How do you go about quantifying “creativity” or “innovation” for projects?
As I go about trying to make my curriculum more “project-based” I’m running into trouble coming up with ways to assess the students’ work. One of the goals of “project-based learning” seems to be to encourage creativity and innovation in how the students go about their learning. I’m finding it hard to quantify “creativity” and “innovation” in a grade. What is an “A” level of creativity versus a “B” level of creativity? The grading of essays and tests from last year were easily marked “correct” or “incorrect”. Grading becomes more subjective when “creativity” is as important as “having correctly conjugated the verbs”. I find it hard to justify my “A” creativity grade versus an “A-” creativity grade to a parent or a student.
Declaring “creativity” as right or wrong does not make sense. Determining one project to be “more creative” than another project also doesn’t seem like the right way to go about determining the grade. Or is it? We are trying to teach these kids to be “globally competitive” and an employer/consumer will ultimately decide whether “Person A” is more creative than “Person B”. This gets tricky though because what one employer/consumer sees as “creative or innovative” may vary greatly from the opinion of a different employer/consumer.
As a teacher, I feel like objectivity relates closely to the legitimacy of my grading policy. However, objectivity in the job market isn’t reality. How do you encourage creative risk taking? How do you quantify the value of the risk that person has taken? How do you quantify the “creative success” of the risk that someone has taken? Students also differ in abilities in strengths. Can you set up an objective standard for the subjective skill of creativity?
I assume we want students of all abilities to strive towards creative solutions to their problems. To develop a desire for creativity, we also seem to need to allow students of all abilities to taste success. One student’s “A” on a creativity grade might differ greatly from another kid’s “A” on a creativity grade. Grades may also differ depending on the teacher’s opinion on what is “creative” and ultimately what an employer/consumer would think is “creative”. How do you resolve these problems?
If I end up deciding that someone has “gotten an A in creativity” it also does not seem to push them to reach to be more creative the next time around. That said, implying that a student can be “more creative” implies that there is a quantitative amount of “creativity” in a project…
If there was one “A” given in the class with the goal of getting the students motivated to be “the most creative”, then you could see a couple students getting this grade for each project assigned and thus marginalizing the rest of the class.
Bonuses, promotions, sales results, etcetera will quantify “creativity” outside of school. How can we quantify these important skills inside the academic world? How can we motivate students to find “creative solutions”? How are you addressing these issues in your classroom? What suggestions can you share with me? Thanks for your help.