Assessing Creativity

Within my CEP 811 class this semester we spent a lot of time exploring ways to involve technology and creation to better educate students. This week our learning objectives were focused on assessment of creativity and the need for this type of assessment in problem solving and innovation.

As an educator charged with the assessment of student learning, I would assess creative problem solving during maker-inspired lessons by giving students a rubric emphasizing the following areas. Students will be expected to create a unique final product that shows innovation and creativity. Students will be expected to show perseverance through problem solving. Students will be expected to create an initial submission and receive feedback, upon receiving feedback, students will go back to their submission and make changes (if necessary). Finally, students will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and application of the standards being addressed within the assignment.

When creating a unique solution, students must either design something completely new or re-create someone else’s design with significant changes and the original designer given credit. Perseverance through problem solving will involve students identifying the issues they had throughout the project and using various methods to solve these problems. The route to solving these problems may be through research, friends, teachers, etcetera, but it should be notable that they continued to search for a solution or a way around the problem and not simply settle without a solution. For feedback and changes, projects will initially receive peer-reviewed feedback and note the changes, then students will have the opportunity to submit the assignment multiple times receiving feedback and adjusting their problem solutions until they are satisfied with their scores. The final aspect of the grading rubric is in place so that clear learning objectives are being met through the project. It will be important for students not only to demonstrate what they have learned pertaining to the addressed standards, but also explain why they standards were important to the project, thus giving meaning to the learning objectives.

The design of this assessment rubric is connected to the learning theories of both Grant Wiggins and James Paul Gee. Grant Wiggins emphasizes the importance of actually assessing the creativity of a student. In the rubric I explained above, making uniqueness a criteria does this. A large portion of high school assessments is merely assessing a student’s ability to recreate something that already exists. This rubric stresses the importance on a unique result or solution to the problem, thus assessing a student’s ability to create and innovate. Secondly, James Paul Gee discusses that learning occurs within a video game when the player attempts to beat a level or part of a game and loses, only to be able to attempt that same level or part over and over until they have learned how to pass it. This is where multiple submissions with an emphasis on improvement until a student receives a satisfactory grade simulate a video game.   This part of the rubric focuses on student learning, growth, and development, while simultaneously attempting to eliminate failures.

Isslehardt, E. (2013, February 11). Creating Schoolwide PBL Aligned to Common Core [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/PBL-aligned-to-common-core-eric-isslehardt

Gee, J. P. (2010, Jul y 20). James Paul Gee on Grading with Games. Edutopia’s Youtube Channel.  [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU3pwCD-ey0#t=64

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