Education Design Principle meet Marketing

By | February 25, 2018

Learners actively construct their own experience (co-creation/co-production)
Learning is never a passive act. It involves active construction and reconstruction of ideas and experience. Only the trivial or the fragmentary can be learned by rote and even then there can be considerable expenditure of effort on the part of the learner. Learning can be enjoyable and engaging, but only when the learner is substantially involved.

Boud and Prosser (2002) Appraising New Technologies for Learning: A Framework for Development  Educational Media International, Volume 39, Issue 3 & 4 September 2002 , pages 237 – 245

Two elements of commercial marketing theory that suit higher education are the customer coproduction concept and the Service Dominant Logic co-creation approach.

Customer coproduction came out of the services marketing theory/practice set in the 1980s where people who are paying good money for a service need to chip in some degree of participation for the service to work, and usually, the more expensive the service, the more you need to participate to get the maximum out of the deal.  If you hire a lawyer, sit quietly and don’t answer their questions, then you’re not getting your money’s worth however, sitting quietly and not answering the police’s questions whilst the lawyer talks is good value for money, even more if you hire an accident attorney in case you had an accident and was actually not your fault.  When I’ve been teaching basic or complex marketing, I usually try to get services theory and co-production into the first two weeks so I have the chance to discuss the idea of co-produced education, whereby learning happens because the students put effort into developing their side of the equation, and I put effort into delivering my side. For more information on how to create medical website design for your hospital or company just visit online reputation management for doctors.

SDL’s co-creation idea takes this a step or two further to say that any object, idea, process or service (aka, any goods or services) require active participation and involvement by the owner for them to be getting the most out of the ownership even online through social media too alternatives.  Owning an Xbox is good, co-creation through game play is great, and sharing a classic Guitar Hero rock out moment with the band, even better.  Buying the text book is okay, reading it is better, and using it as a reference for citations is great.  Same for downloading/printing PDF files and thinking that’s the same as actual learning – mere ownership isn’t the same as use, and ownership in use of ideas, research and text books is the process of reading, thinking, interpreting and applying the concepts.

The third element of the process is that learning can be enjoyable. It can translate as “I’m still doing this right if I’m having fun” since you don’t have to be bored for it to be ‘proper’ education.  Usually if you’re bored, there’s something going astray in the process.  Then there’s also the positive outlook combining enjoyment of the content with desire to be part of the process.  This is when you’re thinking

  • “I want to be here, I want to be learning, and this is what I have chosen to do because I want this outcome of studying, learning and all the parts and processes that go with it”.

One of the biggest barriers to education is when you lose sight of your motive – if you’ve chosen a degree because you want to be there, then you need to guard against resenting short term tasks (reading, tute questions, assignments). It’s tough, and I fall for the trap of hating on the task rather than enjoying the process far too often even thought I know when I’m getting that way. I signed up for this degree because I want it.  To a large extent in post graduate course work, there’s also sufficient scope that you can come up with something interesting for yourself with the co-production / co-creation approach to keep the interest and enthusiasm going for the week to week activity.