Participatory design as an approach for work-integrated learning of digital competences

putting theory into practice


  • Klaudia Carcani Østfold University College
  • Camilla Gjellebæk Østfold University College
  • Susanne Koch Stigberg Østfold University College


Technology is radically changing the healthcare sector. Introduction of technology demands new ways of providing healthcare services and the professionals will need new knowledge and competence to be able to do their job and to contribute to the continuous development of the sector. There is limited focus on digital competence and change-processes in the educations related to healthcare as well as in the workplaces. Applying work-integrated learning makes it possible for healthcare professionals to learn and develop their competence through practical work with examples from their own workplaces and empower them to maneuver the digitalization of the workplaces. Similar participatory design started as a movement to empower industrial workers to have a stronger voice during the introduction of new technologies at their workplace. As such participatory design is a design approach which promotes involvement of all stakeholders in the design of technologies that affects them. It provides a set of tools and techniques to enable active involvement in the design process. We use these tools and techniques to teach healthcare professionals digital competences needed in their workplaces, and we discuss opportunities of participatory design for work-integrated learning. Based on a set of three participatory design workshops, we present an approach that can empower healthcare professionals to maneuver the digital change at their workplace. We recommend continued investment in the development of work-integrated learning practices with a participatory mindset.