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'I am not a person with a creative mind': Facilitating creativity in the undergraduate curriculum through a design-based research approach
journal contributionposted on 06.09.2018, 00:00 by Denise Wood, C Bilsborow
Today's graduates need the skills to enable them to 'persevere in the face of complexity and unresolvability' (McWilliam and Haukka 2008: 660), and to respond creatively in work environments that are increasingly dependent on digital technologies (Cunningham 2006). However, although many higher education institutions (HEIs) acknowledge the importance of creativity within the curriculum (McWilliam 2007a), it is argued that universities are failing to equip graduates with the creative skills they require to be effective in the workplace. Design-based learning (also referred to as learning by design) is ideally suited to facilitating the development of creative problem solving (CPS) skills by engaging students in complex learning activities involving the active construction of knowledge through a series of iterative cycles of experimentation and refinement of concepts (Naidu 2004). Similarly, design-based research (DBR) involves a series of iterative steps to design and develop learning environments and theories the design, while also informing the development of practical guidelines (Reeves, Herrington and Oliver, 2005). This paper reports on findings from a project funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, which aimed to develop a CPS framework and supporting online system to scaffold teachers and students through a creative problem solving approach founded on the principles of DBR. The study employed a mixed-methods DBR approach involving multiple iterations to design, develop, trial and implement the framework and tool, as well as the development of principles and practical guidelines for application in the classroom. The findings reported in this paper focus on the DBR process and the experience trialling the CPS tool in a first-year undergraduate course offered in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia. The paper reports on the implications of the findings from the project and the benefits of DBR as a methodology informing the design, development and implementation of a technology enhanced learning approach to fostering CPS in the undergraduate curriculum.