Co-created Courses through Open Source initiatives
Action: Strategic Partnerships
Project reference: 2017-1-BE02-KA203-034744
Start date: 1/09/2017
Duration: 36 meses
2ANDRAGOŠKI ZAVOD LJUDSKA UNIVERZA VELENJE, Slovenia
3Natsionalen Ucheben Tsentar, Bulgary
4Stichting Kenniscentrum Pro Work, The Netherlands
5UNIVERSITEIT GENT, Belgium
6Jaitek Technología y Formación S.L., Spain
Web Site: https://www.cocos.education/
Co-creation has become a hot topic in education, especially because of its promising potential to leverage the input of students, fellow educators and experts in the professional field to provide up-to-date course material in a rapidly changing environment. This is especially the case in higher and adult education which is characterised by an increasingly diverse body of students, including learners with additional degrees and prior work experience. Involving students in the co-creation of course material not only actively engages them with the subject material, it also provides a learning opportunity for 21st century skills such as digital fluency, multidisciplinary collaboration and self-management. Furthermore, co-creation also encompasses the input from fellow educators from related disciplines and stakeholders in the professional field, augmenting the diversity of perspectives offered through education. However, co-creating course content often proves to be a highly time consuming process for the educator, with a lot of time being spent on course management and hence reducing their focus on content. The time bottleneck is peculiarly present in higher and adult education where educators have a wide variety of roles and large numbers of students.
To facilitate co-creation, the CoCOS project will apply the mindset, methods and tools gleaned from open source development to the co-creation of course content. We will share our experiences with and further pilot open source platforms explicitly designed to reduce course management during course co-creation. Using version control technology - typically used in software development - these platforms automatically keep track of what content was created by whom at what point in time. In addition, they provide a hierarchical control structure, allowing the educator to keep (or delegate) editorial control over the final course.
The aim is to test this co-creation approach in a wide variety of educational settings. We therefore chose a varied set of partners, including university, university college and adult education partners. Through these pilot courses we learn from each other and the partners will spread their experiences in their local networks.
The project will consist of a preparation, test, evaluation and dissemination phase. Partners will be prepared for the pilot courses in a co-creation training, which will delve into the educational and technical challenges of co-creation. In addition, the partners will be provided with an online co-creation environment tailored to their needs. The co-creation approach will subsequently be evaluated during a series of pilot courses in various educational settings. Finally, all training material will be made openly accessible online.
The project will kick-off with a training event in Ghent in which educators will be trained, followed by the pilots in different partner institutions. Throughout the pilot trajectory (estimated to reach at minimum 480 students across all partner institutions), the experiences of all partners will be monitored through online in depth interviews and questionnaires. In addition, the quantitative user data generated by the platform will be analyzed and integrated in the qualitative assessment. At the end of the project each partner will organise a local multiplier event (estimated to reach at least 30 more educators at each institution) to further disseminate the platform and our findings.
The end goal of the project is to provide the mindset and freely available tools needed to truly facilitate co-creation of educational content. In line with the open source philosophy of our overarching project, all training material, the online co-creation environment and a co-creation learning guide with guidelines will be freely available to the wider public. This choice for a completely open access approach follows naturally from its focus on co-creation: freely available technology offers a level playing field for all stakeholders who want to contribute to the course content, irrespective of the size of their organisation or budget. Above all, using open source tools as a co-creation platform requires an open mindset, a transformation which can only be achieved through the necessary training and provision of inspirational material. In this way this Erasmus+ project forms the fitting opportunity to extend the reach of this project from the Flemish context to a network of partners across Europe.
All materials will be made accessible to all partners in the educational circle; so that educators and learners can get insights and a better understanding of the use of diverse learning materials and methodologies. Educators working primarily in higher and adult educational centers will act as a catalyst to make the concept of co-creation known in other organisations and schools by incorporating the method and suited teaching materials in their work.