Dec 05, 2023  
2024 January Term Course Catalog 
2024 January Term Course Catalog
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JAN 319 - Turning on the Light Bulb: Illuminate, Unleash, and Unlock Your Creativity

Type:  In-Person

Course Meeting Days & Times: MTThF, 12:00 PM-2:30 PM


Instructor(s): Lam, Nancy


Fee: $65


Course Description:  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.  With creative thinking skills in our cognitive repertoire, we can live better lives (and perhaps impact some parts of the world in a positive way).

Creativity is a highly valued approach.  In a study of young Americans across the globe, they 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.  Organizations also share similar sentiment on creativity: in a recent study by Business Week, 72% of companies surveyed cite innovation as a top strategic priority. 

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 provides students with a hands-on understanding of how creativity can be unleashed, 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 creativity.  This course aims to develop students’ creative thinking skills, hone their idea generation process, and demonstrate ways to stimulate creativity in more meaningful and manageable ways.  Students will gain a better understanding of the appropriate context to cultivate and implement creativity and innovation.  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 aims 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, 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.  In-class activities in combination with individual assignments and case analyses will provide rich examples to anchor and guide class discussions.  We also have a course-long team project that is designed to enable you express your creativity and to develop your creativity mind-set.

Prerequisites & Notes

Credits: 3

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