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Creative Problem Solving Course – Student Perceptions Of Creativity And Comparisons Of Creative Problem Solving Methodologies

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Course-Based Approaches to Entrepreneurship

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.343.1 - 13.343.17



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Paper Authors


Andrew Gerhart Lawrence Technological University

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Andrew Gerhart is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. He is actively involved in ASEE, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Engineering Society of Detroit. He serves as Faculty Advisor for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Student Chapter at LTU, and serves as chair for the LTU Leadership Curriculum Committee.

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Donald Carpenter Lawrence Technological University

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Donald Carpenter is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. He is actively involved in ASEE, is a Kern Fellow for Entrepreneurial Education, and serves as Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at LTU. His research interests involve academic integrity, assessment tools, and stream restoration.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Creative Problem Solving Course – Student Perceptions of Creativity and Comparisons of Creative Problem Solving Methodologies


A new course in creative problem solving was developed and administered. The course explores the core competencies of creativity through in-class activities and games, as well as assigned work. In addition, the students study and implement various methodologies of creative problem solving through various problems and product development assignments. Teamwork is emphasized and each student is given at least two opportunities to act as a team leader during a problem solving or product development project. All students’ leadership skills are both self- assessed and assessed by each team member.

On the first day of the course, the students were surveyed on their general perceptions of creativity, problem solving, teamwork , leadership, the role of creativity in engineering, and their personal view on their own creativity. After the course, the same survey was administered. A comparison of the pre and post-course surveys yields a shift in perceptions.

Six methods of creative problem solving were explored by the students. The methods, which vary in number of steps from four to eight, were compared and broken into five general steps. At the conclusion of the course, the students analyzed the effectiveness of the course.

1. Introduction

Historically, entrepreneurship at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) arose from two separate programs – one in the College of Engineering and the other in the College of Arts and Sciences. In the College of Engineering, it was recognized that graduates play many roles in industry, all of which require business and entrepreneurial skills. In response to this situation, the college developed the entrepreneurial certificate program and founded the Lear Entrepreneurial Center (LEC). The entrepreneurial certificate program provides a mechanism for developing student skills in communications and the business component of the engineering profession. The entrepreneurial program also includes an extensive multi-disciplinary capstone design experience in which students form a “company” and are eligible for student venture grants administered by the institution. The development of the entrepreneurial program was bolstered by the receipt of several multi-year grants. These grants strengthened the entrepreneurial certificate program and promoted innovative teaching on campus by conducting workshops and keynote lectures, awarding faculty curriculum and student venture grants, and providing faculty incentives to work with industry sponsored student teams. Specifically, the College of Engineering received a grant in 2006 as part of a larger initiative to develop the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network.

The Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) was organized by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Association (NCIIA) with support from the Kern Family

Gerhart, A., & Carpenter, D. (2008, June), Creative Problem Solving Course – Student Perceptions Of Creativity And Comparisons Of Creative Problem Solving Methodologies Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3901

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