Key Competence Creativity and How it Can be Promoted in Online Teaching
Whether at universities or at schools – in the wake of the pandemic, e-learning has become the new normal. Even more so than in face-to-face classes, the promotion of creativity in digital teaching often comes up short. Yet the connection between creativity and innovation, which is so important for the future viability of our society, is elementary.
An interdisciplinary research project led by Jacobs University Bremen (Germany) wants to change that. It wants to develop digital solutions that can be used to specifically support the creativity of students and other learners, regardless of the subject they are studying or teaching.
With digitisation and automation, the demands on teaching and the professional world are also changing. Less emphasis is being placed on teaching pure facts, which can be researched on the Internet at any time, and on memorisation with a view to an examination. Soft skills that cannot be researched or automated are becoming more important. These include the ability to think critically, to communicate, to collaborate, and creativity, i.e. the ability to create something new.
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Creativity is a key competence for professional success in a modern society
Curricula pay far too little attention to the creativity component. One idea to change this is Design Thinking, an approach to develop new ideas and innovations.
This concept has proven itself many times over in face-to-face teaching. Now it is being adapted to the conditions of online teaching. This is a challenge, because teamwork often falls by the wayside online, but it is a central element of the method. So what techniques can be used to promote creativity in digital teaching? This is the central question in the project. For example, a virtual whiteboard is used to exchange ideas, as well as a selection of creative methods that can be assigned to the various phases of design thinking.
The digital creative concept will be tested and further developed in seminars with students at Jacobs University. However, the approach is not limited to academia.
The project is funded by the Jacobs Foundation as part of the joint initiative “B3 – Bildung Beyond Boundaries“. Education Beyond Boundaries (B³) is a joint initiative of the Jacobs Foundation and Jacobs University Bremen that supports innovative and radical ideas in higher education. In the course of the Challenge, the Jacobs Foundation has funded nine research projects with a total amount of up to 1.3 million euros.
The project will be completed by the middle of next year. The team then plans to present a concept with techniques and methods for promoting creativity in a virtual learning world. Whether teachers at the university or at school, students or pupils: everyone can learn to be more creative.