Summer Session I – Online/Asynchronous
Dineh Davis, Ph.D. Associate Professor
hours: Will be posted each week on WebCT’s home page
All course times, deadlines, etc., are Hawaii
Standard Time regardless of student or faculty location!
Chats: Optional for group work; no instructor chats; option
available for voluntary student to student interactions
How did the concept of
creativity reveal itself in various cultures over time? Does
creativity occur only on special occasions, or to those with a certain
talent? Is the concept of creativity limited to certain fields or
endeavors or excluded from others? Can someone be labeled
"creative" if s/he is not acknowledged by society for the creative act?
Ultimately, how do creative thoughts turn into action or any other form
of communication in our personal and professional lives? What are some
policy issues within various cultural boundaries that hamper or support
the individual’s creative flow in research and education?
Objectives: To discover the many ways in which humans have
defined creativity through communication: in verbal and nonverbal
domains; as expressed by individuals; and as defined by
societies. This systematic and theory-based study will focus on
the link between creative outlets and cultural paths that acknowledge -
by either rewarding or extinguishing - the creative spirit through
various communication outlets in our environment.
This Summer '05 offering will
follow the Outreach College theme on “A Voyage of Discovery: A Look
the Past.” There is always a trade-off and a need for balance
between honoring and preserving the best of our traditions, yet leaving
room for future growth and adaptation – a critical search for
that will inspire the best in our quest for personal, professional,
communal, global, and universal achievements.
The following required
(primary) text is available at the bookstore or via Outreach (or
(1996) Creativity : flow and the
psychology of discovery and invention. New York :
(If you are primarily taking
this course to learn more about your own creative growth, you will also
enjoy two other works by the same author: Flow; and The Evolving Self.)
A selected bibliography is
included for additional reading. Students should have no difficulty
with researching appropriate academic sources from the Internet.
For example, on scholar.google.com alone, there are well over 12000
scholarly references on the intersection of creativity, communication,
and culture! Hamilton library's online resources are available
via The Voyager and the students are expected to carry on a variety of
"live" research as well for primary-source information.
Weeks & Topics
|Small Group Projects
|WI papers/nonWI quizzes
Your course grade will be
based on a cumulative 100 points of the standard grading system.
"Plus and Minus" grades will be assigned as necessary. This
cumulative system (as opposed to averaging) allows for self-monitoring
of steady progress and consistent contributions on a weekly
basis. You will earn 15 points per week, each week, for a total
of 90 points. The final 10 points is reserved for a general
assessment for the entire semester, allowing for some discretion by the
instructor to adjust the final grade, if necessary. Please be
sure to review my policy on contributions and note the potential for
"negative participation" as well. Every week we will have a
combination of the following elements:
a. Threaded discussions on that week’s topic(s).
There will always be at least one "required" thread – which is
to be based on your book reading assignment (Csikszentmihalyi’s
Creativity) (5 points for all, additional 5 points for formal papers
for WI students - to which non-WI students respond as necessary)
Individual projects: games and play-time. These are based
on a variety of activities; but you’ll need to choose at least ONE
activity per week. These are independent projects or contributions. (2
Small group projects: interactive sessions; small group
work. Each group is self-selected and does not need to remain
together for more than one week or one project: choose one or
more of your classmates and either have a WebCT-based real-time
experience (as on Chat) or find your own mutually agreeable way to work
out a particular problem to solve. The choice of the problem is
yours and the solution needs to come from a jointly creative
perspective. Students should take turns in leading the group
activity with their partner(s). At least one such rotation per
person (to take the leadership role) is required for the semester. (3
Quizzes (optional for WI students; required for non-WI students):
For WI students: If your contribution to the threaded discussion has
not been substantial per instructor’s assessment, you may choose to
take a quiz for that week to boost your grade. However, the only
way you qualify for this "make-up" exam is if you had already
contributed on time in the first place. In other words, this
exam-taking is not in place of threaded discussions, but in addition to
it, if you wish to raise your grade. You will have at least one
week to prepare for such exams. (5 points per week maximum; to make up
for deficiency in weekly discussion portion of assignments only).
These exams are required for all non-WI students.
e. Formal papers (required for WI students
only; optional for non-WI students). Works in reverse of item "d"
above, in that all WI students are required to write a formal paper
each week on a creative topic of their own choice (preferably based on
additional readings or value-added synthesis of existing online
discussions as they relate to previously published work on creativity);
whereas non-WI students have the option to write papers to make up for
less-than perfect scores on their weekly quizzes. Consistent with
above procedures, papers do not replace quiz-taking; rather, they can
only make up lower-than-maximum grade on a quiz already taken.
