SHE-Special Interest Group ‘Educational Change and Co-creation’

We would like to introduce you to the special interest group on ‘Educational Change and Co-creation’. The researchers in this group share a passion for investigating how to improve education through involving different stakeholders in the instructional development, implementation and evaluation processes. Learners, teachers and educational experts play a central role in co-creation or participatory design approaches. Additionally, interdisciplinary cooperation among teachers and/or supervisors, and input from health professionals as well as patients, are indispensable.

We practice what we preach, so the content of our meetings is co-created by the SIG-members. Our SIG currently allows twelve researchers – both novices and experts in research – to discuss their own studies and work in progress, as well as published articles on this topic. We also discuss important research questions, methodological approaches, challenges in the field, and gaps in the literature.

In our SIG, we actively look for opportunities to collaborate. For example, we recognized that the rapidly growing interest for these initiatives called for more clarity on the definition of concepts. This recently resulted in our first SIG-publication answering questions like: “Is participatory design the same as co-creation?” and “What is the difference between co-design and design-based research?” Our disentanglement of terminology and approaches is recently published in Medical Teacher (Martens, Meeuwissen, Dolmans, Bovill & Könings, 2019, You can read it in this link

Finally, community building among colleagues is an important goal of this SIG. As you can see in the picture, we welcome researchers from all over the world to join!


Our SIG-meetings take place once every two months. Although, our SIG meeting venue is physically located at Maastricht University, we experience virtual learning as our international members join us online as well. For the added value of taking part of the meetings, we best let the members express it themselves:

“This SIG gives me the opportunity to discuss research with experts outside of my project. It allows me to step out of my bubble, see the connections with others’ work, and create new ideas.” (Juliët Beuken, internal PhD Candidate)

“As an external PhD student, I find the SIG meetings a great opportunity to connect with scholars with whom I share mutual interest in co-design research. I was first introduced to this platform during SHE academy 2019 and I have been a member since then. As an international student, I feel proud to be a part of such dynamic and highly skilled researchers’ group and I am sure it will continue to be a fruitful learning experience. Thank you SHE!”  (Zafar Iqbal, External PhD Candidate)

“As a former external PhD student, who got so much from the SHE community, I look forward to ongoing engagement with this community, exploring new educational avenues and giving back. Thank you for the opportunity.” (Subha Ramani, MBBS, PhD, FAMEE)

If you share our enthusiasm for the topic and would like to join this group (online or face-to-face), please contact Karen Könings, kd.konings@maastrichtuniversity.nl