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Integrating the Creative Process into Engineering Courses: Description and Assessment of a Faculty Workshop

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Teaching Methods and Assessment

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.812.1 - 25.812.15



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Paper Authors


Sarah E. Zappe Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Sarah Zappe is the Director of Assessment and Instructional Support in the College of Engineering at Penn State University. In this role, she provides support to faculty in trying innovative ideas in the classroom. Her background is in educational psychology with an emphasis in applied testing and measurement. Her current research interests include integrating creativity into the engineering curriculum, development instruments to measure the engineering professional skills, and using qualitative data to enhance response process validity of tests and instruments.

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Thomas A. Litzinger Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Samuel Todd Hunter Pennsylvania State University

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Integrating the Creative Process into Engineering Courses: Description and Assessment of a Faculty WorkshopAbstractNo one doubts the need for engineers to be creative and innovate. However, while much work has beendone in engineering education on how creativity and innovation can be integrated into engineering designcourses, little work has been done on how the creative process can be integrated into non-designengineering courses. The purpose of this paper is to describe a workshop offered in May of 2011 withinthe College of Engineering at the authors’ institution. The interactive workshop, entitled, “Integrating theCreative Process into Engineering Courses” was led by an industrial/organizational psychologist whosearea of expertise is creativity. Participants included nine faculty from the College of Engineering andseven faculty and staff from a teaching and learning center located in the College. The following topicswere discussed during the two-day workshop: 1) What is creativity? Why is creativity important in engineering? 2) What is the “creative process?” 3) What are the antecedents and requirements for creativity? 4) What is known about enhancing creativity in others, i.e. our students? 5) How can creativity be assessed?The workshop consisted of a series of lectures, discussions, and interactive activities. Participants weregiven “homework,” before and during the workshop. Following the workshop, participants were invitedto submit proposals to the teaching and learning center for funding to implement projects related tocreativity and innovation within their classrooms. Project assessment occurred in the form of a post-workshop survey administered to the participants. Results indicate that participants were pleased with theworkshop, particularly in regards to the following: learning a more formal approach to incorporating thecreative process within their courses, the applicability of creativity research to engineering education,discussion of idea generation in the classroom, and ideas for specific classroom exercises. The final paperwill include a more detailed description of the workshop and the assessment results. In addition, aworking group of the involved faculty will be launched during the Fall, 2011 semester to further explorethis topic. The final paper and presentation will also discuss the progress of this working group.

Zappe, S. E., & Litzinger, T. A., & Hunter, S. T. (2012, June), Integrating the Creative Process into Engineering Courses: Description and Assessment of a Faculty Workshop Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21569

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