Innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills

Bring It to Your Classroom

What else is out there? What is something no one else has brought-up? It is the opening of doors and options that follows problem-identification. Consider an assignment that required you to compare two different authors on the topic of education and select and defend one as better. Now add to this scenario that your professor clearly prefers one author over the other.

So, what can we do to develop our critical and creative thinking skills? Although many students may dislike it, group work is an excellent way to develop our thinking skills. Many times I have heard from students their disdain for working in groups based on scheduling, varied levels of commitment to the group or project, and personality conflicts too, of course. When we work collaboratively on a project or problem we bring many brains to bear on a subject. These different brains will naturally develop varied ways of solving or explaining problems and examining information.

This is part of why students tend to avoid group work—it challenges us as thinkers and forces us to analyze others while defending ourselves, which is not something we are used to or comfortable with as most of our educational experiences involve solo work.

Skip to main content. Thinking and Analysis. Search for:. Creative Thinking Skills. Activity: Assess Your Creative Problem-Solving Skills Objective Evaluate your attitude toward problem-solving in the context of cultivating creative thinking. Read the introductory text, which explains how creativity is linked to fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility and tolerance of ambiguity.

Creativity & Creative Thinking

The test has 20 questions and will take roughly 10 minutes. After finishing the test, you will receive a Snapshot Report with an introduction, a graph, and a personalized interpretation for one of your test scores. Fountain pen, ballpoint, pencil, marker, typewriter, printer, printing press, word-processing. What is the solution to human transportation? The ox or horse, the cart, the wagon, the train, the car, the airplane, the jet, the space shuttle? What is the best and last? Even many problems that seem to require technology can be addressed in other ways.

Nothing will help— certainly not structure. There are many successful techniques for generating ideas. One important technique is to include structure. Create guidelines, limiting parameters, and concrete goals for yourself that stimulate and shape your creativity. Problem-Solving with Creative Thinking Creative problem-solving is a type of problem-solving.

Thinking Critically and Creatively While critical thinking analyzes information and roots out the true nature and facets of problems, it is creative thinking that drives progress forward when it comes to solving these problems. Mean scores to three questions were used for further analyses. Working in interprofessional teams: Students answered whether this experience enhanced their interest in working in interprofessional teams.

Focus & Creativity - Creative Thinking, Visualisation & Problem Solving - Binaural Beats & Iso Tones

Focus groups: During —15 and —16, 1-h focus group sessions two with Human Biology students and two with Medicine students were performed to collect information about the IBL approach, interprofessionalism, the role of the tutors and the creativity workshop. Field notes: Methodological, descriptive, and personal field notes were collected in a total of 12 creativity workshop sessions 3 for each creativity workshop session during the two academic years.

Academic results: the final grades of the students who did the creativity workshop were compared with those of the students who did not.

Research projects analysis: The 25 research projects done during the academic years — and —, that performed the creativity workshop, were analyzed for creativity. SPSS software was used for quantitative analyses. Codes and categories that emerged during the analysis were refined after multiple iterations of content coding [ 29 — 31 ].

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No significant differences were found between scores of students from the two degree programs, neither between men and women. Furthermore, no significant differences were found on the perception of creativity development between the promotions that did not perform the creativity workshop —, — and — and the promotions that did — and — No significant differences were found between men and women.

Students rated their satisfaction and the usefulness of the course highly. Non significant differences were found between the promotions that did not performed the creativity workshop —, — and — and the promotions that did —, — in terms of satisfaction and usefulness. All correlations between items were statistically significant.

We used quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze items related to general satisfaction with the creativity workshop and with the activities and atmosphere in the workshop Fig. Quantitative assessment of the creativity workshop. No significant differences were found between students from the two degree programs.

Significant differences were found between the final grades obtained by the promotions that performed the creativity workshop — and — and the promotions that did not —, — and — Final grades were higher in the promotions that performed the creativity workshop than the promotions that did not 8. One example of this kind of product is a project that determined variations in the vaginal microbiota associated with the use of tampons versus menstrual cups and the possible association of these methods with increased susceptibility to genitourinary diseases.

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One example is a project that studied the formation of biofilms in vitro to test a disaggregating drug, which also potentiates the antimicrobial effect of antibiotics, to solve the problem of high antibiotic resistance in bacteria that colonize medical devices. One example of the former is a research project conceiving a non-toxic probiotic product that could alter the human skin microbiome to make it less attractive to mosquitoes that transmit disease; one example of the latter is a project that studied the high prevalence of resistance to antidepressants and its relation with the intestinal microbiome and inflammatory processes.

The products types focused on science problem-solving and designing technical products were the most creative 8. However, other products types such as advances in science knowledge or understanding science phenomena also scored high in creativity 7. This study examines the development of research skills and creative thinking through an open-IBL course. Students perceived that they had acquired these skills after the course.

As Justice et al. Domain-knowledge and skills are major components of creativity [ 34 ], and scientific exploration and activities such as defining scientific problems, formulating hypotheses, designing research plans, evaluating evidence, and verifying further theories are considered key for developing scientific creativity [ 12 ]. Thus, investigating different aspects of a problem develops creativity [ 4 ]. These results agree with previous studies that identified open- and discovery-oriented IBL as the IBL models that best promote higher-order learning outcomes, including the definition of scientific problems, design of an appropriate method of study, and capacity to do research [ 23 , 35 ].

