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Creativity Activities in a Design Course Fail to Elicit Gains in Creativity Over and Above those Elicited by the Design Course Itself

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Assessment of Student Learning and Skills

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


William H. Guilford University of Virginia Orcid 16x16

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Will Guilford is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. He is also the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education in the School of Engineering. He received his B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from St. Francis College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Arizona. Will did his postdoctoral training in Molecular Biophysics at the University of Vermont. His research interests include novel assessments of educational efficacy, the molecular basis of cell movement, and the mitigation of infectious diseases.

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Engineering educators often look to imbue students with qualities beyond purely cognitive skills. Among these are self-efficacy, a psychological construct, and creativity, a pseudo-cognitive construct. We showed previously that a project-based design course is associated with improvements in both of these constructs without overt training in either. We sought to determine whether overt training in creativity can cause similar gains. Students were enrolled in either a fall or a spring section of a BME design course based on development of software and fabrication skills rather than in project-based design. One of the sections included daily, brief creativity exercises with non-academic rewards. We found that while this skills-based course was associated with semester-long improvements in creativity and self-efficacy, overt training in creative thinking did not bring about additional improvements.

Guilford, W. H. (2019, June), Creativity Activities in a Design Course Fail to Elicit Gains in Creativity Over and Above those Elicited by the Design Course Itself Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32565

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