Design-based collaborative learning: an innovative approach to transforming education

Monday 24 October 2022

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“The main tenet of design thinking is empathy for the people you’re trying to design for.”

David Kelley, founder of IDEO

From the 17th to 20th of October, adult educators from France, Lithuania, Italy, Sweden and Spain participated in a training on “Design Based Collaborative Learning” in Bordeaux, France.

The training has been developed within the project COOL which aims to empower disadvantaged groups to become social innovators by activating them and supporting them to develop key competences through open spaces for learning and development.

The COOL training brought to the spotlight theory and practice of Design Based Collaborative Learning. Adult educators collaborated in international teams using Design Thinking methodology to work on innovative educational practices and products.

But what is Design Based Collaborative Learning? Itis an approach that can be used for innovative and creative idea generation and solution-finding. The approach is both constructive and teamwork driven. It works along a design and development process which leads to a concrete product, service and/or prototype and is applied to facilitate joint learning.

During the design-based collaborative learning process, the course participants explored the first four Design Thinking phases, as Empathising, Identifying challenges or problems, Ideating and Prototyping as well as different creativity methods and techniques to be used.

After 4 days of workshops using this methodology, each of the working groups presented innovative project ideas that can be delivered in all five countries.

As a result of the training, educators from across Europe are now equipped with the know-how to design an education project in an innovative and collaborative way.

About the project

COOL – Competence Oriented Open Learning for disadvantaged Learners is a project cofinanced by the program DG EAC, Erasmus+: Key Action 2 – Cooperation partnerships in adult education.


For further information

Read more about COOL project and visit

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