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CoCOS: Co-creation with OER and open source


CoCOS is a European Erasmus+ KA2 funded project that has as a main objective to apply the mindset, methods and tools gleaned for open source development to the co-creation of course content. In a number of diverse pilot courses we will test out and evaluate our experiences with open educational resources (OERs), open source platforms and freely available web tools explicitly designed to reduce course management during co-creation. 

In January 2019 a week-long CoCOS co-creation training event was held in Ghent, Belgium. Teachers and educators associated with all partner organisations gathered for a specialised training designed by Artevelde University College and based on the Design Sprint method. Training moderators from each organisation were appointed months ahead of the training and took part in an in-depth advanced training using the flipped classroom method. The advanced training had a heavy cooperation element, and rich discussions contributed to the final format and content of the training in Ghent. During one whole week the participants worked on the integration of co-creation in a variety of training contexts and different target audiences: university students, adult learners. A significant issue which appeared consistently in the worksessions and discussions was solving the conundrum of technology implications: availablility of IT tools, IT competences and skill levels for both educators and learners, IT consultant or peer role.At the end of the training week, the educators left with a detailed plan of work – authoring, methodology of delivery, content – for a specific course of their own.

These plans are now in the process of being fleshed out, approved at institutional level, and delivered as pilot courses. We are excited at the opportunity to be able to demonstrate some of the pilot courses later in the year.

And now, some background on the project initiative:


Co-creation has become a hot topic in higher education, especially because of its potential to solve a number of challenges in the current higher education setting. In a society characterised by globalisation, digitalisation, and constant change, educational institutions – higher education institutions (HEI) as well as adult education institutions – must think beyond today and provide students with the skills to shape tomorrow’s society. 21st century skills such as digital literacy, sustainability, entrepreneurship, global citizenship and research must be achieved by introducing New Generation curriculum design and – importantly – the self-directed curriculum. 

These are catalysts for a more student-centered learning approach, smarter use of ICT, and tighter links between educational institutions and employers as well as social enterprises. It therefore comes as no surprise that co-creation of course content by a broad range of stakeholders has gained much attention.

With students

In the case of co-creation with students, the contributing students naturally bring their individual learning needs and qualities to the table, allowing for increased course diversification and student engagement, leading to better learning outcomes. In other words, deep-level-learning. 

In contrast, current course material typically starts from the educator, and fails to engage the diverse capabilities of its students, many of which have prior work and learning experiences. Unlocking their potential through co-created course content – also in a blended and distance learning context – greatly contributes to the quality and richness of the course, and to the development of critical thinkers.

With colleagues and professional experts

Co-creation can also involve colleagues from related disciplines or experts from the professional field. Incorporating their input will not only aid the educator in providing the most up-to-date course material in a rapidly changing environment, it also assures that students pick up on interdisciplinary knowledge and skills indispensable for their future careers.

The challenge

Unfortunately, learning platforms often fail to strike a balance between free input by students and experts from related professional fields on the one hand and sufficient control and feedback facilities for the educator on the other hand. Furthermore, educators, especially those lacking in digital literacy, often get bogged down by administration and coordination, leaving insufficient room for creativity, inspiration and research. The time bottleneck is especially present in higher/adult education where educators are faced with a wide variety of roles and large numbers of students.

The consortium

The consortium consists of six European partners:

Artevelde University College (project lead), Belgium, Ljudska Univerza Velenje, Slovenia, National Training Centre, Bulgaria, Jaitek Technology and Training, Spain, Foundation Knowledge Centre Pro Work, The Netherlands, Ghent University, Belgium.


For more information regarding the CoCOS activities, stay up to date and visit our website on

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