six different disciplinary domains were brought together in designing and implementing the course, which has attracted students from a multiplicity of academic backgrounds and professional traditions; from health care, philosophy and drama to political science, innovation and communication. Design thinking was the method adopted to facilitate collaboration amongst the parties, with students being split into interdisciplinary teams. Each team was given a challenge by a regional partner, being mentored by two academics from different disciplines. Critical reflection and dialogue were prioritized, and students were given considerable autonomy in the spirit of Problem-Based-Learning (PBL); a student-centered pedagogical method in which complex real-world problems are used as the vehicle to promote student learning of concepts and principles as opposed to direct presentation of facts and concepts. Key insights from action-research and ethnographic approaches were also brought to the forefront as a means of realizing a novel method for collaboration in the light of the specific regional context facing Southern Norway and UiA’s disciplinary profile.
The aim of the paper is thus to reflect on the experiences of the academics involved with the process as a means of shedding light on the challenges and opportunities facing higher education institutions whilst adopting co-creation as a collaborative method. Thus, the research question being addressed is: How do academic belonging to different fields and traditions experience co-creation and design thinking as collaborative methodologies, and what are the key challenges and opportunities?