To sum up the grading: Each week’s effort is equivalent to 15% of
course grade. This leaves a final 10% in the final week for my
general assessment of your work, which is primarily based on the
consistency with which you approached the course work (approximately
two points per week) and your personal integrity and perseverance in
accomplishing your own goals without infringing on other’s ability
learn alongside of you. (In other words, cooperation and
collaboration go hand-in-hand with your free spirit of individualism
and independent creativity!)
From imagination to communication: Who are the participants in
this seminar and what do we want from this experience? Structure
and content of the course and room for flexibility based on
participants’ needs and inclinations. Does creativity exist
beyond its external manifestations? (Is it real if it’s not
communicated? Understood? Accepted?)
Theoretical foundations for
creativity and how this concept is communicated to us throughout a
lifespan: Commonalities across disciplines and cultures.
Tools for creativity; predispositions and learned behaviors for using
them. Along with required readings, students are encouraged to
become familiar with the concepts of multiple intelligences, emotional
intelligence, and flow (see bibliography on Gardner, Goldman, and
Csikszentmihalyi respectively). Or, if you prefer to jump-start
with a short-hand "view," see videotape 17995 at Sinclair’s Wong A/V
Center on Optimizing Intelligences any time during the first week (or
watch it later for your own benefit, in any case!).
contributions: in addition to responses to readings each student
needs to select a personal "Show & Tell" topic as well as a "Show
& Interact" topic: These can be current events;
research-inspired; personal observations that demand academic
validation; or a puzzlement (though not a puzzle!). Then you can
decide if this chosen topic lends itself to group work or not. If
it’s a solitary contribution, then leave it as such and simply
your findings with others. If there seems to be some benefit to
working with one or more persons to further develop (or "transform" or
change) the outcome, then take the initiative to find a classmate to
help you with the process and presentation of the task and you will
both receive the credit for that project. Because this kind of
tracking down a classmate online is likely to be more labor-intensive,
your grade is accordingly valued more on my weekly grading scheme.
Study groups: For those
who don’t feel particularly "creative" in this online context, you
wish to begin your group work in the context of a "study group" and
explore joint ways to represent some of your learning online. By
reading every other class member’s background (required on either a
home-page or the first week’s threaded discussion on participant
information, to the extent that it will affect their participation in
the class) you might find others whose skills or talents complement
your own and ask to see if they will participate in a study group with
For Group projects, please
review list of classmates and make decisions based on joining those you
do NOT know. You may also wish to try forming new groups each
week. This will provide maximum effect for everyone! The Chat
option will also be available for interaction among students, though
students are personally responsible for setting up their own
appointments with each other. Those interactions will be
completely independent of instructor participation at any level.
Communicating creativity in everyday life, from pure play, through the
mundane to the significant. Theories of brain organization.
Role of formal and informal education & "lifelong learning."
We will begin to discuss the text and continue to explore theories of
creativity throughout the semester. In addition to the required
text, students should choose their own individual projects for each
week and share their research activities with the class throughout the
semester. Group work will continue with some guided and some
Course content is
cumulative. Nothing is "shut down" though we will move on to new
materials each week and may not respond to postings from prior weeks
unless they have been "moved forward" to a new week. Knowledge
expectations, however, are cumulative! This paragraph may seem
redundant as it repeats under each week; but it's there as a huge CLUE
that this is an important message!
Examinations and exercises
may be posted from Week 2 on, to allow students to increase their
weekly grade by a maximum of five points in the portion of the grade
associated with threaded discussions. This does NOT take the
place of weekly discussion contributions; as the exam will not be
offered to those who have not bothered to take the time to contribute
to the weekly discussions. This is merely a device to accommodate
different learning preferences and occasional lapses of judgment!
It is intended as a safety-net to minimize stress for over-achievers
and cover for the occasional mishap that comes our way in Real
Culture, Tradition & creativity: Are certain traditions and
cultures inherently opposing forces to creativity? How do
mediated forms of communication help change or stabilize a cultural
Communicating creativity with a "Capital C" & Discussion of
Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of Creativity in the context of cultural
Communicating creativity in
the visual arts & a cultural perspective on "media literacy.
Creating knowledge: the "optimal creativity" philosophy and role
of culture in communicating and mediating the need for conformity and
fixity; change and revitalization.
Communicating our needs: creating our futures. Who is in charge
of our future(s)? Where does this future begin?
note: Course content is cumulative. Nothing is "shut down"
though we will move on to new materials each week and may not respond
to postings from prior weeks unless they have been "moved forward" to a
new week. Knowledge expectations, however, are cumulative!