Use appropriate forms of evaluation

Several cases have prompted the conclusion that evaluating co-creation is not a simple matter, as it involves a process that is affected by a wide range of factors and in which individual contributions are not easily isolated. How reliably can such processes be gauged, if many factors and intangibles need to be calculated in?

An evaluation with a strong emphasis on scores does not quite align with co-creation, as it can curb creativity. Furthermore, gaining a good picture of a student’s participation in a co-creation process calls for a combination of multiple forms of evaluation.

Consequently, in several cases, we have observed a combination of alternative forms of evaluation, focusing on formative and summative evaluation: self-reflection and self-assessment; coaching meetings that encourage reflection by students; forms of evaluation involving intersubjectivity, such as peer evaluation and presentations before a jury. In many cases, the professional field was also involved in the evaluation – thus addressing the multi-perspectivity that is inherent in co-creation. Frequently, the evaluation pertained to both the product and the process.

B-AIM of LUCA School of Arts and Odisee:

International project in which an interdisciplinary team of (international) students spends one semester working as an R&D team for a start-up. The goal: developing a proof of concept for a business idea of the start-up. The project is assessed by a jury based on several components:

  • Score on specifications: e.g., requirements analysis, technical guides, et cetera;
  • Score on product: software/hardware product, design, business plan, et cetera;
  • Process: teamwork, testing, AGILE approach > via permanent evaluation and peer evaluation;
  • Presentation & defence before a jury.

Tanja Vesala-Varttala recommends experimentation with learning journals and portfolios structured along the same lines in order to foster inter-comparability. This helps to have students reflect on their learning process. However, she indicates that working with a learning journal may require professionalisation of students and teachers in this respect. Another interesting method is having students and teachers co-create the evaluation criteria.

Furthermore, the formal evaluation may be supplemented with qualitative elements, which are slightly more subjective but also hold validating value (e.g., a short statement from a teacher/peers/the professional field, which the student will be able to include in his/her resume).