Creative Process (UARTS250) is a four-credit course offered by ArtsEngine that immerses students — first- year through fourth-year, from all units — in the creative process. CP is team-taught by faculty from each of the North Campus units: Art & Design; Architecture + Urban Planning; Engineering; and Music, Theatre & Dance. CP provides students the opportunity to pursue intensive, hands-on creative work in four modalities — sound, motion, visual images and objects, and language — any or all of which come into play in their final course project.
Origination & Purpose: Creative Process was created by an ad hoc group of faculty from the four represented units responding to a call for sustainable, innovative, cross-disciplinary courses from U-M’s professional schools. The aim was to create a new undergraduate course that disabused students of common misconceptions of creativity, and helped students gain confidence in their own creative process by immersing them in original creative work.
Funding: The course proposal was provided with seed funding of $180,000 over a three-year period.
Product: The course is described briefly above and in more detail here:
Outcomes: For the first two years it was difficult to find adequate space to teach four new studio sections of a course simultaneously. Scheduling Creative Process for all-day Friday meetings on U-M’s North Campus kept enrollment low by eliminating students who had other Friday classes and those who were loath to spend all day Friday in class. In year 3 (FY2011), space was secured to offer the course in two 2.5-hour chunks during the week, and enrollment jumped sufficiently for the course to be sustainable, even with 5 faculty (one from each unit, plus course coordinator Professor Stephen Rush).
Evaluation: Creative Process has become a high-profile course at U-M, with students often saying that it has changed their lives. Course evaluation by U-M’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) has shown that Creative Process is unusually effective in helping students
- Clarify unstructured problems
- Formulate good questions
- Consider a broader context when decision-making and problem-solving
- Be open to others’ points of view
- Analyze problems in a way that considers unusual alternatives
- Work through obstacles
- Be able to critique others
- Be able to receive feedback and criticism
- Produce work of their own design
- Participate effectively in group discussion
- Convey their ideas effectively
- Check to see if they understand others’ thoughts
- Relate to people with backgrounds different from theirs
- Listen to audio or video media critically
Comments: Course coordinator is Stephen Rush (firstname.lastname@example.org), and faculty include Amy Chavasse, Dance (email@example.com), Michael Gould, Music (firstname.lastname@example.org) , Herb Winfuls, Engineering (email@example.com), Elona van Gent, Art & Design (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Greg Saldana, Architecture (email@example.com).