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Learning from co-creating an online, flexible distance course in co-production in health and welfare
Jönköping Academy for Improvement of health and welfare, Jönköping University (SWE).
University West, Department of Health Sciences, Section for health promotion and care sciences. (LINA LOV)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7669-4702
2022 (English)In: International Conference on Work Integrated Learning: Abstract Book, Trollhättan: University West , 2022, p. 57-59Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background

Co-creation and shared learning between actors and institutions on all levels of society are important for an inclusive society. In order to realise the potential of these participatory concepts in society, there is a requirement to improve reporting and evaluation of the activities involved (Slattery, Saeri & Bragge, 2020). This suggests a need for guidance on how to apply co-creation and related concepts in practice. Work-integrated learning provides an opportunity for learning within higher education to be applied directly into a relevant context, and to problematize the relation between practical and theoretical knowledge of co -production. Learning integrated in the students’ present or future workplace can be built on practical tasks and work situation s to meet needs in practice (Hattinger et al., 2014).The purpose of this paper is to report learning and the pedagogical underpinning, co-creation and evaluation of a flexible distance course which is integrated into the working life of the students. The Co-production in Health and Welfare course is available as free-standing, English, online distance course held at Jönköping University and available to all international students. The course is offered both as a part-time course (7.5 ECTS credits) a full-time course. With each course, we have co-produced with students and patient and public contributors which has improved the learning journey.

Method

This discussion paper is based on our own experiences from a selected case of co-creation, supported by literature and pedagogical theories incorporating pedagogy from cognitive behaviourist, social constructivist and connectivist perspectives. Through this reflection, we explain how co-creation with students takes place, how dialogue is encouraged, how this is documented, co-refined and how agreement is reached. The co-creation of course content survey and frequent feedback survey which have been used to co -create and co-evaluate the course are presented. 

Co-creation of a learning community

As noted by Keller & Hrastinski (2009), a key challenge of online education is to “create an interactive context, a learning community, with appropriate levels of social presence, providing higher-order learning” (Keller & Hrastinski, 2009, p104). During each course, we set out to create a Community of Inquiry (Garrison, 2007). This framework identifies three factors which interconnect to form the student’s educational experience of a given course. These include the cognitive presence; the teaching presence; and the social presence. These were achieved through a practical and applied group assignment which is encouraged to be applied to their workplace and professional background. In their group assignment, students consider a specific context and issue relevant to their work. In collaboration with their student group, patient public contributors and the course facilitator, students co-produce a tool to be applied on a specific issue within an applied setting. By the end of the course, not only do students complete their learning objectives, but they also have a co-produced resource to take with them into practice. Through their experience of co-producing, students reflect on the process and consider areas for their professional and personal development in future. To ensure that we ‘practice what we preach’, each course is co-created with those who were about to embark upon this learning journey. Students co-produce their learning journey via a ‘co-creating course content survey’ to gain an understanding of how students want to engage with the course. This is followed by interactive dialogue in the first live session to refine the learning journey, clarify the objectives and establish the ways of working with students, teachers and patient and public contributors. This is an essential step as without this dialogue, the learning content of the course may not match the students’ needs which can lead to lack of motivation and consequently surface learning (Winefield, 2004).

Co-evaluation

To promote interaction between students and the course lead within this distance course, there were a number of tools employed in addition to a traditional course evaluation. There was an open discussion forum (co -production café), two dedicated discussions for the group assignment and reflective assignment and a ‘thought board’ within the student digital whiteboard. The ‘frequent feedback’ survey is live throughout the course and encouraged to be completed at the end of each topic and live event. This provides an opportunity for continuous dialogue with students and allows us to respond to students needs as they develop and within the timescales of the course. At the start of each session, any thoughts, concerns or issues from students or the wider learning community are added to a ‘thought board’. These are reviewed and agreed when to be discussed (at the start/end of each live session, or to be discussed asynchronously within the co-production café.

Findings

Through applying the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, 2007) and frequent feedback, we have been able to highlight the interconnecting elements of the course design and establish which elements of the course have worked well in forming a positive educational experience and identify areas which required improvement.The vast majority of students rated their experience with the course positively and we see improvements in perceived understanding of co-production during the course. The majority of positive feedback related to opportunities for engagement and interaction within the course, the flexible course structure and course content. Recommendations for improvement related to navigation in canvas, more interactive discussions, less reading material and clearer communication on upcoming activities. The learning presented is relevant to application of theories of work-integrated learning, collaborative learning and distance learning pedagogics. Two practical tools are provided for those interested in co-creating courses to apply and build upon, with examples of how to apply these in practice.

Conclusion

This case study highlights the elements of the course design which promoted a positive educational experience through co-creation with students and provides tools for application of co-creation of courses in practice. Co-creating curriculum enhances work-integrated learning, but demands adaptation to novel roles from teachers in higher education. It is hoped that these reflections prvoides guidance and tools for these adaptations to take place. Our focus for quality improvement in future will be co-evaluating the ‘learning community’ with students and patient and public contributors. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West , 2022. p. 57-59
Keywords [en]
Co-production, co-creation, digital pedagogics, distance learning, work-integrated learning
National Category
Nursing Pedagogy Learning
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; NURSING AND PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCE, Nursing science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-19561ISBN: 9789189325302 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-19561DiVA, id: diva2:1725597
Conference
WIL'22 International Conference on Work Integrated Learning, 7-9 December 2022, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden
Note

The general theme of the conference is: “WIL in the service of society”

Available from: 2023-01-11 Created: 2023-01-11 Last updated: 2023-03-15Bibliographically approved

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Areskoug Josefsson, Kristina

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