Elements of collaborative economy introduced to Aalto’s design management courses

Thinking of a course as a collaborative economy leads to new ways of keeping track of the contributions of students. “Inside the course, master’s level students will be able to take part in many projects and do daily evaluation of other students that they have worked with” says Jenni Huttunen. Students can contribute by working, helping or reusing knowledge, material or contribution that others have made. Besides being motivating to the students, monitoring the data is helpful for the teaching staff, enabling them to have a more detailed understanding of the work of each student. Evaluation can be more dependent on peer-reviews than before.

The planned collaborative setting would be different from the group work we see today in Aalto. The objective is to promote a collaborative economy style of working where each student would be free to contribute to many projects, not just the one their designated team is working on.

The collaborative economy idea will be introduced on two courses of Neppi – Networked Partnering and Product Innovation: design and technology. The Neppi courses will be part of Aalto’s International Design Business Management curriculum in 2018 and will welcome students from other disciplines.

The digital solution is based on the idea that by promoting sharing of information and skills freely, a course accumulates more “revenue”, such as better learning and thus most likely, better products. Therefore the solution should lower the barriers between groups and disciplines, and promote knowledge sharing, which is not an easy task. The idea phase solution was realised by Raffaella Tran as part of her diploma project. The objective was to capture the initial ideas to a concrete form in order for them to be evaluated and co-developed further. The project is currently looking for co-developers interested in collaborative economy and education development. The working group has been happy to see there has been some initial interest in using the app on other workshop style courses also.