Be aware of success factors, competencies, and dispositions that are important with respect to co-creation, and determine which skills you want your students to develop. 

Set down pertinent learning results in concert with the professional field and/or outline the dispositions that you want to encourage. 
This will be even more effective if you leave some room for diversification in the process, and if teachers, the professional field, and the students can collectively decide on the competencies that will be addressed, depending on the requirements of the students and on the authentic context.

Competencies that are conducive to co-creation include:

  • Dialogue skills / being able to build on each other’s ideas: developing a shared knowledge base/decision, developing a broader perspective, expanding insights, developing a more abstract level of thought;
  • International and interprofessional collaboration (connecting one’s own professional context to another);
  • Enterprising attitude: identifying opportunities and having the courage to act on them, setting processes in motion, wanting to make a difference;
  • Systems thinking;
  • Creative thinking (e.g., divergence/convergence).

Determine what level of command of these competencies you aim to pursue with your students.

In the Entrecomp model of Erasmus Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts students grow into real entrepreneurs who excel in their field.

The Challenge Week of Thomas More University of Applied Sciences allocates one week of each semester to a challenge submitted by a partner that has students pursue new insights on a specific issue. Students are challenged to quickly delve into a new theme, to think outside the box, and to step out of their comfort zone.

Sensitivities/Inclinations that are important for co-creation include:

  • Confidence in each other’s expertise and in the co-creation process;
  • Empathy;
  • Courage;
  • Viewing each other as equals;
  • Artful participation (based on self-reflection regarding the question: are my actions currently making the most valuable contribution to the co-creative process?);
  • Regarding tension and differences as something positive in developing a solution.

Determine which of these aspects you want to encourage among your students, for example, by being a paragon of them yourself.

Merging Minds of LUCA School of Arts is a toolkit for creating a safe team atmosphere, based on psychological studies, which is aimed at generating more creative output from interdisciplinary teams.

To which success factors for co-creation (for example, from the Co-creation Wheel) do you want to teach your students to contribute? The other factors can then be incorporated into the teaching activities, in concert with the professional field, in order for the co-creation process to succeed.

Determine whether you want to have your students (and the professional field partners) work with co-creation methods. Keep in mind that such methods are a means rather than an end goal. In several cases, we have observed that students are introduced to the design thinking method as a way to engage in co-creation based on the requirements of the user.

The “Design for Impact” Design Sprint Week of LUCA School of Arts is an intensive week in which participants complete a classic five-day “Design Sprint” in an interdisciplinary setting, featuring exercises that enhance group dynamics, with a focus on the development of interhuman soft skills. 

Some key conclusions from this project:

  • Amassing a wide range of disciplines is conducive to the development of creative solutions;
  • It is good to introduce students to a diversity of professional field perspectives, which encourages them to engage in self-analysis and self-criticism;
  • It is good to set up an explicit mechanism for introductory options, which offers students a wide range of ways to come into contact with and keep in touch with the professional field.

What degree of responsibility do you want to teach your students to assume for the co-creation process? This can range from learning to participate and learning to support facilitation of the process to learning to facilitate co-creation oneself. The latter requires a stronger focus on familiarising your students with co-creation methods and team dynamics.