Creative Thinking

Definition: To explore ideas, generate possibilities, and seek out and/or develop other alternate responses rather than opting for one immediate or “correct” answer.

The graduate recognizes existing connections among ideas or solutions, and creates a new idea or reformulates existing ideas.

The graduate:

  • Identifies similarities and connections among ideas or solutions
  • Explores alternate, divergent, or contradictory perspectives or solutions
  • Generates possible approaches or solutions to challenges or situations
  • Rejects, with reason, less acceptable approaches to solving a problem

Creative thinking as a discrete skill is distinguished here from a more general sense of creativity. Across the program, students are able to uncover, identify, or create new solutions to specific situations or challenges. Students are encouraged to push beyond existing boundaries and parameters in unique and original ways.

  • Do assignments or activities require students to develop new ideas or look at existing ideas in a different way?
  • Are brainstorming or trial and error approaches to learning practiced in the classroom?
  • May students choose from a variety of topics and approaches to complete assignments?

  • AAC&U Creative Thinking VALUE Rubric
    The Creative Thinking VALUE Rubric lists AAC&U’s criteria for creative thinking and describes four levels of performance.
  • Assessing Creativity by ASCD.org
    Susan M. Brookhard explains how to assess and give feedback on creativity. She also includes a rubric, showing the spectrum of creativity.
  • Creativity and Innovation Toolkit from Griffith University
    This toolkit offers teaching tips for you to help your students be creative and how to assess their creativity.
  • Evaluating Creativity by Grant Wiggins
    Grant Wiggins explains his six-level spectrum of creativity, from not creative to unusually creative.
  • How to Build your Creative Confidence: TED Talk by David Kelley
    David Kelley wants to help as many people as possible regain their creative confidence. People should not be divided into “creative” or “not creative”; everyone should think of themselves as a creative person.
  • 7 Tenets of Creative Thinking from Edutopia
    Seven statements about creative thinking, and their explanations, that you can use to help your students become more creative.
  • Yes, You Can Teach and Assess Creativity! from Edutopia
    Andrew Miller explains his strategies to teach and assess creativity, beginning with “quality indicators” or how creativity is defined in your course.