Co-creation is embedded in our Strategy 2030.
'We will deliver an outstanding, inclusive, world-class education and student experience, co-created with our diverse student body, enhanced by our world-leading research and latest technological developments.'
‘Our strategy builds on existing excellence to ensure that students are co-creators in their education and the learning environment’ (Excellence in Education)
‘We will continually develop new approaches to support students in their learning and make sure they have a clear voice in the development of the University, working closely with Queen Mary Students’ Union’ (Excellence in Student Engagement)
Co-creation is also deeply embedded in the Queen Mary values.
‘We will be collegial and promote a strong collegial community through openness, listening, understanding, co-operation and co-creation, ensuring focused delivery of our collective vision and strategy’.
Co-creation is a process of student engagement that encourages students and staff members to move away from curriculum as delivery to curriculum as the joint making of meaning. Both staff and students have a voice and a stake.
Working with students, being open to ideas and views, enables shared goals and a shared understanding that teaching and learning is a joint endeavour.
Co-creation challenges the traditional approaches to learning and teaching In order to engage in co-creation, we need to reframe our perspectives:
One way to conceptualise co-creation is occupying the space in between student engagement and partnership, to suggest a meaningful collaboration between students and staff, with students becoming more active participants in the learning process, constructing understanding and resources with academic staff— Bovill et al (2016, 197)
Universities traditionally engage with students by listening to the ‘student voice’: through course evaluations and ‘listen’ to ‘respond’ accordingly. The aim is to move beyond seeing student perspectives as a source of data and promote ‘student action’ - give students the opportunity to explore areas that they believe to be significant, to recommend solutions and to bring about the required changes (Bovill et al, 2016).
With co-creation there is a change in the dynamic with students no longer being perceived as passive consumers but as active participants.
Co-creation is ultimately about a different mindset that re-positions students and staff as active collaborators in the diverse processes of teaching and learning – empowering students to be actively engaged in, and share the responsibility for their own education (Cook-Sather, Bovill & Felten 2014).
Both students and staff have different but equally valuable expertise to contribute to the process of teaching and learning (Cook-Sather, Bovill & Felten 2014; Mercer-Mapstone & Marie 2019, p.7). Students’ diverse profiles, backgrounds and experiences complement academics’ views, knowledge and expertise of the learning content and institutional context.
Staff and students work collaboratively with one another to create solutions that meet the needs and expectations of both partners and co-creation happens within the intersection of the two spheres.
This collaboration becomes a reciprocal process through which participants can contribute, although not necessarily in the same ways. Actions are negotiated and both partners tend to become much more aware of their identity and role and, at the same time, much more accountable because responsibilities are shared, and change is a common endeavour (Bovill et al 2014).
Some examples involve selecting one or just a few students, while others involve a whole class. There are also co-creation projects (usually extracurricular) where students are paid for their involvement, and others (usually involving all students in a class) where students receive the usual course credit at the end of the course.
Staff and students developing co-creation projects should consider a set of values that will guide their relationship as partners: authenticity, honesty, inclusivity, reciprocity, empowerment, trust, courage, plurality and responsibility.
For more detail, please check the Framework for student engagement through partnership (Healey and Healey 2019, HEA 2015).
Involve students in formal processes of programme or course design, revalidation, and professional development for staff
Co-creation enables the development of students’ own ‘pedagogic literacy’ and their understanding of curriculum and assessment is a necessary condition. Students become more aware of the teaching contexts and learning becomes more authentic and relevant.
Co-creation can be deeply transformative: it can change students and what they want to achieve at university and beyond. Johansson & Felten (2014, p. 929) have identified four factors of student transformation:
Student outcomes in the form of transformation and development can include:
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