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Transforming curriculum by embedding creative problem solving content and assessment

Tania von der Heidt
Southern Cross University, Lismore, Military Road, NSW 2480, Australia

Intended audience

The pivotal role of creativity in modern business success has been widely acknowledged. As a key factor in innovation, creativity contributes to competitive advantage, growth and prosperity. Creatively deriving solutions to problems involves a systematic approach, i.e. CPS. Some universities identify creativity as a graduate attribute developed in their courses. However, creativity skills are not well taught or assessed. Scholars have observed that university classrooms and curriculum with their focus on standards, convergent thinking and predetermined learning outcomes offer limited opportunity for creativity. A lack of creativity is also one of the most common graduate skill deficiencies cited by employers.

Hence, this workshop targets educators interested in transforming curriculum by embedding creative problem solving (CPS) content and CPS-related learning tasks to enhance problem solving within their discipline.

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the concept of creativity and the nature of CPS.
  • Identify issues pertaining to a discipline that warrant attention and may be solved through CPS.
  • Propose how to in transform curriculum by embedding CPS in both course content and in assessment.

Workshop description – topic & format

% of workshop time Topic Tasks

Explore the general nature of creativity

  • Compare definitions of creativity
  • Provide alternate explanations for creativity
  • Distinguish creativity and intelligence
  • Describe how creativity manifests itself

Explore the in-situ nature of creativity

  • Self-reflect on what creativity means in each participant’s discipline
  • Compare participants’ in-situ meanings of creativity

Self-assess creativity

Use variety of techniques to assess individual creativity


Build creative confidence

Explore creative behaviours and pre-requisites (self & environmental) for creativity


Link creativity to an issue of importance

Identify issues of importance within participants’ discipline, e.g. the need for marketers/businesses to provide more sustainable market offerings to consumers


Illustrate teaching and assessing CPS for issue of importance

Provide example pertaining to sustainable market offerings.


Teach and assess CPS for issue of importance

Participants draft transformation to their curriculum – syllabus and assessment.

Workshop facilitator

Dr von der Heidt is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Southern Cross University, where she teaches Marketing Principles domestically and offshore. Her broad academic research goal is to examine ways in which marketing can be more sustainable and effective from a multi-stakeholder perspective). Her work transcends disciplinary boundaries, using knowledge about marketing, management, sustainability, creativity and new product development, collaboration, scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education (HE), as well as quantitative and qualitative research methods.

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  • Key Dates
  • Call for Proposals Open 12 September 2016
  • Registration Opens 19 September 2016
  • Call for Refereed Paper Abstracts Closes 23 October 2016
  • Notification of Acceptance for Refereed Paper Abstracts 15 November 2016
  • Full Paper from Accepted Abstracts Due 6 February 2017
  • All Other Submission Types Due 20 February 2017
  • Notification of Acceptance for All Other Submission Types 10 April 2017
  • Early Bird Registration Extended till 12 May 2017
  • Pre-Conference Workshops 27 June 2017
  • HERDSA 2017 Conference 28 – 30 June 2017