Fostering creativity

  • Nik Mahon

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This research documents the design, development and delivery of a two year programme of creative problem solving (CPS) workshops which were incorporated into the syllabus of the BA (Hons) Advertising course at Southampton Solent University. The initial phase of this research involved an examination of creative problem solving techniques and approaches, together with the teaching, learning and assessment strategies employed to evaluate creative products, processes and individuals themselves. This is supplemented by an audit of course content across other advertising degree programmes within the United Kingdom and an extensive survey of senior advertising creatives and account executives, examining the qualities they seek in undergraduate recruits. This three-pronged approach, focusing on research into creativity, current practice in advertising education and the requirements of the advertising industry provided the practical and theoretical framework on which the programme was subsequently designed. The second phase of the research, examines the impact of the programme on the creative performance of the students participating in the workshops. The results of divergent thinking tests administered before and after the first year of the programme, together with journal entries and observational notes made at the time of delivery, provide evidence that structured training in the use of CPS techniques can enhance creative ability and promote originality and creative fluency. A new theoretical model to explain the dynamic relationship between frequency, relevancy and originality of ideas is proposed together with various strategies for stimulating ideas and sustaining the frequency of idea generation. Subsequent to this, the research identifies new techniques for idea generation and proposes alternative systems for briefing creatives and fostering creativity in higher education and the workplace.
    Date of Award2008
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Nottingham Trent University

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