Divergent Thinking Skills Development

A pilot project for incorporating Divergent thinking skills development into a Project-Based Course in Industrial and Systems Engineering: Educational Materials and Assessment Tools

PI: Elif Akcali, Co-PI: Wayne Giang
Award Period: 04/01/2019-06/30/2020
Abstract

Highest levels of creativity require both divergent and convergent thinking. Despite increased interest in developing divergent thinking skills of the students to enhance their creativity, neither the general engineering education curriculum nor the ISE education curriculum provides adequate training to students to ensure divergent thinking skills development (DTSD). Consequently, there is a clear need to enhance current curricular practices (i) to place an emphasis on exposing students to exercises for DTSD and (ii) to provide multiple opportunities for students to use these exercises during ideation phase of course projects within the curriculum. The overall goal of the proposed pilot study is to enhance the curriculum of ESI 4356 Spreadsheet-based Decision Support Systems for Industrial and Systems Engineers course for DTSD. To help support this goal, the research team will (i) design and deliver pilot DTSD curriculum in Summer 2019 in ESI 4356; (ii) assess the effectiveness of the proposed curriculum (perceived understanding of the students via surveys and student journaling; and performance of the students via ideation phase reports and final project reports) at the end of Summer 2019 term; (iii) refine and deliver final curriculum in Fall 2019 in ESI 4356; and (iv) assess the effectiveness of the proposed curriculum (perceived understanding of the students via surveys and student journaling; and performance of the students via ideation phase reports and final project reports) at the end of Fall 2019 term. The results of the proposed work will be submitted for a presentation at 2020 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition.

Publications
  1. Akcali, E., Giang, W., Landrum, M. (In progress). Incorporating Divergent Thinking Skills Development into a Project-Based Course in Industrial and Systems Engineering. ASEE Conference.
Proposals

None to date. Submission planned for NSF in August 2020.