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From Brainstorming To C Sketch To Principles Of Historical Innovators: Ideation Techniques To Enhance Student Creativity

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Creativity and Innovation in Engineering Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

22

Page Numbers

15.602.1 - 15.602.22

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16971

Download Count

32

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Paper Authors

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Christina White Columbia University

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Austin Talley University of Texas, Austin

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Daniel Jensen United States Air Force Academy

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Kristin Wood George Washington University

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Andy Szmerekovsky US Air Force Academy

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Richard Crawford University of Texas at Austin

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

From Brainstorming to C-Sketch to Principles of Historical Innovators: Ideation Techniques to Enhance Student Creativity Abstract

The heart and soul of engineering is innovation and our ability to improve the human condition through design. To enrich engineering education, it critical that we advance our teaching in innovation and design processes. This research focuses on the ideation component of innovation through the investigation of a suite of concept generation techniques. These techniques have been developed for engineering education across disciplines and at all levels of curriculum. In this paper, we advance our suite of techniques through the evolution of a method known as “principles of historical innovators.” Based on the deployment of the techniques, including the evolved method, at the freshman- and senior-levels, we execute a study to understand if the suite of techniques enables students to generate a large quantity of diverse concepts and if the suite enhances the creativity of the students. Our approach is to pre-survey students regarding a self- assessment of their creativity using Gouge’s list of creativity descriptors. A control and experimental group of student design teams across disciplines and class level are then asked to develop as many concepts as possible for their course design projects. The control group only executes a single and well-known method from the suite of concept generation techniques, whereas the experimental group employs the entire suite of techniques. The total number of concepts developed by the teams is evaluated, documenting the number of concepts per ideation technique. The teams are also asked to complete a post-creativity survey. The assessment results from this study show a clear and statistically valid enhancement of the students’ creativity, a higher quantity of concepts generated from the suite of techniques, and appreciation of atypical techniques such the “principles of historical innovators.”

Motivation and Research Objectives Innovation and creativity in design are key outcomes for engineering students in our increasingly flat and connected world. The concept generation (CG) step in the design process presents tremendous and unique opportunities for enhancing creativity in students. A variety of techniques specifically to enrich the CG or ideation process inform our research. Based on those influential ideation techniques, as well as original work we have conducted in this area, we have developed a suite of CG techniques to assist in the design projects [1]. The techniques include mindmapping, a modified 6-3-5 or C-Sketch technique, functional decomposition combined with morphological analysis, Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TIPS/TRIZ), a method to produce products with the ability to transform or reconfigure, a search for cross-domain or far-field analogies, implementation of creativity principles from historical innovators, and a design by analogy technique using a WordNet-based search procedure [2-9,11-12,33]. Figure 1 illustrates the suite of concept generation methods as a distributed collage. The fundamental premise of this suite is to enable designers to develop innovative concepts well beyond those that they would have created through ad hoc or singular, intuitive concept generation techniques. Through a suite of techniques, fixation, group think, and other cognitive barriers may be mitigated, we surmise, leading to an enhanced ability to ideate.

White, C., & Talley, A., & Jensen, D., & Wood, K., & Szmerekovsky, A., & Crawford, R. (2010, June), From Brainstorming To C Sketch To Principles Of Historical Innovators: Ideation Techniques To Enhance Student Creativity Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16971

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