Be alert to opportunities for co-creation in the professional field

The point of departure in co-creation processes is an explicit urgency that is perceived by all the parties involved. That is why issues with which professional field partners are faced and for which they have not yet found an appropriate solution often constitute a good basis for motivating them to embark on a co-creative process of exploration with students. Ideally, not only the students will be learning from this process, but also the professional field, the teachers and researchers involved, and so on.

Show your professional field partners that, along with your students, you are open to embarking on challenges that they are being faced with, show that you are interested, and actively ask for more information. Encourage your students to also be alert to such urgencies.

Occasionally, partners will approach a university of applied sciences with an assignment that holds insufficient opportunities for learning, and which would actually tend to have the students serve as workers in disguise (e.g., developing a simple website for a company). The participants from LUCA School of Arts explain that in such cases, they will attempt to “stretch” the assignment towards an opportunity for co-creation, by looking for the “question behind the question” of the professional field partner and enquiring about their challenges and ambitions in a broader sense.

The PAUW (Partners in Authentic Work-based Learning in teacher-training programmes) project ties in with the overarching ambition of the teacher-training programmes provided by Erasmus Brussels UAS and Vrije Universiteit Brussel to develop partnerships with the professional field. PAUW is one of the initiatives being substantiated in partner schools, in which the professional field forms part of the programme and the programme forms part of the professional field. Students confer with a school regarding the school’s needs. Together with the school, they elaborate the project, under supervision of Erasmus Brussels UAS, in a dialogue with the partner school team.

LUCA School of Arts students are using the Circle Sector tool and methodology to identify opportunities for co-creation within their courses. The students perform a mapping exercise using the tool as the point of departure for a new project.