Feb 26, 2024  
2023 January Term Course Catalog 
2023 January Term Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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JAN 101 - Turning On the Light Bulb: Illuminating, Unleashing and Managing Creativity

Upper division
Full credit
MTuThF, 12:00 PM - 2:35 PM

Creativity abounds in the world around us. We often misconstrue creativity to exist only in certain realms, such as arts or technology. Yet in our everyday life, creativity is crucial in helping to change status quo for the better. Creativity, at its most fundamental, can lead to challenging our current conventions and can incrementally or dramatically improve our way of living. Creativity, in essence, can enhance our personal and professional lives. In a recent study of millennials across the globe, millennials identified creativity as the foremost characteristic that will distinguish future innovators, higher than their ratings for academic ability, technical skills and the ability to challenge. In the same survey, innovation is considered a top three purpose of business and just as important as profits, and 78% believes that innovation is essential for business growth. However, despite the crucial link between creativity and innovation, critical thinking is much developed in the education pathway while creative thinking is less emphasized. That is, creative thinking is often trumped in the classroom by critical thinking.

This Jan Term course focuses on the process of unleashing creativity. This course aims to provide students with a hands-on understanding of how creativity can be injected into everyday problems, and how it can be better facilitated and managed. We will bust the myth of creativity as a mysterious and random process. Through theoretical conceptualizations of creativity and many practical applications involved in fostering creativity and innovation, students will gain knowledge and experience in enhancing their own creativity. This course also aims to develop students’ creative thinking skills, hone their idea generation process, and demonstrate ways to stimulate creativity in more meaningful and manageable ways. An understanding of the creative process is not only a necessary prerequisite for successful innovation, but also a basic skill for general management across disciplines. In essence, the course strives to help students better enhance the process of creativity and innovation in their own personal and professional lives.

The structure of the course encourages learning at multiple levels: through in-class lectures, exercises, discussions, small teams carrying out projects, individual assignments, and individual reading, study, and analysis, and a visit to the Bedford Gallery. The assigned readings provide basic concepts, theories, and approaches that identify important issues and describe effective and efficient creativity practices. Lectures and class discussions will review and extend this material.  Exercises and case analyses will provide rich examples to anchor and guide class discussions. This course-long project involves developing and producing a creative idea. This team-based project challenges the students to utilize course concepts and experience to help jumpstart individual and team creativity. In-class activities, in combination with individual assignments, study and team projects, are designed to enable students to express their creativity and to develop their creativity mind-set.

Instructor(s): Nancy Lam
Email:  nl4@stmarys-ca.edu

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites:  None
Course Fee:  60

Credits: 1

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