Developing creative potential using an active-learning experience

Gibney, Amanda (2011) Developing creative potential using an active-learning experience. [Conference Proceedings]


The beginning of first year in Higher Education is seen as a critical time in a student's life. Strong linkages are made in the literature between a positive experience at this time and an enhanced learning experience leading to academic success. Positive and active engagement with academic learning at this transition phase in a student's academic life should be the aim of curriculum developers. Curriculum review discussions in engineering tend to focus on technical content and teaching rather than on learning and the holistic development of the engineering student through their educational experience. Through an engineering curriculum review process in UCD in 2010, two important priorities emerged in relation to the first year student experience. It was deemed to be of primary importance that an exciting engineering-related education experience be provided for students, entering a general first year engineering programme, alongside the development of their scientific and mathematical skills. In addition, the development of positive, active engagement, independent study and learning skills, information literacy skills, teamwork and communication skills were recognised as being of key importance within the core curriculum. These issues are addressed in a new first year 'Creativity in Design' module. This module provides an active-learning engineering experience through which students develop their observation skills, problem solving skills, lateral thinking abilities, visual and verbal presentation skills and information literacy skills. Students, working in groups, are encouraged to develop creative design solutions and to critically evaluate and present their solutions in a studio-based setting. The approach encourages students to actively pursue knowledge taking their learning experiences to a higher more engaging level than they have previously experienced. The presentation particularly focuses on this new first year module, outlining the approach used to develop the creative potential and problem solving abilities of first year students using an active- learning experience.

[thumbnail of NAIRTL 5th Annual Conference.pdf]
NAIRTL 5th Annual Conference.pdf

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