Codesign as an innovative pedagogical approach

Codesign, also called participatory design or participatory design, refers to an innovative working method centered on the user. Despite the fact that it is often associated with the entrepreneurial world, it can inspire the world of education.

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By Fati Benchekri

Codesign, also called participatory design or participatory design, refers to an innovative working method centered on the user. This means that the latter is at the center of the process of developing and / or designing a service or even a given product.

Despite the fact that the above definition applies in an entrepreneurial environment, this does not mean that the codesign approach cannot inspire other sectors of activity, such as education.  

Here is a reflection on codesign as an innovative pedagogical approach, this time putting the student at the center of learning.

Traditional education has always focused on the vertical transmission of knowledge. Indeed, the pupil, from an early age, finds himself seated in front of a teacher who transmits knowledge to him. Despite his pace of learning, he is forced to follow the pace imposed by the teacher.

To reverse this situation, innovative practices, such as codesign in the service of pedagogy, allow the child to become an actor in his learning. In doing so, he becomes aware of the role he plays in his own learning. It is therefore no longer the teacher who imposes his course on the student, but the teacher and the student, together, who participate in the construction and development of the course.

The pedagogical codesign is effective for two major reasons:

  1. By understanding their role in the classroom, the student is able to become more involved. His commitment facilitates his learning as well as the application of these same learnings. We are moving from a logic of transmitting knowledge to a logic of building skills.
  2. By involving students in the learning process, the teacher does much more than impart information, he creates skills in his students by engaging them in the courses he offers.

There are some very simple ways to take a codesign approach in the classroom:

  1. Students may have a role of assessors in the design of an assessment grid. By doing this, the teacher makes them responsible for the grade they will obtain. In addition, they will feel valued, which will increase their self-esteem.
  2. The teacher can also involve them in group activities where problem solving is the main task. Together, they will build the solution. This solution can even be used to adapt the content of future courses. 
  3. Students may also be required to apply the solutions they themselves have identified in a real situation (eg school trip, activity outside the classroom). Their learning will thus make more sense for them. 

Are you experimenting with codesign with your students, your colleagues, your school teams? Share your projects with us! Write to

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