June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Design in Engineering Education
The future of engineering education demands a workforce whose interdisciplinary academic training extends from a sub-atomistic understanding of fundamental science to a broad understanding of increasingly complex systems and processes. However, as the global challenges that our engineering workforce address become increasingly interwoven and complex, it becomes necessary to improve the educational practices used to train the next generation of engineers such that the students can not only understand and apply the curriculum, but can also innovate upon what they have learned. In this project, students received one hour per week of creativity training developed by theatre professor, Dr. Suzanne Burgoyne, and implemented by Drs. Hunt and Pfeiffer, who have three years of experience working with Burgoyne’s creativity training program.6,7 The active learning process implemented here integrated techniques drawn from actor training, improvisation, and theatre of the oppressed8 with creative problem-solving methods drawn from multiple research-based sources.9 Findings suggest that unless one is willing to risk trying something new—and making mistakes—one cannot be creative.10 Theatre exercises enable students to open their minds, question assumptions, and see things differently rather than seeing different things. These activities have been shown to improve students’ abilities to think creatively.9,11 Given below is a brief week-by-week description of activities implemented. Week 1: Enabling Creativity by Developing a Safe Week 2: Active Listening in Research Week 3: Understanding and Challenging Week 4: Convergent and Divergent Thinking in Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Week 5: Reframing the Question Week 6: Generating Solutions Week 7: Evaluating Solutions Week 8: Communicating a Solution Three instruments that assess creativity were used to measure outcomes: the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), Guilford’s Alternative Uses Task, and a new creativity assessment designed by Bisschoff et al. specifically for university students that uses elements of TTCT 77. The TTCT is a highly reliable creative thinking measure have been used to identify creatively gifted children through adults in the U.S., especially in multicultural settings. The tests invite students to write questions, reasons, and different uses for objects, as well as consequences for their use. The results are assessed for fluency, flexibility, and originality, and can be scored locally using the Manual for Scoring and Interpreting Results that comes with the assessment. Similarly, Guilford’s test asks students to list as many possible uses for a common household item (like a newspaper) that they can identify. Scoring is comprised of four components: originality, fluency, flexibility, and elaboration; the assessment can be given quickly and scoring follows a simple rubric. The Bisschoff et al. test is a simple survey that includes twelve important factors that can be used together to assess changes in creative thinking: challenging the status quo, separate, synthesis, cognition, associate and communicate, awareness, similarity, external motivation, sensitivity, experiment and combine, dimensional thinking and problem-solving. In this paper, we will discuss the results of these experiences on students' creative processes and how this training can impact the development of an innovative work force.
Pfeiffer, F., & Strobel, J., & Burgoyne, S. (2019, June), Board 35: A Creative Approach to the Undergraduate Research Experience Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32329
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