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Developing Creativity Competency of Engineers

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Education Session 3

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.395.1 - 24.395.15



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Paper Authors


Pradeep Kashinath Waychal Pune Innovation Centre Orcid 16x16

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Pradeep Waychal has close to 30 years of experience in renowned business and academic organizations. He has been the founder and head of Innovation Center of College of Engineering Pune. Prior to that, for over 20 years, he has worked with a multinational corporation, Patni Computer Systems where he has played varied roles in delivery, corporate and sales organizations. He has led large international business relationships and incubated Centre of Excellences for business intelligence, process consulting and verification and validation. He has headed the corporate product and technology innovations and quality and delivery innovation departments. Pradeep was on the apex senior management group before proceeding on to pursue his academic, research and social interests. Before Patni, he has worked at IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, SGGS College of Engineering and Crompton Greaves R & D Electronics in different research and academic positions.

Pradeep Waychal has also published papers in peer reviewed journals, presented keynote / invited talks in many high profile international conferences and I involved in a few copyrights / patents. His teams have won a range of awards in Six Sigma and Knowledge Management at international events. He has been associated with initiatives from NASSCOM, CSI, ISO and ISBSG among others. Pradeep Waychal has completed Ph D in the area of Information Technology and Innovation Management from IIT Bombay. He is credited with one of the fastest Ph D even as compared to full time research scholars. He is M Tech in control engineering from IIT Delhi with CGPA of 10/10. He is a graduate from college of engineering Pune in Electronics and Telecommunication. His current research interests are engineering education, software engineering and innovation management.

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Developing Creativity Competency of EngineersThere has been whole hearted agreement on creativity being one of the most vitalcompetencies required of today’s engineering graduates. We, therefore, undertook anexperiment to develop it in a systemic way. We chose a senior course on Software Testingand Quality Assurance. It offered an excellent platform for experimentation as both testingand quality assurance activities can be executed using either routine and mechanical methodsor highly creative ones. The course is a part of Software Engineering which is a youngengineering discipline. In fact, some critics do not even recognize it as an engineeringdiscipline [1]. These disagreements provide varied opportunities for debate and criticalthinking.There have been a few reported attempts to develop the competency [2][3]. The developmentshould be systemic and include measurement of the competency. All the experiments havenot used such measurements. Perhaps, they may have concurred with Eisenberg’s argumentthat creativity cannot be viewed from a deterministic lens [4]. The experiments that have usedmeasurements have relied mainly on Torrance Test of Critical Thinking (TTCT)[3][5]. Wefound the test to be costly and decided to search for appropriate alternatives that led us toFelder Solomon Index of Learning Style (ILS) [6]. We posited that the Sensing / Intuitiondimension of learning styles that was originated in Carl Jung’s Theory of PsychologicalTypes can be used to measure the competency. Sensing learners tend to be practical,observant, attentive to details, and careful and methodical in how they work; intuitivelearners are more likely to be quick, creative, and abstract thinkers, much more comfortablethan sensors with theories, symbolic information, and mathematical models [6].We explained the concept and carried out the assessment of the cohort. We confirmed utilityof the assessment results to students and the learning style preferences match with the earlierreports[7]. We then designed the course that potentially can change the competency. Thedesign consisted of a variety of in-class active learning activities, publication of wiki articlesand a day-long workshop. At the end of the course we carried out another assessment to trackthe difference in learning preferences of the students.Although major changes would not normally be expected after a one-semester course, ahypothesis in the study was that a shift from sensing toward intuition on learning styleprofiles would be observed, and indeed it was. A paired t-test indicated that the pre-postchange in the average sensing/intuition preference score was statistically significant (p =0.004).While more research and direct assessment of competency is needed to be able to drawdefinitive conclusions about the efficacy of the course structure at developing creativitycompetency, the results suggest that the approach is worth exploring.References:[1] Denning Peter J., Riehle Richard D.(2010), “Is Software Engineering Engineering?”,Communications of the ACM, Vol. 52 No. 3, Pages 24-26[2] Silje Alberthe Kamille Friis,”Developing Creative Competencies”,[3] Takeo Higuchi, Prof. Kazunori Miyata, Associate Prof. Takaya Yuizono, “Analysis ofCreativity Development by TTCT Creativity Test for Idea-Marathon System Training”,Seventh International Conference on Knowledge, Information and Creativity SupportSystems, 2012[4] Gay Lemons, “Diverse Perspectives of Creativity Testing: Controversial Issues WhenUsed for Inclusion Into Gifted Programs”, Journal for the Education of the Gifted 2011, 34(5)742–772[5] Kyung Hee Kim, “Can we Trust Creativity Tests? A review of th Torrance Tests ofCreative Thinking”, Creativity Research Journal”, 2006 Vol 18, No 1 pp 3-14.[6] Felder R.M. and L.K. Silverman (1988), "Learning and Teaching Styles in EngineeringEducation," Engr. Education, 78(7), 674-681 (1988)[7] Felder R.M. and J.E. Spurlin (2005), "Applications, Reliability, and Validity of the Indexof Learning Styles." Intl. Journal of Engineering Education, 21(1), 103-112

Waychal, P. K. (2014, June), Developing Creativity Competency of Engineers Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20286

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