Co-creation with the professional field in actual practice

Aspects to take into account when engaging in co-creation with the professional field

Authentic learning tasks

Programmes must realise that students need authentic learning tasks in order to achieve their highest learning potential. The sooner students delve into the professional field, the better: this enables them to verify whether they have made the right choice of studies, allows them to gradually become used to what it takes to function in a company, and introduces them to the urgency in the professional field. In addition, submersion in the professional field can enhance their commitment to the sector/organisation and have them experience the opportunities offered by the sector/organisation.

Soft skills

Essential in a general sense and especially in a learning-working context. It is important to set down, in concert with the partners, the soft skills on which the partnership will focus and how these will be assessed.

Importance of critical reflection

Students must learn to reflect on the values and norms of the profession, develop their own emphases, and be able to examine themselves and their professional and personal development. Students must be given room to experiment, to learn from their mistakes, and to exchange ideas. They must be given opportunities to ask critical questions, to request feedback, and to become aware of their personal learning pathway.

Monitoring workload

Watch out for excessive pressure: students are young and enthusiastic; ensure that they do not go too far.

With respect to feedback and evaluation

  • Learning portfolio: Shift responsibility for acquiring competencies to the student by using a learning portfolio.
  • Balanced evaluation of students: Evaluating creative processes is difficult. Pass or fail appears to be a good solution. Look for a proper balance between learning process and students’ creativity.
  • Feedback to students: Always give priority to learning results on the feedback agenda. The challenge is not (inadvertently) to put the learning results in second place by being (overly) enthusiastic about the collaboration and the co-creation. The professional field can contribute to students’ feedback process, complementary to their evaluation by teachers.