Creative Thinking Lesson Plans for Teachers

These results support previous research findings that collaboration, exchange of ideas, and different perspectives enhance creative thinking and the development of research skills [ 19 ]. The qualitative results obtained in the analysis of the open-IBL implementation and the creativity workshop suggest that workshop sessions, where students felt free to express their ideas, could have been more conducive to the development of creative projects than the tutorial sessions.

Freedom and flexibility in situations where students need to apply knowledge and solve problems are key for the development of scientific creativity [ 37 ], although, as our qualitative assessment shows, the development of creative thinking and research skills can be limited by tensions between peers, openness and time, or difficulties during the research project. The development of scientific creativity requires tolerance and safe, democratic environments [ 38 ].

Despite non significant differences were found in perception of creativity development between the students who performed the creativity workshop and the students who did not, neither in satisfaction and usefulness of the inquiry approach; the quantitative and qualitative data supports the idea that most students considered that the creativity workshop contributed to and had an impact on the development of creativity in their projects.

The creativity workshop, introduced in the academic year —, has been useful and has allowed us to compare the different cohorts. They reported that this workshop promoted group cohesion and helped them define the research proposal. Students considered brainstorming, heuristics, and analogies or visual diagrams to analyze different elements of the project useful, but also pointed out that time constraints meant that some techniques were used only superficially and that employing fewer techniques might be more useful. These results support the theory that interactive group sessions promote creativity by encouraging participants to develop and share ideas and connections, stimulating idea generation and evaluation, promoting alternative thinking, unexpected connections, parallel group thinking, and problem solving [ 24 ].

Previous research and our results show that these techniques stimulate creative thinking, but require time to be more effective. Thus, we recommend introducing some of these techniques in open-IBL courses.

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As Hu and Adey explain, scientific creativity can be assessed by the type of product generated, its originality, value and usefulness. Although there were some differences between students from the two degree programs, students were satisfied and considered the course and methodology useful. Satisfaction and usefulness are strongly correlated, so differences between students in different degree programs are probably related to the aims of the course designing and carrying out a research project.

Although students were free to choose the research proposal, design, and execution, Human Biology students found it more useful for their future professional life than Medicine students, some of whom do not intend to do research. Furthermore, a stronger correlation was found between usefulness and research skills than usefulness and creativity development, so it could be possible that students perceived more useful the training in research skills for their future professions than the training on creativity. Finally, the performance of the creativity workshop had no effects on the satisfaction with the course and its usefulness, so the general satisfaction with the course and its usefulness could be related to the inquiry model used in this course.

Students were satisfied with their projects and with IBL, remarking that IBL allowed them to learn skills useful for their academic activities and future professions and that the knowledge acquired will be retained. Tutors played an important role in IBL. Students considered that the ideal tutor must have experience as a facilitator, should act as a guide, not only an evaluative figure, and must find the balance between promoting a free environment and redirecting situations when necessary to enhance creativity.

This perception agrees with previous publications concluding that facilitators in student-centered approaches should create a safe, free, flexible, open environment to enhance creative thinking [ 38 ]. Furthermore, as Savery explain, educators must guide the learning process and provide thorough debriefing at the conclusion of the learning experience, changing roles from teacher as knowledge provider to tutor as a manager and facilitator of learning [ 42 ].

Nevertheless, assessment was an important part of the process of inquiry. During this IBL activity, students experienced different emotions. Positive emotions included motivation, engagement, and competitiveness to produce better ideas. Students considered that positive emotions helped them develop better projects and be more involved. Although some students had negative emotions such as confusion or anxiety about the workload, groups managed to allay most negative emotions.

As Litmanen et al. Tasks that are too easy or too challenging often result in decreased concentration and involvement. In active learning, students have positive feelings related to motivation and engagement, as well as negative emotions related to anxiety and stress [ 44 ]; a good balance enriches learning processes. Some limitations have been found in the design of this study. First, more data are available on the cohorts that conducted the creativity workshop compared to those that did not.

This may be because the questionnaire for the — cohorts was delivered in an online format and the number of responses was not as desired. For this reason, since , when the creativity workshop was introduced, the questionnaire was delivered in a classroom and more qualitative data was collected through focus groups and field notes in order to further deepen the usefulness and impact of the workshop. On the other hand, the questionnaire could not be validated, as it is specifically designed for the students who had taken the course and we and we considered that it was not appropriate to test it previously with the same group of students.

However, it was discussed in depth with all the researchers and teachers involved in the course. The transformation of two non normal distribution variables to normal distributed variables to be coherent with the correlation analysis might have altered a little bit the results and can be considered as a limitation of the interpretation of data.

But in fact, the differences have been so minimal that they have not changed the meaning of the results. This study found that students acquired research and creative thinking skills, through an open and interprofessional IBL course. In addition, students are highly satisfied with the learning experience and they perceive it as useful for their education. Although restricted to few participants at a single university, some findings of this study suggest that IBL has great potential and can promote skills development.

Open-IBL is a promising method for teaching undergraduate students research skills and creativity.

innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills Innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills
innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills Innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills
innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills Innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills
innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills Innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills
innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills Innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills
innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills Innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills
innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills Innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills
innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills Innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills

Related innovative tasks to improve critical and creative thinking skills

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