What is co-creation and how can it be applied in education? magyarul


(Anita Kéri, 2020. január 06.)

The concept of co-creation first appeared in the business world as companies realized that their customers’ needs are constantly changing. The companies cannot sell products or services to the new generations without fully investigating their needs. Therefore, they concluded that in order for them to be able to make further profit, they should ask their consumers of what they want to buy.

You must have heard of Starbucks and IKEA (two international companies) before. What is common in them? Both of them apply the method of co-creation. Let’s see what co-creation in real life is. Let’s start with Starbucks and two widely-known facts:

  1. One of the most popular signature drinks of Starbucks is Pumpkin Spice Latte, which is a latte with the flavor of a pumpkin.
  2. WIFI and internet is always complimentary at Starbucks.

Both of these factors can be considered successful marketing tools, as everyone knows those people sitting in Starbucks with their laptops and drinks (most of the time they are businessmen or businesswomen or students) working extremely hard. But whose idea was Pumpkin Spice Latte and free Wi-Fi? It wasn't the ideas of Starbucks, but their customers, which is called co-creation. (If you also happen to have a great idea, you’ll just have to go to the homepage of Starbucks ideas and send in your ideas voluntarily. Starbucks then decides whether the idea is feasible enough to carry out.)


Let’s look at our second example which is IKEA. It is well know that furniture made by IKEA have to be assembled by consumers, which is already a certain form of co-creation. But IKEA went even further. If you go online, you can design (not only assemble) your own furniture that IKEA will produce for you. After delivery, you can assemble it yourself. This is also called co-creation.

If now we understand co-creation in the business world well, then let’s see what it means in education. Similarly to Starbucks and IKEA, we also ask the opinion of consumers of education, namely the students, about what they would like to consume or in other words, learn. Based on the literature, we can differentiate between the co-creation of curriculum, co-creation of course design and course tasks. The level of co-creation depends on the willingness, devotion and skills of the co-creators.

Why is co-creation important in education? The younger and younger students in education have been born into the technological world and are surrounded with internet. Research proved that they are unable to concentrate on certain things for a long period of time. Let’s just imagine how would they be able to sit and listen to 90 minutes straight (which is the length of a university lecture), if they cannot even pay attention to a 20-minute video. This dilemma could be resolved by co-creation, which method aims at students taking part in the creation of the curriculum, what and how exactly they learn. This way, students would be able to learn by doing and experience.

If you found this short entry interesting and you would like to get to know more about co-creation in education, read this article about its more in-depth analysis.