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Creativity MOOC Draws 120,000 Students

More than 120,000 people from around the world have signed up for an upcoming massive online open course (MOOC) designed to help students of all disciplines tap into their innate creative potential. The course, Creativity, Innovation, and Change, was developed by a team of three professors from Pennsylvania State University and is being offered through Coursera.

Topics to be covered in the eight-week course include generation and evaluation of ideas, building a creative team, planning, prototyping, synthesis, and reflection. The topics will be taught through a series of videos, exercises, and projects. The course is open to anybody.

To accommodate the needs of such a large and diverse group of students, the course developers identified three distinct student profiles, so participants can select the profile that best suits them. Adventurer students are those who are willing and able to make the biggest commitment to the course and get most involved. Tourists are those who want to pick and choose their course activities. And Explorers fall in the middle of the spectrum of course commitment and involvement.

The online course is based on an existing classroom-format course offered at Penn State. The course developers used the same processes they will teach in the course to adapt it to the MOOC format, and during the course's inaugural session, they plan to continue to apply those processes to improve the course for its next session.

According to an article on the Penn State site, the course developers believe everybody is innately creative and that the course will help them tap into that creativity. They also believe fear of failure is the biggest obstacle to creativity for most people, which is why the first topic in the course covers the importance of failure in the creative process.

Further information about the Creativity, Innovation, and Change MOOC, as well as a sign-up link, can be found on Coursera's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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