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Multidimensional Assessment of Creativity in an Introduction to Engineering Design Course

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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

FPD 11: Culminating Considerations

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.922.1 - 24.922.17



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Paper Authors


Silvia Husted Universidad de las Americas Puebla

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Silvia Husted is Science, Engineering, and Technology Education Ph.D. Student at Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico. She teaches design related courses. Her research interests include creative thinking, cognitive processes, and creating effective learning environments.

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Judith Virginia Gutierrez

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Ph.D. in Science, Engineering, and Technology Education.

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Nelly Ramirez-Corona Universidad de las Americas Puebla

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Aurelio Lopez-Malo Universidad de las Americas Puebla


Enrique Palou Universidad de las Americas Puebla

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Professor Palou is Director, Center for Science, Engineering, and Technology Education as well as Distinguished Professor and Past Chair, Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico. He teaches engineering, food science, and education related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, creating effective learning environments, using tablet PCs and associated technologies to enhance the development of 21st century expertise in engineering students, and building rigorous research capacity in science, engineering and technology education.

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Multidimensional Assessment of Creativity in an Introduction to Engineering Design CourseRecently University ABC generated new curricula for its undergraduate degrees in chemical(CE), food (FE), and environmental engineering (EE). These new “integrated and spiral”curricula includes seven departmental courses considered chemical, food, and environmentalengineering “pillars”, which will be designed to enhance the development of 21st centuryexpertise in students from each of the undergraduate degrees. Creative thinking includes thecapacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and theexperience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way characterized by a highdegree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking1. If we are to produce engineers whocan solve society's most pressing technological problems we must provide our students withopportunities to exercise and augment their natural creative abilities and we must createclassroom environments that make these exercises effective2-4. This paper will describe in detailhow a second semester cornerstone (and pillar) course (Introduction to Chemical, Food, andEnvironmental Engineering Design) for CE, FE, and EE is helping to achieve these objectives, aswell as its alignment with the Investment Theory of Creativity (ITC) developed by Sternberg andLubart5-8. This theory comprises six resources for creativity: intellectual processes, knowledge ofdomain, intellectual style, personality, motivation, and environmental context. Creativeperformance results from a confluence of these elements6-8.Creativity assessment was grounded on the Consensual Assessment Technique9, which is basedon the idea that the best measure of creativity regardless of what is being evaluated, is theassessment by experts in that field. Course two major projects were presented to experts in thefield that assessed student creative thinking by means of a rubric adapted from ITC6-8, whichprovides a multidimensional assessment of creativity. Possible performance levels were fromexemplar (value of 4) to benchmark (value of 1). Instructor, peer-, and self-assessments werealso performed throughout the course on several assignments (formative) as well as on two majorprojects (summative).Mean values from rubric assessment of two major projects were 3.00 for creative performance,3.00 for knowledge of domain (application of formal and informal knowledge), 3.00 forintellectual style (includes indicators such as autonomy and rules), 3.44 for motivation (level ofcommitment, project pride, and interest in task), 3.33 for intellectual processes (which includesindicators such as sensitivity, problem identification, ideation, ability to recognize ideas thathave potential to be valued, as well as ability to sell your ideas effectively and persuade of itsvalue), 3.25 for creative personality (with indicators such as tolerance for ambiguity, risk taking,will, and perseverance), and 2.38 for the product itself (which includes originality, quality,importance, and feasibility) that in these cases are the two designed products for correspondingprojects. The vast majority of students attained projects’ expected outcomes at an intermediatelevel. Therefore, it is suggested to further integrate creativity in subsequent pillar courses inorder to foster meaningful development of students’ creative thinking.[1] AAC&U. 2013. Creative Thinking Value Rubric. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Available online at rubrics/pdf/All_Rubrics.pdf[2] Felder, R. M. 1988. Creativity In Engineering Education. Chemical Engineering Education, 22(3): 120–125.[3] Felder, R. M. 1987. On Creating Creative Engineers. Engineering Education, 77(4): 222-227.[4] Felder, R. M. 1982. Does Engineering Education Have Anything to Do with Either One? Toward a Systems Approach to Training Engineers. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University. Available online at Monograph.pdf[5] Fernández, F. L. and Peralta, L. F. 1998. Estudio de tres modelos de creatividad: criterios para la identificación de la producción creativa. Faisca: Revista de Altas Capacidades, 6: 67- 85.[6] Sternberg, R. J., Lubart, T. I., Kaufman, J. C. and Prelz, J. E. 2005. Creativity. In K. J. Holyoak and R. G. Morrison (Eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning (pp. 351-369). New York: Cambridge University Press.[7] Sternberg, R. J. and O' Hara L. 2005. Creatividad e Inteligencia. Cuadernos de Información y Comunicación, 10: 113-149.[8] Sternberg, R. J. and Lubart, T. I. 1993. Creative Giftedness: A Multivariate Approach Investment. Gifted Child Quarterly, 37(1): 7-15.[9] Amabile, T. M. 1982. Social Psychology of Creativity: A Consensual Assessment Technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43(5): 997-1013.

Husted, S., & Gutierrez, J. V., & Ramirez-Corona, N., & Lopez-Malo, A., & Palou, E. (2014, June), Multidimensional Assessment of Creativity in an Introduction to Engineering Design Course Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22855

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