Creative Engineering in the Classroom

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Engineering is inherently creative. It doesn't matter with what, engineers are constantly designing and developing creative solutions to problems. Society is constantly evolving and, in order to continue this advance, professors are needed to help improve creative engineering among students. Richard M. Felder summaries this point very well in his article.

"The toughest problems facing our society - how to provide all our citizens with adequate and affordable food, housing, and medical care, efficient and economical public transportation, clean and safe energy - are not likely to be solved by easy or conventional means. If they could be, they would have been solved by now. To the extent that the problems are technological, creative engineers are needed to solve them. We - engineering professors - are in the business of producing engineers. It would seem out responsibility, and also in out best interest, to produce some creative ones - or least not to extinguish the sparks of creativity out students bring with them" (Felder, 1987, 222).

However, the truth is, not many professors/teachers are doing very well with this. Most schools/universities still rely on the traditional lecture-homework-quiz style of education. This format does not foster creativity. In fact, it causes many students to have a 'I just need to pass the course' attitude. Most of which forget what they learned after the test.

This course is aimed to help educators design a curriculum that will provide students with a creative and engaging learning environment. This mini-course is split up into four units. The course will begin by identifying Creativity and its Importance in Engineering. After which, Pedagogical Techniques to Design a Creative Engineering Classroom is covered in the second unit. In the third unit, learners will explore Incorporating Pedagogical Techniques in an Engaging Design, such as electrical, mechanical, or designing. Finally, the last unit takes everything and combines it to help learners Develop and Improve on Your Creative Engineering Curriculum.

This course is designed to give learners the tools and knowledge needed to create an effective curriculum to foster creative engineering. While there are many approaches to engineering education, the need for creativity in engineering is at an all time high. By giving students the opportunities to creatively design solutions to problems, they will be better prepared to tackle the continuous changes in society and technology.


Before taking this course, the learner:

  • should have basic knowledge on computer usage, file modifying, and Microsoft Word editing
  • should have a background in and have a basic understanding of engineering
  • must be actively seeking to learn more about this education topic


Unit 1: Creativity and its Importance in Engineering

Unit Objective:

  • Understand and explain why creativity is needed in engineering

In this unit, you will:

  • Learn about creative engineering and why it is not commonly taught
  • Identify where creativity can be improved in your classroom
  • Read articles and watch a video focused on creative engineering
  • Begin a course-long activity

Unit 2: Pedagogical Techniques to Design a Creative Engineering Classroom

Unit Objective:

  • Identify which pedagogical techniques would improve creativity among your own engineering students

In this unit, you will:

  • Understand different pedagogical techniques that foster creative engineering
  • Identify benefits of collaborations in an engineering classroom
  • Identify pedagogical techniques that would work best with your own students
  • Read articles focused on creative engineering pedagogical methods
  • Continue the course-long activity

Unit 3: Incorporating Pedagogical Techniques in an Engaging Design

Unit Objective:

  • Identify how best to integrate your pedagogical techniques into your classroom

In this unit, you will:

  • Identify different instructional strategies to effectively integrate pedagogical methods into the curriculum
  • Learn how to design a engaging curriculum that is best suited for your students
  • Read article focused on instructional strategies for student engagement
  • Continue the course-long activity

Unit 4: Develop and Improve on Your Creative Engineering Curriculum

Unit Objective:

  • demonstrate how you plan on integrating the strategy and pedagogical techniques you identified in the previous units into your classroom

In this unit, you will:

  • Have a strong understanding on how to develop a creative engineering curriculum from scratch
  • Will learn about different techniques to observe, review, and improve their creative engineering curriculum (e.g. ADDIE model)
  • Will read an article covering the ADDIE model
  • Finish the course-long activity and begin developing your creative engineering curriculum

References and Resources

Ashbrook, P. (2019). An Engineering Design Process Used by the Author and Her Students. [Diagram]. National Science Teaching Association. Retrieved from

Awang, H., & Ramly, I. (2008). Creative thinking skill approach through problem-based learning: Pedagogy and practice in the engineering classroom. International journal of human and social sciences, 3(1), 18-23.

Blikstein, P., & Krannich, D. (2013, June). The makers' movement and FabLabs in education: experiences, technologies, and research. In Proceedings of the 12th international conference on interaction design and children (pp. 613-616).

Felder, R. M., & Silverman, L. K. (1988). Learning and teaching styles in engineering education. Engineering education, 78(7), 674-681.

Felder, R. M. (1987). On creating creative engineers. Engineering education, 77(4), 222-227.

Harish. (2016). 7 Amazing Insights That Engineers Can Teach us About Creativity. Received from

(2017). The ADDIE Model Infographic. Received from

Katwala, A. (2017). Focus on creativity, not maths and physics,' to open up engineering. Received from

Kazerounian, K., & Foley, S. (2007). Barriers to creativity in engineering education: A study of instructors and students perceptions.

Kurt, S. (2020). Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Received from

L., J. (2017). How Technology is Re-engineering the Future Classroom. Received from

Lee, L. (2019). Teaching Students How to Ask Productive Questions. Received from

Liu, Z., & Schonwetter, D. J. (2004). Teaching creativity in engineering. International Journal of Engineering Education, 20(5), 801-808.

Spencer, J. OurSocialVoice. “What Is Problem-Based Learning?” YouTube, YouTube, 12 Nov. 2017,

Peterson, C. (2003). Bringing ADDIE to life: Instructional design at its best. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 12(3), 227-241.

Servant, H. (2017). Note Taking Strategies Combined With Storytelling System. Received from

TED-Ed. "The Power of Creative Constraints" - Brandon Rodriguez. Youtube, 13 Jan. 2017,

What are Strategies?. Received from