Optimising learning outcomes through social co-creation of new knowledge in real-life client challenges


People are naturally creative, subjective creatures who (when engaged well) love to learn. However, traditional education is about transferring known content rather than stimulating the co-creation of new knowledge and insights to generate future value in unknown situations. Too often, in this misaligned traditional approach, there is an overemphasis on quantitative assessment of ‘remembered facts’ and insufficient attention given to demonstrated capabilities to apply the learned insights to a range of possible future scenarios. The outcome of this can be graduates who are not ready for the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world. This conceptual article describes an experiential learning programme in which there is no teaching of content. Instead, learners experience a range of real project challenges in contexts where the clients genuinely want well-informed, relevant advice to implement recommended options. Learners collaboratively interact in an Applied Social Learning Ecosystem (ASLE) to build content that is relevant to the external clients’ challenges and resources. Learners co-create a range of prioritised options for their client to adopt, adapt and apply and build a compelling argument to engage them to do so. The course was designed with a wide range of learning theories embedded and facilitated in a way where these have been applied in practice rather that taught as models. The course has received positive feedback from all parties – the learners, the clients, the business mentors and the school. The “Co-created Projects Worth DOING” generated by the learners in the process of their learning activities have generated significant social benefits for the clients. The experience has been consistently enjoyed by all, including the learning facilitators and mentors. It continues to evolve as feedback from the participants informs the next iterations.



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