Is Online Education Aligned with Creativity?
By Andy Sky |
Let’s face it; there is a lot of negative stigma surrounding creativity and how it is perceived as ‘soft’ or ‘secondary.’ People have biased ideas that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers are more prosperous for the modern economy. But where does this idea originate from?
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” — Charles Darwin, British naturalist.
Creativity wears a different mask and plays a different role depending on the milieu it finds itself in, much like Darwin’s quote on evolution. In online education, specifically, you can find traces left by creative minds in the form of scripts, production, and delivery.
I think of design as a powerful force—it can transform complex ideas and concepts into something people can easily absorb. Let’s take the stop sign, for example. The red octagon is such a common symbol of ‘stop’ that you can easily travel worldwide to countries where you don't speak any of the languages and recognize the concept immediately.
People see design in their everyday lives, but they use it without realizing the capability it has. Things like icons and shapes have been present in society for decades, fabricated by intellectual creatives who essentially invented a language that uses no words and is understood globally.
The Power of Concept.
Concept is a big idea or generalization contained in learning objectives. In concept development, you explicitly teach students the concept, what it is, and the big idea.
It is easy to assume that online courses lack the spontaneity of in-person courses because online courses are largely constituted of ready-made materials. The introduction of synchronous classes, especially in global pandemic times, has proven to be a concept that will forever change the world of online education. Faculty can now meet with students and see them face-to-face, mimicking the events of a real-life classroom. This does not mean that asynchronous learning should be abolished—there are still many ways it can be used to better the learning experience.
The conceptualization process takes and deserves time, but the more you are invested in reinterpreting content, the better the learning and teaching experience. From the foundation of design comes the opportunity to build upon it using innovative multimedia tools that aren’t normally present in the classroom. This is where creativity comes into play.
With a change of ‘venue’ from a physical space to an online space, those activities become perfect prototypes to pursue more emergent learning. Think about it; suddenly, faculty have the full ability to orchestrate video, audio, and data-driven media to maximize the educational possibilities in whichever subject they are teaching.
The New Age of Creativity.
Online education is busy going through a massive metamorphosis, redefining processes, and ways of working with intent and efficiency being the driving force. I can’t help but wonder—what will be the ‘new normal’ in the next stage of the industry’s evolution? Which processes will we adopt, and which ones will be flushed?
Regardless of the aforementioned, creativity will always be a constant in the education industry as a whole while internal collaboration is the powerhouse of innovation. Making use of this tool will be what sets us apart from the normal learning patterns currently set as a standard in education.
Creative Lead at Construct
Cover Art Credit: