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Tools for Assessing the Creative Person, Process, and Product in Engineering Education

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session 12: Creativity and Problem Framing

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Kristin Lerdal South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Kristin Lerdal is an Undergraduate Research Assistant studying creativity in engineering education at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She is working towards a Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering with an Environmental Emphasis.

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Andrea E. Surovek South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Dr. Andrea Surovek is a research scientist working in the areas of biomimicry for sustainable construction and engineering education at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She is the recipient of the ASEE CE Division Seeley Fellowship and the Mechanics Division Beer and Johnston Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award. She is a fellow of ASCE and ASCE/SEI. She received her PhD from Georgia Tech, and also holds degrees in both Civil Engineering and Visual and Performing Arts from Purdue University

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Kristen S. Cetin Iowa State University

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Dr. Kristen S Cetin is an Assistant Professor at Iowa State University in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.

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Bora Cetin Iowa State University

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Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

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Benjamin Ahn Iowa State University

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This evidence-based practice paper provides guidance in assessing creativity in engineering education. In the last decade, a number of vision statements on the future of engineering education (e.g. Educating the Engineer of 2020, the ASCE Body of Knowledge) point to the fact that creativity is essential to engineering innovation; it is regarded as an important attribute in the education of engineers in order to meet the most urgent national challenges and to drive economic growth in the new millennium. Yet studies suggest that engineering students’ creative skills are being left underdeveloped or diminish over the course of their studies, or worse, that students who consider themselves to be creative are being driven away from engineering as a chosen field.

On the surface, creativity skills are perceived as difficult to utilize in the engineering classroom, primarily due to the didactic nature of science and engineering instruction. Assessing the product of open ended or ill-structured assignments remains a difficult task as well. This study examines available assessments for creativity that are founded in three of the Four Ps of creativity: person, process, product (the fourth P, press, is not considered in this work.) The intent is to identify verified metrics that can be used to quantify creativity with a particular look to whether the metrics are appropriate for creativity, particularly as they pertain to the science and engineering domains. These metrics are examined for applicability to science and engineering, ease of administration and completion, expertise required to score, cost to administer, and time required to administer. Rather than determining the “best” metrics, this examination will provide guidelines for engineering educators and researchers interested in creativity for selecting appropriate metrics to be used in classrooms and research studies based on metric attributes.

Lerdal, K., & Surovek, A. E., & Cetin, K. S., & Cetin, B., & Ahn, B. (2019, June), Tools for Assessing the Creative Person, Process, and Product in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33445

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