• Thinking Innovatively About Teaching Innovation and Ideation: Getting Students to Think Differently

      Bourdeau, Bryan K.; Celuch, Kevin
      USI has a simple but powerful vision - “Shaping the future through learning and innovation.” Elements of the culture of the university are aligning to utilize aspects of innovation to impact our region. Given this imperative, how can we enhance the innovativeness of our teaching and learning? The approach to be described can be used in virtually any course or training context. The approach has been successfully applied in semester, five week, and twice a month formats; with traditional college age and adult learners; in face-to-face and online formats. The approach uniquely integrates work from the social cognition and multi-sensory learning literature to develop student ideation capabilities. The unique ideation process: In recent Booz and Co. research (2012), 57% of respondents reported their company as only marginally effective at idea generation. Yet Booz and Co. found that effectiveness in early stage ideation is a strong predictor of later project performance. The approach is aimed at enhancing idea generation. Students start with an existing domain (problem or existing idea for improvement) and then intersect the domain with combinations of mega-trends, concepts, visuals, music, and videos to develop pools of unique ideas. Note that the use of multi-sensory stimulation is in keeping with the work of Mayer (1997). This research identified a clear “multi-media effect” in which participants exposed to coordinated visual and verbal stimuli generated a median of over 50% more creative solutions on problem solving transfer tests than participants exposed to only one modality. We have assessed the impact of the unique ideation process utilizing a pretest-posttest design. Posttest means are consistently significantly higher for ideation-related beliefs and ideation self-efficacy. Further, outcomes support the uniqueness of ideation output. Over multiple time periods and contexts, the unique ideation approach has helped connect university engagement and innovation imperatives, ideas to students, and finally, students to themselves. We look forward to future use of the ideation process as an approach that connects for impact!