“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use,
the more you have.”
—Maya Angelou

    Creativity is fundamental to the teaching of writing. Although WR 153 focuses specifically on creativity and innovation, all WR courses ask students to approach their reading, viewing, writing, and research in creative ways. One important approach to creativity is “design thinking,” which emphasizes that creativity is a non-linear, iterative process. Design thinking is based on two foundational assumptions:

    • Everyone can be creative.
    • Creativity can be taught.

    The principles of design thinking can be used in any WR course to teach students that creativity is a process of asking questions, using multiple strategies and approaches in answering those questions, taking risks in conceiving and executing original work, developing and refining ideas in response to feedback, and learning from productive failure. The metacognitive aspects of design thinking invite students to think about their own creative processes and identify factors that promote creativity.

    Although WR 153 is structured by the steps of the design process (understand, empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, assess/reflect), all WR courses can benefit from incorporating elements of design thinking and an emphasis on creativity and innovation. Approaching writing instruction in this way can:

    • Increase student engagement by focusing on creative responses to problems that students care about;
    • Give students a sense of agency as a result of greater choice in what to write and how to write about it;
    • Encourage taking intellectual risks and reward productive failure as a means of learning;
    • Help students develop skills that are transferrable to other academic situations and their professional lives; and
    • Enhance students’ personal lives by allowing them to learn about themselves and their own creative potential.

    The Creativity & Innovation Hub Guide contains additional useful information on creativity and innovation across disciplines at Boston University.