Assessing Creativity

Here’s a great set of standards that can be applied to the evaluation of creative works by students. Can creativity be assessed and should it? The companion article from Grant Wiggins makes a compelling case that it can and should be evaluated.

….it is vital when asking students to perform or produce a product that you are crystal-clear on the purpose of the task, and that you state the purpose (to make clear that the purpose is to cause an intrinsic effect, NOT please the teacher.

This article from ASCD also delves into the question of assessing creativity and makes additional points on the necessity for providing feedback to students on whether their work is “creative” (read engaging, interesting, varied, and original.)

Finally, Sir Ken Robinson also has some thoughts on creativity and why it should be assessed and evaluated. The big takeaways:

  1. Creativity is a process.
  2. Creativity involves breaking new ground with original work.
  3. Creativity ultimately is about value. Is the creation any good?

Sir Ken Robinson Illustrated

One of my favorite education thinkers, speakers, and experts on the development of human capacity is Sir Ken Robinson. If you haven’t caught his presentations on TED or other locations you’re missing out on hearing some things that all professional educators ought to consider.

Recently I also came across the very cool RSS Animate series where popular speeches are illustrated with hand-drawn graphics. In the embedded video below you’ll hear another one of Sir Ken’s talks and see it come to life as the artists at RS Animate make his talk come alive. Worth every second of the 11 minutes it takes to view the entire presentation.

Thanks for the link goes to Karen Seldon. If you don’t subscribe to her weekly newsletter on educational technology–Tuesdays with Karen—¬†you really ought to sign up!

Creating Miniature Movies with Photoshop Elements

In this episode from Palm Breeze Cafe I get the chance to show Lee Keller and Lee Kolbert methods for creating those quick projects that can be done even in a one computer classroom. Using Photoshop Elements and the Elements Organizer students can take that fourth or fifth step in the project process, combing their writing and research to demonstrate their understanding of an assigned topic by creating digital slideshow.

Projects like this can be done across the curriculum with careful foresight and planning and an eye on the learning objectives you’ve established for your students. Of course those components are required in any project-based learning experiences, but the value here is that the finished product provides that extra dose of motivation for your students as they create miniature videos that can be shared in multiple locations.

Sir Ken Robinson on Learning, Education, and Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D, an expert in creativity, innovation and human resources, gave this popular talk at the¬†TEDconference in 2006. Since that time it’s been viewed over 3.5 million times by students, parents, and educators around the world. In a companion article written for CNN, How Schools Stifle Creativity he talks about the impact of the original video and discusses his major points in more detail. Both the article and the video contain tremendous insights into the way the human brain works, how we all learn, and how creativity is essential to the learning process we all engage in.