Creativity in Electrical Engineering Degree Programs: Where Is the Content?

Andrew Valentine, Iouri Belski, Margaret Hamilton, Scott Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Contribution: This paper demonstrated on a large scale that explicit articulation of creativity-related learning goals on engineering syllabi is quite limited, and primarily limited to the first year of study. Engineering educators may need to do more to ensure creativity is explicitly addressed as an expected learning outcome within engineering syllabi. Background: Prior studies have shown inclusion of creativity within engineering syllabi and course activities are generally limited. Students may perceive educators do not value creativity, and their studies have limited influence on their creative skills. Studies conflict on whether creativity skills increase over completing an engineering degree. Creativity has been demonstrated to be an important skill for engineering professionals, but one not necessarily appropriately addressed in engineering programs. Few studies have attempted to quantify coverage of creativity material on a nation-wide scale, as opposed to in a single or select few institutions. Research Questions: 1) To what extent do engineering educators explicitly articulate creativity and innovation-related learning goals and material on their course syllabi? and 2) To what extent do engineering educators explicitly articulate exposure to, or instruction in the use of, creativity heuristics within their course syllabi? Methodology: The online publicly accessible course outlines of 1109 compulsory courses from 42 degree programs accredited by two national engineering accreditation bodies were qualitatively analyzed in a two-stage approach using document analysis. Findings: Approximately 2% of compulsory electrical engineering course outlines explicitly articulate creativity-related material; only one course articulated engaging students in using creativity heuristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-296
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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