June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Educational Research and Methods
This evidence-based practice paper describes the use of creativity practice exercises intended to enhance student creativity in a capstone design program. Engineering programs, in general, and capstone design programs, in particular, that seek innovative conceptual solutions to complex problems would benefit from techniques to develop and assess student creativity. Therefore, a study was performed to evaluate two such techniques. Over the first two years of the study, capstone design students in the United States Air Force Academy’s Department of Engineering Mechanics were each assigned to one of 14 teams which received various learning experiences (treatments) intended to enhance individual creativity and design project innovation. Twelve of the 14 teams (n = 70) received an innovative engineering design curriculum while the control teams (n = 23) did not. Six teams (n = 37) experienced seven weekly creativity exercises across the fall semester, provided by Destination Imagination, while four teams (n = 56) did not. It was expected that the exercises would improve Creativity Index scores in students across the study as measured by the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) Figural Test. The Creativity Index scores of the students were analyzed using an independent sample t-test to determine if any differences could be detected. Results after the first two years are positive, indicating that students that participated in the creativity-enhancing treatments showed higher improvements in Creativity Index scores compared to the controls. However, the statistical significance of these findings are not strong, presumably due to the small sample size. Therefore, the research will continue in subsequent years. In addition, evaluation of the design teams’ concepts by experienced engineering design faculty indicated that the teams that participated in the creativity exercises exhibited greater innovation in their design process versus the control. Finally, students reported that the exercises are fun and help them expand their way of thinking to consider unexpected solutions to a diverse array of challenges.
Anderson, M. L., & Anderson, K. E., & Jensen, D. D. (2019, June), Creativity Exercises and Design Methods to Enhance Innovation in Engineering Students Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32566
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015