I started a course called Creativity, Innovation and Change. The title intrigued me for one, but the idea of collaborating with over 127.000 students world-wide in a sort of social constructivist experiment was what really hooked me.
Sharing and developing creative ideas with people of so diverse circumstances as the head of a university in Denmark, a furniture designer in Mexico, a house wife in USA, a government employee in France, a psychologist in Russia a domestic cleaner in …… well, it has to be interesting, don’t you think?
Here I am in week three, and 127.000 is a lot of people and how we will work together and how many of us will stay is yet to be seen. But the course kicked of f in a flurry of activity, with several of the more outgoing students organizing online meet ups via Google and Linkedin and the university releasing the first set of course materials of exercises and projects.
Step one seemed to be to help each of us find out where we were so to speak. Not in a physical sense of course but in a creative sense.
Through videos and transcripts, we were assured that everyone are creative, based on the fact that we make our own choices and thereby create our own solutions or problems, the main measurable viable being our creative style which could be measured by how innovative we were in these. Strangely enough our level of innovation wasn’t to be tested by any more clever or innovative means than a questionnaire. The questionnaire took minutes to answer and the results arrived back in seconds.
I was delighted to find that I came within the mildly innovative range, a range that most people come within, as was illustrated by the tried and trusted Bell curve at the end of the test.
On the Map
Flushed with pride in my averageness I promptly went on to carry out the next exercise which was concerned with putting me in the picture spiritually; the question being ‘what drives you.’
A lot of people really ran with this exercise, others moaned they had already done that kind of thing before. I have, but I think it makes perfect sense that if you want to make, you need to know exactly where you are now.
Like any kind of project, defining where you are and where you are going; what your objectives are is the recipe for success. But how often when we are lost, when we are unhappy or have a problem to solve, do we take the time to sit down and lay down the facts?
The CIC course again did not come up with an innovative tool, nevertheless the tool they presented to us was perfectly adequate; Mind Mapping. We were encouraged to put what drives us in the middle and up to nine departments of our lives to branch out from that.
Many of the students posted their map on-line for all of us to see, and it was very interesting.
Some people had ‘love’ in the middle, others had ‘me’ and ‘happiness’ one I saw had Nike’s slogan ‘just do it’ and so on. Finally all of us had to choose our position to the course; were we tourists, explores or adventures. A little like in life.
I wonder how you see yourself.
Creativity Innovation and Change is a free on-line Coursera course from Pennsylvania State University led by Dr. Jack V. Matson, Dr. Kathryn W. Jablokow, Dr. Darrell Velegol from Penn State University, the course modules are: Uncovering Your Creative Identity, Character Development, Idea Generation, Idea Evaluation, Creative Collaboration, Research, Metrics, Experimentation ,Synthesis of Creativity, Innovation, and Change.